The Elizabethton Twins are owned by the city, and Elizabethton leaders have been working with Boyd Sports since last fall to enable that organization to take over management of Elizabethton Twins operations and Joe O’Brien Field. On Wednesday, Mayor Curt Alexander said Minor League Baseball had given approval to the lease between the city and Boyd Sports.
The next step is for the City Council to approve the lease, and that should happen at the February meeting.
City Council members have noted improvements made by Boyd Sports with the Johnson City Cardinals, and hope similar improvements can be made with the Twins.
The Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department has managed the E-Twins for many years, under the direction of a 15-member Baseball Commission appointed by City Council.
But some City Council members have felt the staff of the Parks and Recreation Department was simply too small to take time off from parks-related duties to adequately address Elizabethton Twins’ needs.
Fans of the Elizabethton Twins could see many changes with the new lease.
One of the biggest will be the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages at Joe O’Brien Field. When the Parks and Recreation Department managed concession sales, it did not have a license to sell alcoholic beverages.
In the proposed lease, the City Council, acting as the lessor, says it will “acknowledge that it will address the amendment of local ordinances and regulations to allow the on premise sale and on premise consumption of beer at Joe O”Brien Field throughout the year.” The last part of the commitment was important because it would allow beer to be sold at non-Twins events at the stadium throughout the year. That excludes high school baseball events.
The Elizabethton High School has the right to play its home games at the stadium and use the new $2.3 million Elizabethton Twins clubhouse as its home clubhouse.
Under the terms of the lease, Boyd Sports would not pay rent to the city for the use of Joe O’Brien during Appalachian League events. The lease does obligate Boyd to pay league fees and dues and pay for the use of the facility at non-Twins events it organized for profit.
Boyd Sports has exclusive right to concession, advertising, souvenir and admission ticket revenue.