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Va. city seeking better stadium deal to woo Hagerstown Suns

FREDERICKSBURG — Fredericksburg will try to negotiate a better proposal to build a stadium for a minor league baseball for the Class A farm team of the Washington Nationals.

The City Council voted Tuesday night to have two members and city staff work with the Hagerstown Suns on a deal to present at the council’s Aug. 13 meeting.

The action followed more than two hours of public comment. A majority of the nearly 40 speakers expressed opposition to the proposed 30-year lease for a publicly financed stadium that would seat 5,000.

The Free Lance-Star reports that the city may have to issue as much as $33 million in bonds to finance the project.

The Suns ownership has offered $3 million to purchase land in Celebrate Virginia South for the stadium that would serve as a venue for other events in addition to minor league baseball.

Unless the terms change dramatically, it’s not a good deal for the city, Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw said before the vote. She said any successful proposal needs much more investment from the team.

Two rallies took place outside City Hall before the hearing. About 100 people turned out in support of the stadium, while a smaller counter-rally took place a few yards away.