City Council Votes to Continue Baseball Stadium Negotiations
Fredericksburg City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to continue negotiations with Diamond Nation for a stadium complex that would host the Hagerstown Suns and provide space for amateur baseball and softball camps and tournaments.
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Diamond Nation had asked the city for a permanent real estate tax exemption in exchange for a revenue share “in perpetuity,” and the city’s investment of up to $26 million.
The deal reached in August 2011 had the city providing $8 million for a parking facility.
That deal changed, however, when Diamond Nation reported an $18 million budget shortfall due to the very high costs of site development for the “topographically challenged” property in Celebrate Virginia South.
“Baseball in Fredericksburg warrants additional investment, but not $18 million,” Councilman Brad Ellis said Tuesday evening.
Councilor Kerry Devine agreed, saying a 45 percent partnership upfront is too much. “Bring us a revised deal we can say yes to,” she told Diamond Nation owner Jack Cust, Sr.
City Council, city staff and Diamond Nation representatives will meet during the next two weeks to see if they can reach a deal. City Council plans to vote on the issue at their September 9 meeting.
For more on this story, see:
City Considers Real Estate Tax Exemption for Diamond Nation Stadium Complex
Do Not Jeopardize Fredericksburg’s Future Financial Capabilities. Say No to Baseball. (op-ed)
Diamond Nation Asks City for $18 Million More Towards Stadium
Suns Staying Longer in Hagerstown
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