Pending approval of the Elizabethton City Council later this month, Boyd Sports will take over management of the Elizabethton Twins (Rookie; Appalachian League).
Elizabethton and the Minnesota Twins have been setting the course for major changes at Joe O’Brien Field. Ballpark upgrades are one of those changes, as Elizabethton officials voted in October to enter into $2.3-million renovation partnership that will be funded through $1.5 million in bonding from the city and $800,000 from the Twins. Another could be management of the franchise, which has traditionally been handled by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department but could be taken over by Boyd Sports–the organization that owns the Tennessee Smokies (Class AA; Southern League) and runs day-to-day operations of two Appalachian League teams, including the Johnson City Cardinals and Greeneville Reds.
The Elizabethton City Council will decide on February 14 whether or not to approve an agreement with Boyd Sports that allows the organization to take over management of the E-Twins. As part of the agreement, Boyd Sports could receive the right to sell beer at both E-Twins games and other events (excluding high school baseball games). More from the Johnson City Press:
One of the biggest will be the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages at Joe O’Brien Field. When the Parks and Recreation Department managed concession sales, it did not have a license to sell alcoholic beverages.
In the proposed lease, the City Council, acting as the lessor, says it will “acknowledge that it will address the amendment of local ordinances and regulations to allow the on premise sale and on premise consumption of beer at Joe O”Brien Field throughout the year.” The last part of the commitment was important because it would allow beer to be sold at non-Twins events at the stadium throughout the year. That excludes high school baseball events.
The Elizabethton High School has the right to play its home games at the stadium and use the new $2.3 million Elizabethton Twins clubhouse as its home clubhouse.
Under the terms of the lease, Boyd Sports would not pay rent to the city for the use of Joe O’Brien during Appalachian League events. The lease does obligate Boyd to pay league fees and dues and pay for the use of the facility at non-Twins events it organized for profit.
Beer sales have become more common around the Appalachian League over the years, though as of 2016 the E-Twins were one of the few clubs in the circuit that did not sell alcoholic beverages at home games.
Highlighting the aforementioned renovations will be the completion of a new clubhouse. That addition and potentially new management of the E-Twins could mark some of the biggest changes yet at Joe O’Brien Field, which has been home to the franchise since 1973.
RELATED STORIES: Boyd Sports Could Take Over E-Twins Management; Elizabethton to Vote on Joe O’Brien Field Upgrades; Discussions Over E-Twins’ Future Continue; Joe O’Brien Field Upgrade Talks Continue; Elizabethton Set to Extend E-Twins Agreement; Progress Made on Joe O’Brien Field Upgrades; MOU For Joe O’Brien Field Updates Approved; Elizabethton Commits $1.5M to Joe O’Brien Field Upgrades; Joe O’Brien Field Upgrades Proposed; Elizabethton Mayor Concerned Over Future of E-Twins; E-Twins to Stay at Joe O’Brien Field for 2017; Joe O’Brien Field Upgrades Approved; Twins, Elizabethton Officials to Discuss Ballpark Upgrades; Push Made to Keep Twins in Elizabethton Continues; Joe O’Brien Field Improvements on Hold; Elizabethton Budget Excludes Ballpark Upgrades