Fredericksburg, Va., officials to meet with Hagerstown Suns to discuss newest proposal

August 16, 2013|By C.J. LOVELACE |
  • Hagerstown Suns' Tony Renda tags the Shorebirds' Gregory Lorenzo out in this Herald-Mail file photo. Officials in Fredericksburg, Va., are in the process of developing a new proposal that would bring the Hagerstown Suns to town, and "everything is on the table," according to a city councilman there.
Herald-Mail file photo

Officials in Fredericksburg, Va., will meet with the Hagerstown Suns on Tuesday to discuss terms on the newest proposal that could land the team in the Virginia city, Suns majority owner Bruce Quinn confirmed Friday.

After the closed-door meeting, the proposed business terms of a long-term lease between the team and the city will be presented to the Fredericksburg City Council for a possible vote on Aug. 27, Quinn said in a text message.

Fredericksburg City Manager Beverly Cameron and City Councilman Fred Howe will meet privately with Suns officials, according to a report in Fredericksburg’s Free Lance-Star newspaper.

Cameron told the newspaper that information on the final proposal forwarded to the city council would be available to the public prior to the Aug. 27 meeting.

After significant public opposition, Fredericksburg officials backed away from an initial proposal from the Suns that included publicly financing a $30 million stadium in the city’s Celebrate Virginia South development.

The Suns, a low-level Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, announced this week that they have partnered with Diamond Nation, a New Jersey-based company, to privately finance a larger project, which would include a ballpark for the minor-league club plus several amateur baseball and softball fields.

Under that proposal, which has been reviewed by Fredericksburg’s negotiating team of Cameron, Howe and Vice Mayor Brad Ellis, the city is being asked to purchase about 15 acres and build an 1,800-space parking lot for the complex.

Quinn has estimated that the parking lot would cost between $7 million and $8 million, not including land acquisition, according to the Free Lance-Star. The total project is estimated to be in the $37 million to $38 million range.

Cameron told the newspaper that the city has made a counter-proposal to the team and is waiting for a response. He declined to elaborate on the city’s new offer, the newspaper reported.

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