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Tuesday, Sep 02nd

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Hagerstown mayor: We're close to long-term lease with Suns

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Hagerstown Suns

Hagerstown Mayor Robert Bruchey II says his city is close to a lease agreement to keep the Hagerstown Suns (Low Class A; Sally League) in the area, playing at a new downtown ballpark.

The goal: to present a lease to the Hagerstown City Council by the middle of August, which would allow for a new ballpark to open for the 2015 season. 

“I believe we made great headway,” Bruchey told the Herald-Mail. “(Suns owner Bruce Quinn is) anxious to get started and keep baseball in Hagerstown, Md., and there’s a whole lot of aspects to this.”

“Right now, we’re just trying to weed our way through. We have never done a stadium in downtown Hagerstown. It’s never happened in the history of Hagerstown ... so trying to find the right lease language, all those things, it’s difficult.”

Hagerstown is completing with Winchester (Va.) for the affections of the Suns ownership, but it looks like Hagerstown is in a definite lead.

The cost of a $30-million ballpark would be split among the city, county and state. The city and county funding is assured; all sides are waiting on whether Maryland can commit money to a new ballpark, a decision that won't come until 2013. A new Hagerstown ballpark wouldn't open until 2015; Winchester officials say their plan would allow for a 2014 opening.

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