Elizabethton mayor Curt Alexander is calling for the Minnesota Twins to financially contribute to upgrades at Joe O’Brien Field, home of the Elizabethton Twins (Rookie; Appalachian League).
Elizabethton has been in discussions with the Twins about upgrades to Joe O’Brien Field. The scope of the project calls for Elizabethton to contribute $1.5 million, with one of the major focal points of the renovations being improved clubhouses.
The Elizabethton City Council met Thursday to discuss a contract with project architect Tom Weems. Alexander called for a motion to pass the architectural contract work, but with a provision that the Twins contribute funds to the project. While a provision to reach an agreement with the Twins was included in the motion that was passed, Alexander express his frustrations about his discussions with the Twins, and said that some of the city’s money should be devoted to improvements to the fan experience. More from the Johnson City Press:
Alexander said the estimated total cost of the project is $1.7 million. The city has committed to pay $1.5 million for the upgrade, but that includes more than just clubhouses. He said some of the money should go to improvements to stadium seating and other fan amenities.
Alexander said the motion to pay Weems for drawing the plans should include a proviso that the Minnesota Twins fund part of the costs.
“I have tried to get the Twins to agree to some amount ever since we started,” Alexander said. “Dave St. Peter (president of the Minnesota Twins) has always said ‘we are not at that point yet.’ Well, now I think we are at that point,” Alexander said.
Alexander proposed the city commit to paying only $1 million of the estimated $1.7 million of the clubhouse upgrades. Alexander said the remaining $500,000 of the city’s money should be divided, with $250,000 going to pay for stadium seating and other fan amenities; $100,000 for the architect fees; $50,000 for stadium safety upgrades, such as netting; and $100,000 for contingencies.
Joe O’Brien Field has been home to the Elizabethton Twins since 1974.
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