Suns lease extended

September 25, 1997


Staff Writer

Minor league baseball will stay in Hagerstown at least one more year.

The Hagerstown Suns will get a one-year lease extension to use Municipal Stadium after City Council members approved the extension through the 1998 season by a 3-1 vote.

Councilman Wally McClure voted against the extension because he wanted more than one year.

McClure said he wants the Suns to stay. So as not to rush into building a new stadium and to allow for more time to help the team improve its marketing at Municipal Stadium, McClure said he wanted to delay the vote to negotiate for a two- or three-year extension.

Suns owner Winston Blenckstone was in the middle of a 10-year lease and exercised his option to leave after five years. Instead he had said he wanted a one-year extension to allow for time to work on plans for a sports complex by Interstate 81 that would include a new baseball stadium.


Councilman Bill Breichner said Blenckstone didn't think he could commit beyond one more year.

"He's receiving, to be candid, offers to buy this club now. How long can he look a gift horse in the mouth? He's giving us one more year to consider that," Breichner said.

Blenckstone had said he didn't know whether the Class A Toronto Blue Jays' affiliated-team would stay or not after the one-year extension if a new stadium wasn't in the works.

Councilman Lewis Metzner said Blenckstone has been fair with the city and, in turn, the city should be fair with him by granting a one-year extension.

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