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Hagerstown Could Make Another Run at New Suns Ballpark

Hagerstown SunsThe Hagerstown Suns (Low A; Sally League) could be the beneficiary of another civic effort toward a new downtown ballpark, as the Hagerstown City Council is poised to commit to another feasibility study.

The Suns play at aging Municipal Stadium, and the general recognition is the 1930 facility is at the end of its functional life. The issue seems to be how the city proceeds with Municipal Stadium and the Suns. Three of the five Hagerstown City Council members expressed support for a $36,000 study from the Maryland Stadium Authority to determine whether pro baseball is viable in the long term for the Suns. This isn’t the first time the city has explored the issue — an opposing council member says there have been seven such studies over the last 10 years — but involving Maryland Stadium Authority seems to be a prerequisite toward seeking aid from that agency.

The three councilmembers supporting the study say they want to see baseball in Hagerstown, with a new downtown ballpark high on the list. The two opposing councilmembers say it’s a waste of money and want to convert Municipal Stadium into a sports complex — something that’s not necessarily at odds with a new downtown ballpark. From the Hagerstown Herald-Mail:

A proposed memorandum of understanding between the city and the stadium authority was handed out at the meeting, detailing how the study will be conducted.

The city has proposed that the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation, or CHIEF, would each pitch in $12,000 for the study, with the city paying the rest.

Metzner said the city’s dream of a new stadium has been a “fiasco” at times. But McIntire said she believes there is momentum for the project, especially given widescale redevelopment efforts downtown.

“We’re a community. We should work together,” McIntire said.

Editor’s Note: Ballpark Digest managing editor Zach Spedden is the son of Dan Spedden, president of the Hagerstown Convention and Visitors Bureau. Zach Spedden was not involved in the preparation of this article.

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