Possible decision on horizon for minor league baseball longevity in Elizabethton

Published 5:15 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2017

As the Elizabethton Twins officially touched base at Joe O’Brien Field Tuesday, a development for the future was able to take place according to city officials.
Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander confirmed to the Elizabethton Star Tuesday afternoon that Minnesota Twins’ front office contacted the city last week to begin the renegotiate process the future of the minor league baseball team.
“We’ve been in contact with each other at least once a week by phone,” Alexander said about the talks with Minnesota Twins President and CEO Dave St. Peter. “I had a great conversation with Dave St. Peter last week. They seemed very interested in continuing their partnership with the city and are ready to work together to renegotiate a possible long-term solution.”
The mayor added the front office understood the city needed a long-term commitment from the Twins and indicated the president supplied an email detailing facility requirements needed to possibly keep the Twins in the city. Alexander provided a copy of the email to the Elizabethton Star Tuesday evening.
The largest request by Minnesota includes a new home clubhouse that would be approximately 5,500 square feet and feature a variety of necessities for players; including a locker room with over 30 lockers; weight, training and video rooms along with other additions for players and team officials. The email also requested an additional batting cage near the home clubhouse and renovation of the existing home clubhouse for visiting teams. The possibility of a new reception area and office for the Elizabethton Twins’ General Manager and Assistant GM was also included.
Cost of improvements was not available prior to Tuesday’s press deadline but the mayor stated that City Council will have a workshop in the coming weeks to discuss the terms from Minnesota and look at what direction they need to take for the future.
Prior to the new development, the city took necessary steps in looking at retaining the team, including the formation of an Elizabethton Twins Task Force that decided a preliminary plan that was submitted to the organization.
As the City of Elizabethton looks at discussing the terms with Minnesota, the Twins will for certain be at Joe O’Brien Field for at least the 2017 season. Interim Parks and Recreation Director and Elizabethton Twins GM David Nanney said the excitement is reaching a fever pitch as the organization prepares for their Appalachian League season opener Thursday, June 22, at 7 p.m. against the Danville Braves. The promotion for the opener is $1 admission and the night is sponsored by the Elizabethton Star. Throughout the season, the team will have various promotional events during home games, which tend to be a high mark for games according to Nanney, along with the games themselves.
For more information on the team’s schedule, promotional events and tickets, visit their website at http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t576, visit the Elizabethton Twins Facebook page online or contact Parks & Rec at (423) 547-6441. Coverage of games will be featured in print editions of the paper and broadcasts of the games will be provided by WBEJ Radio.

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