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Proposed stadium could cause Maryland to lose baseball team

A planned sports stadium could prompt the Hagerstown Suns, a Class A minor league baseball team, to move out of Maryland and into a neighboring state by 2015. The team would contribute to the $274,000 in projected profit that the multipurpose stadium would bring in each year. While the team has not reportedly filed an application to relocate with Minor League Baseball, its two-year lease at the Hagerstown stadium in Maryland is scheduled to expire after 2014.

The proposed 5,000-seat stadium would likely cost millions of dollars for both the team and its prospective host; the city would sell $30 million in bonds to pay for the cost of construction of the facility while the Suns would cover the $3 million purchase of the land. The team would also be required to sign a 30-year commercial lease on the property. The city's financial analysis projects that the team would make around $105,000 in lease payments each year. According to the team's owner, the project will take approximately 18 months to complete.

The city has yet to hold a planned public hearing at which it hopes to more accurately measure public support for the project, scheduling more detailed hearings if residents approve of the planned stadium. The City Manager explained that the city has already announced that this assessment process could take months to finalize, as the project requires approval from citizens, the Planning Commission and City Council.

According to the city's Economic Development Authority, the stadium would pull approximately $672,000 to the city each year while creating $398,000 in annual expenses, including insurance, maintenance and capital improvements. The city could then use the remaining sum to pay off liabilities or fund other services.

Litigation involving Commercial real estate can be extremely complex for those lacking detailed legal knowledge and experience. Individuals, companies or government agencies anticipating future involvement in such matters can ease this process by consulting with a qualified attorney.

Source:  Fredericksburg.com, "Report shows Fredericksburg stadium projections" Bill Freehling, Jun. 13, 2013

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