Renovations to Joe O’Brien Field are still being discussed, as city officials and the Minnesota Twins try to settle the future of the Elizabethton Twins (Rookie; Appalachian League).
The E-Twins are currently playing at Joe O’Brien Field under a one-year agreement that covers the 2018 season. Discussions have taken place in recent years about upgrading Joe O’Brien Field through a proposed renovation that will improve fan and player amenities, with the clubhouses and seating among the areas eyed for improvement. Funding has been an issue, however, as the Elizabethton City Council voted in April to re-designate $1.5 million that had been set aside for the project. In making the decision, city officials noted that the Twins had not made a financial commitment.
That had left some doubt about the E-Twins’ future, but Minnesota Twins front office members visited the Elizabethton last month to meet with city officials. There is still no finalized agreement for Joe O’Brien Field renovations, but Elizabethton officials say that the two sides have maintained a dialogue since that meeting and continue to discuss possible upgrades. More from The Johnson City Press:
Fans of the Elizabethton Twins and fans of the Appalachian League hope the talks reach a successful conclusion and the Twins return for another season next year and many more years to come.
That now appears to be possible. Two months ago, most city officials had given up hope that Minnesota wanted to stay. That gloom has been replaced with optimism, but no one is prepared to say a deal will be reached.
“There have been meetings on a weekly basis,” said Elizabethton City Manager Daniel Estes. He said the meetings have included city staff and mid-level personnel from the Minnesota Twins, as well as architects from Populous.
Mains also expressed optimism. “We talked by email this morning,” he said hours before the opening game on Tuesday. “We have been doing local research for the talks.”
The E-Twins began their 2018 season at Joe O’Brien Field on Tuesday. The ballpark has been their home since 1974.
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