The long-negotiated purchase of a downtown car wash paves the way for a new Hagerstown baseball stadium opening in 2024 as home to a The Atlantic League team.
Construction of the new ballpark is led by the Maryland Stadium Authority, which has established several parcels of land, including a county building and the former home of the local newspaper. The holdout was the Hagerstown Auto Spa, where authority officials met regularly with the building’s owner to reach a financial deal. The Auto Spa was valued at $1.75 million by local property tax assessment, but an independent appraiser put the value at $4 million. The final price of the package: 6.25 million dollars.
“To be honest, it’s a bit more than we wanted to spend…and I’m sure it’s less than [Simpson] wanted to accept, but it was negotiations in good faith”, MSA’s Gary McGuigan told the Baltimore Sun. “I’m pretty happy with how the negotiations went and where we ended up and ready to move into construction.”
The $70 million ballpark was designed as a multi-purpose facility, hosting many community events (concerts, weddings, graduations) in addition to the MLB Partner League Atlantic League Ball. The MSA is authorized to issue up to $59.5 million in bonds to finance the acquisition, design, construction and related expenses of the facility. Additionally, Governor Larry Hogan’s Supplementary Budget provided $8.5 million for this effort, while the General Assembly appropriated an additional $1.5 million in Capital Budget 2023 for the project.
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