Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The process begins
Battlin' Bob sent me this link about five seconds after I read this article as the latest attempt to bring Hagerstown into the 21st century (if not the late 20th) and bring a new stadium to Hagerstown.
There have been attempts to pull this off in the past and even a fund put into place to help pay for a new facility,but the efforts never seem to get off the ground.
This time,however,I think that there should be a legitimate chance of finally having what other cities in the state have-a stadium that the community can be proud of.
Tony Dahbura is a heavy hitter in the community and for the first time that I can remember,the Suns have a local businessman with the type of credibility to move things in the proper direction.
In the past failures,the team usually had out of town owners/representatives and in this area,that usually doesn't bode well for success.
The Hagerstown City Council discussed a new stadium for the Suns as being a "cornerstone of an East Hagerstown revitalization project" and deciding to lobby Annapolis for funds to contribute to such.
My question is this-Why has it taken this long to lobby for state funding to replace/renovate a eighty year old facility?
The Hagerstown Suns are Western Maryland's (sorry,Frederick isn't Western Maryland) only professional sports franchise and were the only pro team in the state outside of the Baltimore city limits from 1981-1989.
It was the success of the Hagerstown franchise that enabled cities like Frederick,Salisbury,Bowie and Aberdeen to successfully lobby for state funding to help pay for state of the art stadiums,while leaving Hagerstown with a field that is the laughingstock of pro baseball and I say that with no disrespect to the Suns employees as there is only so much that one can do with what one has.
I like Municipal Stadium and its bizarre charm,but I don't have to play there and the flaws in watching a game there are more than I care listing right now.
Talking to players on the opposing teams that come to town,I know how the Muni is thought of and how (no pun intended) it makes our town look minor league.
Hearing about the glittering parks in Lakewood,Charleston and having seen the terrific one in Greensboro,it is difficult to swallow having Hagerstown being the area that is spoken of with eye rolls,guffaws and jokes because of the state of the Muni.
I understand the thoughts of those that argue for spending on other areas,but isn't the quality of life in Western Maryland just as important as those in the suburbs of Baltimore and Washington?
Doesn't Hagerstown deserve something similar to what Frederick and Salisbury have?
If this idea does not get off the ground,then the County Commissioners and City Council need to step up and explain why the doubling of the area hotel/motel tax that was intended to help pay for the stadium has not only not been used for its purpose,but where indeed the funding has gone.
As for some of the politicians,I would love to have an opportunity to ask some of these gentlemen where they stand.
Because from where I sit,I see many of these office holders showing up at games,tossing a hat on,throwing the first pitch as the team treats them with pomp and circumstance and then as soon as the evening is over,having not a whit of interest in helping the Suns and the area have something to be proud of.
I can understand someone being against what could be considered a luxury item in these economic times,but if that is the case for a politician,please stay away then as one only looks like a hypocrite and I would think that no one running for office wants that look.
In closing,I am hoping that anyone reading this would consider supporting a new field for the Hagerstown Suns and giving the team,the town and the area finally what it deserves-what other towns have had for years.......