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Fredericksburg City Council Votes to Move Ahead with Suns Plans

Tuesday evening members of the Fredericksburg City Council voted 7-0 to move forward with plans to relocate the Hagerstown Suns baseball team to their city.
FREDERICKSBURG, VA -  City council members voted unanimously Tuesday evening to move forward with a proposal that could bring the Hagerstown Suns to Virginia.

All seven members voted in favor of the proposal, which includes the construction of a multi-use stadium.  It has been said that the city of Fredericksburg would be responsible for putting $7 million towards a parking garage, and that the baseball organization would pay for the cost of the stadium.

Bruce Quinn, owner of the Hagerstown Suns was in attendance of the meeting.  He was seemed pleased with the outcome of the vote.

City Council members in Hagerstown also met Tuesday evening to discuss their plans of building a stadium downtown in an effort to keep the organization in town.  WHAG will have more information on the outcome of that meeting as it becomes available.

Meanwhile in Hagerstown, Mayor David Gysberts said at Tuesday night's City  Council meeting, "We have to face the facts. All indications are ... we have a team that doesn't want to be here."

Despite what appears to have been positive negotiations between the Suns and Fredericksburg, Hagerstown city officials say they have yet to strike out.

"We spoke with Mr. Quinn," says Gybserts, "requested of him that he present his best offer by September 30th."

Mayor Gysberts is hoping Bruce Quinn, the majority owner of the Suns, will have a proposal securing private funding.

"If not in Hagerstown or Washington County, then maybe an entity like Diamond Nation or the other private partners that he has access to," says Gybserts.

The mayor says city and county funds are secured, and state funds will depend on the amount of private funding for a stadium.

Many residents who spoke during the citizen commenting period said they still don't support a downtown stadium.

"I don't agree with the stadium. I never have, and you all know that," said one resident. "I've been here before."

"You keep trying to put a square peg in a round hole and jam it down the taxpayers throats putting it in that downtown location," said another resident. "We the people voiced our opinion back in November and said no."

The other half of the public comments focused on other concerns, like the growing crime in our neighborhood.

City officials have much work to do in the city, and Mayor Gysberts says Mayor Gysberts says Hagerstown is where their concerns will lie.

"I'm not focused or concerned about what Fredericksburg is doing," says Gysberts, "I think we need to focus on what we're doing here."
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