New Study Released on Proposed MiLB Ballpark in Hagerstown
8 Jul, 2019
The Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) has released its Market Analysis and Site Assessment study for a Proposed New Minor League Baseball (MiLB) Ballpark in Hagerstown. The study, completed by the MSA with Crossroads Consulting and Populous, included a preliminary due diligence, market analysis, facility programing and site analysis. MSA’s role in managing the study was to provide an unbiased, objective and thorough independent analysis. The City of Hagerstown, Visit Hagerstown and the local industrial foundation known as CHIEF partnered to fund the total cost of the effort. The study’s findings were presented to the City of Hagerstown Mayor and Council during their May 7th Work Session.
The proposed ballpark would replace Municipal Stadium which is home to the Hagerstown Suns, a Class A MiLB affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Municipal Stadium is one of the three oldest stadiums in all of MiLB. The City’s purpose for developing a new ballpark is to retain the team and accommodate diverse usage and generate economic activity in the City’s community. MiLB has proven to be a stable product over the long term. Many consider it to be one of the most affordable forms of professional sports entertainment.
The study includes a market analysis of local market conditions, supply of event facilities and input from key stakeholders. In addition, the study has an overview of historical MiLB attendance, an analysis of the South Atlantic League (SAL) in terms of teams, attendance, market and stadium attributes including the newer Class A stadiums. Finally, the study contains a site assessment and site evaluation matrix for three potential downtown locations identified and agreed upon by the City. The study assumes the proposed new ballpark would be operated by qualified and experienced management that will partner with tourism agencies and sports commissions at the local and State levels to aggressively market the facility.
“Visit Hagerstown’s vision is for the long term retention of the valuable asset that is Minor League Baseball. Located in the City’s core, this multi-use facility will attract hundreds of thousands of visitors annually changing the economic demographic of our business community. We were thrilled to work with the Maryland Stadium Authority and will further explore the study's findings with our local officials” said Daniel P. Spedden, President of Visit Hagerstown.
MSA’s Chairman Thomas Kelso added his thoughts. “The Maryland Stadium Authority was pleased to undertake the study to provide the City of Hagerstown and Washington County with a market and site assessment that will allow them to determine how they wish to proceed,” he said. “We look forward to potential next steps,” he added.
As with many communities, financial considerations associated with construction, ongoing operations and maintenance often dictate whether a particular project is deemed viable. Potential next steps for the City with the proposed new ballpark may include securing a long-term agreement with a MiLB team / facility operator, reaching a consensus on the site location, acquiring right to purchase appropriate land parcels and identifying potential funding strategies and incentives.
MSA’s role in managing studies is to provide unbiased and objective analysis which provides information to local officials to assist in the decision making process about investment and benefits for their communities and constituents.
Read the Hagerstown MiLB Ballpark – Market and Site Assessment study: https://www.mdstad.com/studies/hagerstown-milb-ballpark-market-and-site-assessment
About Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA): MSA’s mission: To plan, finance, build and manage sports and entertainment facilities in Maryland; provide enjoyment, enrichment, education, and business opportunities for citizens; and develop partnerships with local governments, universities, private enterprise and the community.
About Visit Hagerstown (Hagerstown/Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau): The Bureau’s mission: To promote Hagerstown and Washington County by increasing tourism and visitor spending through the marketing and promotion of attractions, events, accommodations and visitor services which will contribute to economic development.