A proposed Dutchess Stadium extension for the Hudson Valley Renegades (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) stalled this week, as Dutchess County officials voted against a resolution that included $2.4 million in ballpark repairs.
Dutchess Stadium is owned by the county and leased to the Renegades, but sits on land that is owned by the Beacon City School District. The agreement is set to expire December 31, and officials are proposing a five-year extension that includes ballpark upgrades. On Tuesday, Dutchess County legislators were asked to approve a resolution allowing the county to set aside $2.4 million for ballpark repairs. The work–including structural repairs, parking lot improvements, and seating upgrades to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards–would be made as part of that extension. The five-year pact would be one step toward negotiating a longer, 20-year commitment that could be completed in the first quarter of 2019 and include more extensive ballpark renovations.
The proposed five-year extension stalled on Tuesday, however, as it failed to receive the required two-thirds approval from county lawmakers. With the December 31 deadline looming, it is expected legislators will consider the issue at a meeting next month. For their part, the Renegades say they are not willing to commit to a five-year extension without funding for the repairs. More from the Poughkeepsie Journal:
Jeff Goldklang, president of The Goldklang Group, the organization that owns the Renegades, said they won’t agree to a five-year extension unless the resolution is approved. It includes planned repairs to be completed by 2019 opening day.
“We see this as necessary structural repairs, which contractually the county is responsible for,” Goldklang said on Wednesday. “We were a bit blindsided yesterday that there was a down vote on a county park that needed repairs.”
The Renegades have no intention of leaving Dutchess, Goldklang said. But, if the resolution doesn’t pass before Dec. 31, he said the owners would pursue other options to stay in the county.
Leaving Dutchess for another location would be “the nuclear option,” he said.
The county’s contract with the Renegades and Beacon schools expires at the end of this year, though the Renegades have a lease that covers the 2019 season. If an extension is not approved by the end of this year, the ballpark’s ownership would change hands to Beacon schools. The Renegades have played at Dutchess Stadium since its opening in 1994.