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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The stadium wars have entered the minor leagues

The Aberdeen Ironbirds are the Class-A short-season affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. The team is owned by Tufton Professional Baseball, LLC, and if you’ve never heard of that company before, you will have heard of the two men who own and operate it: Cal Ripken, Jr. and his brother Billy. Late last year, the Ripkens (or, rather, Tufton acting at the direction of the Ripkens) sued the city of Aberdeen for purportedly failing to live up to its obligations regarding maintenance of Leidos Field, where the Ironbirds play. While the Ripkens (through Tufton) own the team, Aberdeen owns the stadium and the land on which it sits….

The lawsuit says that an assessment of the stadium concluded that more than fifty improvements needed to be made to the venue at a cost of approximately $3.2 million over ten years. Some of those are clearly municipal responsibilities under the original contract, like ensuring the stadium is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and repairing foundation and structural damage.

On the other hand, Tufton also wants Aberdeen to replace the entire playing field, which seems somewhat less of a capital maintenance project and more related to Tufton’s use of the facility. Tufton says that Aberdeen is now refusing to make baseball-related improvements to the stadium like paying for safety netting, which it says are obviously Aberdeen’s responsibility because the venue is a baseball stadium, even repeatedly italicizing the word “baseball” for emphasis. (No one seemed to impart upon Tufton the irony that it owns a baseball team, while Aberdeen uses the venue for non-baseball purposes about two weeks out of the year.)

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 19, 2019 at 05:34 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues

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