Minor League Baseball’s return will coincide with the Maryland Stadium Authority’s construction of a new Multi-use Sports and Events Facility in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Baltimore, MD - In August, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) board of directors approved the application of Downtown Baseball, LLC to join the ALPB in 2023, with a Hagerstown, Maryland team. The team will play their home games at a newly constructed Hagerstown Multi–Use Sports and Events Facility in downtown Hagerstown.
“We are excited that Atlantic League baseball is coming to Hagerstown. We are grateful to the State of Maryland for its commitment to a downtown recreational venue built for the enjoyment of all Hagerstown and Washington County residents,” said Rick White, ALPB President.
The new team’s ownership group consists of: Howard “Blackie” Bowen, Don Bowman, James Holzapfel and Frank Boulton. Soon Downtown Baseball, LLC will solicit input from citizens of Hagerstown and Washington County for the new team’s name and announce a naming contest.
“We are very excited to bring high quality professional baseball to Hagerstown through the Atlantic League. We are also pleased to have our new first class ballpark located in downtown Hagerstown where it will stimulate additional economic development for our community” said Howard “Blackie” Bowen, President, Downtown Baseball, LLC.
In 2021, legislation was introduced and successfully shepherded through the Maryland General Assembly by Senators Paul Corderman and George Edwards allowing the MSA to issue bonds for a new Hagerstown facility to be leased by an Atlantic League team. The MSA was established 35 years ago and managed the construction and design of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the world-class facility in Major League Baseball that inspired urban revitalization across the nation.
On May 18, 2021 the bill was signed into law by Maryland Governor Hogan, the same day that the MSA presented its Concept Design Report for the Hagerstown Multi-Use Sports and Events Facility before the Mayor of Hagerstown and City Council.
The bill, effective October 1, 2021, approves funding for a new Multi-Use Sports and Event Facility within the City of Hagerstown and authorizes the MSA to issue up to $59.5 million in bonds to finance the acquisition, design, construction and related expenses to construct the facility. Additionally, Governor Hogan’s supplemental budget provided $8.5 million dollars towards this effort, while the General Assembly designated another $1.5 million in the fy2023 Capital Budget for the project.
In addition to serving as the home of a new team in the Atlantic League, the facility will be designed to host other sports, cultural, and community events. City, county and state officials with the ownership group believe the facility will be a catalyst for downtown revitalization, and inspire further economic development and tourism for Washington County and western Maryland.
MSA is currently finalizing the Memorandums of Understanding for land acquisition and the Request for Proposals for the Design-Build of the facility anticipated for advertisement in fall 2021.
Upon MSA’s completion of the design and subsequent construction process, the facility will be owned and operated by the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation (CHIEF).
MSA’s Chairman Thomas Kelso added his thoughts. “The Maryland Stadium Authority was pleased to undertake the previous Hagerstown studies to provide information to local officials and state leaders to assist in decisions about investment and benefits for their communities and constituents,” he said. “With the success of recent state legislation, the MSA looks forward to working with our project partners and delivering the Hagerstown Multi–Use Sports and Events Facility on-time and on-budget,” he added.
The MSA was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1986 to build, manage, and maintain quality facilities to retain Major League Baseball, and return the National Football League to Maryland. MSA’s mission has expanded and evolved over the years to include sports marketing, and numerous economic studies and construction projects, and programs. To date, MSA has completed $3 billion of projects across the state on-time and on-budget.
During the challenging environment of the COVID-19 pandemic, MSA partnered with the teams, non-profit organizations, city and state agencies to utilize the Camden Yards Sports Complex to provide nourishing meals to Marylanders in need, a safe, socially distanced place to vote, and a mass vaccination site.
Hagerstown MiLB Ballpark – Market and Site Assessment & Multi-Use Sports and Events Facility Effort
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Public Information Officer
Maryland Stadium Authority
Vice President, Communications
Long Island Ducks
Phone: (631) 940-3825 ext. 135
MiLB Ballparks in Maryland by MSA
Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium (2002)
Regency Furniture Stadium (2008)
Next MSA Board of Directors Meeting
Tuesday, October 11, 12:00 p.m.
The Warehouse at Camden Yards
Executive Conference Room
333 W. Camden St., Suite 500
Baltimore, MD 21201
Agenda / Live Stream
Warehouse at Camden Yards
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