The Frederick Keys have issued an “open letter” to the citizens of Frederick to clear up their position about the lease with the City of Frederick to lease the Harry Grove stadium. In the letter, the minor league team proclaims that Frederick is home. According to the Keys they have tried on multiple occasions to enter into a long-term lease agreement with the city of Frederick, but claims that the city has insisted on entering into leases that last for one year or less. The letter states, in part:
In fact twice during the fall we believed we had reached an understanding on the terms of a longterm lease with the City of Frederick only to have the City take a step back.
”In the past few weeks the Keys have signed a lease to keep the team in Frederick through the end of the 2011 season. The City of Frederick has decided however to issue a Request for Proposal that will open the stadium lease up for bids for future occupancy.
We are an affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles meaning that all of our players are scouted, drafted and signed by the Orioles with Frederick a step in the ladder towards their big league dream. Since this is our territory, we are the only affiliated baseball team that may apply. The only other baseball teams that can submit an RFP would be that of an independent league which would not be affiliated with a major league organization.
This is our home.”
The team goes on to explain that out of the eight teams in the Carolina league, they believe that the City of Frederick has one of the best leases. The Keys claim that they have paid $1.6 million in stadium maintenance expense and that the team has generated $10 million in annual economic impact for the city, which includes out-of-county attendee spending, team and player spending, facility spending, concessionaire spending, and non-baseball events. In addition, the team claims that it pays $500,000 in annual taxes and draws 300,000 fans a year to the Harry Grove Stadium, making it the highest drawing minor league baseball team in the state of Maryland.
The letter concludes with a plea for fans to contact Mayor Randy McClement and the city aldermen to ask them to work to keep the Keys in Frederick. If you would like to read the letter click here.