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Land sale clears way for new Hagerstown ballpark

Atlantic League 2018The long-negotiated purchase of a downtown car wash paves the way for a new Hagerstown ballpark opening in 2024 as home to an Atlantic League team.

The construction of the new ballpark is being spearheaded by the Maryland Stadium Authority, which has put together several land parcels, including a county building and the former home of the local newspaper. The holdout was the Hagerstown Auto Spa, where authority officials met regularly with the building’s owner to come to a financial agreement. The Auto Spa was valued at $1.75 million per local property tax assessments, but an independent appraiser put the value at $4 million. The final price for the parcel: $6.25 million.

“To be honest, it’s a little bit more than we wanted to spend … and I’m sure it’s less than [Simpson] wanted to accept, but it was good faith negotiations,” the MSA’s Gary McGuigan told the Baltimore Sun. “I’m pretty happy with the way the negotiations went and where we ended up and ready to move on into construction.”

The $70-million ballpark has been pitched as a multiuse facility, hosting plenty of community events (concerts, weddings, graduations) in addition to MLB Partner League Atlantic League ball. The MSA is authorized to issue up to $59.5 million in bonds to finance the acquisition, design, construction and related expenses for the facility. Additionally, Governor Larry Hogan’s supplemental budget provided $8.5 million dollars towards this effort, while the General Assembly designated another $1.5 million in the 2023 Capital Budget for the project. 

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