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Many residents favor spending money on stadium study

Others object to either county or city financially supporting Hagerstown Suns

February 01, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Dyer
Dyer

Longtime Hagerstown resident Robert Stone, 62, who has been a fan of the Hagerstown Suns since they began play in 1981, said the city of Hagerstown and Washington County should do whatever it takes to keep the minor league baseball team in town.

“I’d be sorry to see them go,” he said. “We should do some kind of long-term deal to keep them here.”

Stone was among area residents who talked Wednesday about the possibility of the city and  county authorizing a study on the economic benefits of a new or renovated baseball stadium in Hagerstown. Stone said he supports the study.

“It seems like a worthwhile expense,” he said. “It doesn’t seem like it would be a lot of money to do the study.”

Hagerstown Mayor Robert Bruchey said that the cost of the potential study could be around $20,000, according to a story in The Herald-Mail Friday.

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But Boonsboro resident Harold Axen said that he did not support either the county or the city spending money on the study.

“We should not worry about a new stadium or keeping the Suns in town unless it comes out that we make millions and millions because of them,” he said. “I don’t think the Suns do that much for the town.”

Axen, 73, said he thought the topic was a reflection of what he called “wasteful spending.”

“It’s like the airport. We just keep spending money on that,” he said. “Our government just spends without worry.”

Danielle Wilson, 48, of Hagerstown, said she supports the study.

“I think they should conduct the study if they think any kind of action will help bring in money,” she said.
Wilson also said that Municipal Stadium should be renovated.

“They probably would save more money if they renovated it,” she said. “It’s still a good stadium.”

Hagerstown resident Anthony Dyer said that although he wanted to keep the Suns here, he was not sure whether a stadium study that could cost around $20,000 was a good idea.

Noting that “is a hefty price tag for a study,” he said there should be some type of study, but that amount “should not be thrown in that direction.”

Dyer, 37, said he supports the idea of renovating Municipal Stadium or building a new stadium.

“Whichever would be the cheapest, I would go with,” he said. “The Suns definitely need to stick around. I don’t think it would be a good economic move to get rid of them.”

James Parkinson, 53, of Hagerstown also said he supported the study.

“If they can take it and build a new library, which there is nothing wrong with and is nice to have, then I’m sure they can put up the money for the study for the Hagerstown Suns,” he said. “It’s great for the economy and Hagerstown.”

Parkinson said he would like to see Municipal Stadium torn down and a new stadium built at the same spot.

“The stadium’s been here so long, and the Suns have got great fans,” he said. “They should also have enough parking because the old hospital they’re tearing down could be a parking lot.”

Hagerstown resident Rex Ransom, 33, also said he favored conducting a study.

“It’s worth it to spend a little money to find out if it’s viable to renovate the stadium or build a new one,” he said. “Renovation may be the best idea because there’s some history behind the stadium, and it’s cheaper than buying some land.”

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