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City delays decision on batting tunnel

March 19, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

The Hagerstown City Council Tuesday delayed a decision on a request to build a batting tunnel at Municipal Stadium for the Hagerstown Suns at an estimated cost of $17,000.

The request was made by the San Francisco Giants but the Suns, a Giants affiliate, also supports it, Hagerstown Suns General Manager Kurt Landis told the council. The Suns are a Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants,

Unlike most teams in their division, the Suns does not have a covered batting area for team members to use during inclement weather, Landis said.

The city has about $20,000 budgeted during the current fiscal year for capital improvements at the stadium but city officials said some of that money is needed to pay for stadium work that was done at the request of the Suns, including expanding a patio area.

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Before they decide on the batting tunnel request, council members said they want the city to get a better estimate of how much the tunnel would cost and how much the city has spent this year on other stadium changes.

Hagerstown Councilman Kristin Aleshire expressed reservations about spending almost $20,000 during a tight budget year on improvements to the existing stadium when some are calling for a new stadium to be built.

The council is to vote at next Tuesday's meeting on a Hagerstown Suns request to extend the lease by a year with options for three one-year renewals. The current lease expires at the end of this year.

The lease extension is contingent on the proposed sale of the Suns to Mandalay Sports Entertainment.

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