Boyd Sports expected to get Twins contract

John Thompson • Feb 12, 2019 at 7:45 PM

ELIZABETHTON — After 44 years of successfully operating the Elizabethton Twins, the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department is preparing to hands over the Appalachian League team to a professional sports management organization that also has a successful track record managing minor league teams, including the Johnson City Cardinals.

Mike Mains has done an exceptional job of consolidating the two divergent jobs of serving as director of the Parks and Recreation Department while at the same time managing a professional sports organization. But, Mains states in a memorandum for the Elizabethton City Council that his department “can no longer meet all the needs required to successfully operate a Minor League Baseball (team).”

He said this was not because of increased demands from baseball, but from the increased growing requirements of Parks and Recreation.

He listed those requirements, all of which have been additions to the program during the past few years: successful programming of special events, weekly activities and additional recreational facilities.

The Minnesota Twins were asked to assist in finding a suitable replacement for the city department. Minnesota came back with the recommendation for Boyd Sports to manage it Elizabethton affiliate.

As a result, an agreement has been worked up for the City Council to consider at Thursday’s meeting. The seven-page document specifies how the new organization will handle the Twins’ operation.

Long-time Elizabethton Twins fans will see several areas where major changes have been made. One of the most significant may the sale of alcoholic drinks at the old ball park, after decades of selling nothing stronger than a cola.

The old and new management organizations appear to have gotten off to a good start. Mains said the Parks and Recreation staff spent a considerable amount of time providing information to Boyd Sports as that organization weighed its options and opportunities. Mains said his staff gathered old advertising contracts and discussed ticket, advertising and concession sales.

The two organizations also toured the Twins’ facilities, including Joe O’Brien Field. Of course, Mains won’t be leaving, so Boyd’s workers can continue to tap his knowledge about the Twins even after he steps down as general manager.