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Hagerstown City Council OKs list of nongame-day events at Municipal Stadium

Seven concerts and three battle-of-the-bands set for this summer

April 07, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com

Seven concerts and three battle-of-the-bands events will keep Municipal Stadium rocking this summer when the Hagerstown Suns are on the road.

The Hagerstown City Council Tuesday approved a list of nongame-day events the new owners of the minor league baseball team plan to hold.

The Suns sought to host additional events at the stadium to maximize its use, profitability and offerings for the community, General Manager Bill Farley said.

"The new (Suns) ownership wanted to utilize it for more than just baseball," Farley said.

On every Thursday this summer, from April 21 through Sept. 8, the Suns will host a concert at the stadium, he said. The two dates the Suns don't plan to host concerts are on July 29 and Aug. 4.

Concerts will be held after home games on Thursdays, and will be the main event on seven Thursdays when home games are not scheduled, he said.

Due to changes to the Suns' lease of the stadium, approved by the council in March, the company cannot host a concert on the Thursday preceding a scheduled Friday fireworks display.

City Attorney Mark Boyer said previously that the provision was included to prevent back-to-back nuisances for neighbors.

Farley said there was only one instance in which a fireworks display would have followed a nongame-day Thursday and that was Aug. 4, so no concert was scheduled.

As for July 29, the American Legion is using the stadium that day for a baseball tournament, he said.

All concerts will conclude by midnight, a stipulation of the amended lease, he said.

As of Wednesday, bands had been booked through May for the Thursday concert series, said Farley, who noted that the Suns have been working with Breakaways II north of Hagerstown to select the bands.

On three Saturdays this summer, the Suns' owners also plan to host concerts that would feel more like events, Farley said.

Battle-of-the-bands events are planned for June 25, July 16 and Aug. 27. Farley said the owners are working to attract more nationally known acts for those dates.

At Tuesday's meeting, Councilman Forrest W. Easton noted that Aug. 27 is also the date of Augustoberfest and questioned if it was an oversight and might create competing events in the city.

Councilwoman Ashley C. Haywood said she felt having more than one event on the same day would be a good thing, not a conflict.

The council approved the dates unanimously, even though Councilman Martin Brubaker echoed Easton's question.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said the Suns can ask the council to amend the schedule after it has passed, if they choose.

The council also approved amending its noise regulations to exempt the events. The amended regulation will go into effect on May 5.

For all the nongame-day events approved Tuesday, stadium concessions will be open and alcohol will be available, Farley said.

Other baseball events have been scheduled at the stadium, including the North vs South game and the Mid-Atlantic Baseball Classic, a high school baseball all-star showcase, he said.

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