This Is Our Home

 

An Open Letter to Our Keys Family

 

Hello Keys Fans,

 

This letter is written to inform you of our current lease for Harry Grove Stadium with the City of Frederick.

 

Over the last ten months through current lease negotiations, the Frederick Keys have wanted nothing more than to make a long-term commitment to the City of Frederick in the way of a long-term lease. We have pushed for this in each of our last three negotiations with the City of Frederick (2007, 2009 and 2011) but the City of Frederick has pushed for a short-term lease. In fact twice during the fall we believed we had reached an understanding on the terms of a long-term 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 Frederick Keys have been a local passion as an Orioles affiliate here since 1989. In that time more than 100 players have gone from the Keys into the major leagues. We want nothing more than to see 100 more come through the ranks over the next two decades.

 

Below are some facts about our lease with the City of Frederick for Harry Grove Stadium and the impact Keys baseball makes on our area.

 

  • In the eight-team Carolina League the City of Frederick currently has a very favorable lease for a landlord.  The Frederick Keys currently pay the second highest rent in the league. The Frederick Keys are one of just two teams in the league who pay a ten percent admission tax. The Frederick Keys are one of four teams in our league that pays all of our stadium’s utilities.

 

  • The Frederick Keys have taken on over $1.6 million in stadium expenses from The City of Frederick in the last four years. These include the expenses of stadium maintenance and repairs, field expenses, utilities, relating operational staff expenses, and our own lease-holder improvements.

 

  • The Frederick Keys generate over $10 million in annual economic impact to Frederick which includes out-of-county attendee spending, team and players spending, facility spending, concessionaire spending, and non-baseball events.

 

  • The Frederick Keys pay nearly $500,000 annually in combined City/County/State taxes to include admission & amusement, sales & use, and withholding taxes.

 

  • The Frederick Keys community involvement is valued at nearly $400,000 annually which includes donations, appearances, ticket fundraisers, marketing opportunities, and various other programs and events.

 

  • The Frederick Keys are the highest drawing minor league baseball team in the State of Maryland drawing nearly 300,000 fans a year to Harry Grove Stadium. The Keys have never finished lower than third in league attendance in the 22-year history of the franchise.

 

At this time we ask our Keys family to reach out and contact our local officials to let them know you want Keys baseball to stay for future generations.

 

Mayor

Randy McClement      rmcclement@cityoffrederick.com      301-600-1380

 

Board of Aldermen

Shelley Aloi                saloi@cityoffrederick.com                 301-600-1632

Carol Krimm               ckrimm@cityoffrederick.com             301-600-1863

Michael O’Connor      moconnor@cityoffrederick.com         301-600-1386

Kelly Russell               krussell@cityoffrederick.com             301-600-2966

Karen Young              kyoung@cityoffrederick.com             301-600-1382

 

We promise to make the 2011 season a special one. Our ticket prices have stayed the same for a decade, our promotional schedule will be fresh and we will be debuting many new programs to make an evening at Harry Grove Stadium even more enjoyable for this upcoming summer. We look forward to 2011 and the many years beyond that we will share together here in our home- Frederick.

 

Dave Ziedelis

Frederick Keys General Manager

 

2 Comments

Mr. Ziedelis,

If the team is unable to work things out with the town of Fredrick please come and look at Wilmington, NC. We had a minor league team call the Wilmington Waves they were a Dodgers team. They made the improvements needed to the Stadium at UNCW so they could play there. I think they folded due to money reasons but not do to lack of attendence. We currently have an independent team the Sharks that use Legion Stadium as their home so you could see what kind of a attendence they are getting. We are in the O’s blackout area so this is O’s country. Thanks to 13 straight lossing seaons and Time Warner refusing to carry MASN a whole generation of kids in this town have grown up Yankees fans which to me is a fate worse than death. An O’s minor league team down here might turn that tide. When someone gets promoted to the big club Wilmington ILM airport will have them in Baltimore in four hours or eight by car so distance to the Major League club isn’t an issue. Please, if Fredrick doesn’t want your business and your team I think you will find open welcoming arms in Wilmington.

Thanks for your time and Let’s go Keys!

Dean Mitchell

I feel that the Keys belong here on their home and the lease should be long term.

I have an issue with your statement concerning ticket prices not changing in a decade because that just untrue. I myself, my family, and my friends all had ticket packages for years and enjoyed regular attendance at your
games until you raised the prices amd also changed the seating. You took away the affordable, enjoyable family outing. it became cheaper for us to go to an Orioles game than put our home feeder team.

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