Another run at a new Hagerstown Suns (Low A; Sally League) ballpark could be in the works, as the Maryland Stadium Authority will outline conclusions from a market and site assessment at a City Council work session tonight.
The Suns currently play at outdated Municipal Stadium, and no one seems happy with the arrangement: the team would prefer a new downtown ballpark, while the city would rather see the Municipal Stadium site converted for use by youth athletics. There have been several runs at a new downtown ballpark over the years, with local government officials also arguing for a downtown location as an economic-development tool.
Three potential ballpark locations are expected to be announced tonight, but eventually the city will settle on one site and begin a planning process in earnest. From the Herald-Mail:
It will be up to the city council if it wants to proceed with a second phase of study. However, state Del. Paul Corderman, R-Washington, took steps to ensure funding to move forward, if city officials agree, by securing $300,000 in capital funding from the state’s fiscal 2020 budget.
The money would revert back to the state if the council backs away from another round of study.
[Visit Hagerstown President Dan] Spedden has said the second phase would focus on a specific site selected by the council. It would result in preliminary design drawings, a cost analysis and possible funding models.
The report to the city is just the beginning of the process: expect there to be plenty of debate on the City Council on whether the city should be involved in a new ballpark at all.
Editor’s note: Ballpark Digest managing editor Zach Spedden is the son of Dan Spedden, the local tourism official involved in this effort. Zach Spedden was not involved in the preparation of this article.