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Suns to play here next year

Owner Andrew Rayburn says he will renew his team's contract with the city after the baseball season ends early next month.

Owner Andrew Rayburn says he will renew his team's contract with the city after the baseball season ends early next month.

August 24, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown Suns will play baseball at Municipal Stadium again next year, the team's owner said Friday.

"That's very good news," Hagerstown Mayor William M. Breichner said. "We're very pleased."

Suns owner Andrew Rayburn said he will renew the team's annual contract with the city of Hagerstown after the season ends in early September.

"There are no other plans on the horizon," said Rayburn, who has discussed moving the Suns to another city if a new stadium isn't built in the Hagerstown area. Rayburn has had "a handful of discussions" with other cities, but isn't close to signing any agreements, he said recently.

Rayburn said Friday he will continue to push for a new stadium here while exploring other options for his team's future if the community doesn't back a new stadium effort.

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"I'm hoping that something will come together in Hagerstown," Rayburn said. "We have not lost that focus."

The Suns will play in Hagerstown next season even if the push for a new stadium flounders this year and Rayburn decides to move the team, he said.

The city's current contract with the Suns expires Dec. 31. The City Council in July 2001 approved the current one-year lease, which gives the Suns the option of renewing the lease for three additional one-year terms.

Under the terms of the lease, the team pays no rent but is responsible for maintaining the field.

The Suns' last home game this season is Thursday.

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