Home run: Council approves deal to keep Elizabethton Twins baseball

Update at 9:15 p.m.

It’s official. Elizabethton’s minor league baseball league team will stay in the city for at least the next 5 years.

The unanimous vote Thursday night by City Council was a game-winning home run, you could say.

Just a few months ago, it appeared highly possible the Minnesota Twins would pull their rookie league team from Elizabethton over concerns about the home field facilities ending a decades-old relationship.

But Thursday morning, Minnesota Twins management signed on to a “memorandum of understanding” spelling out the terms of the deal which calls for Elizabethton to make about $1.5 million in improvements to the clubhouse and Joe O’Briend field. The deal calls for the Twins to contribute about $500,000 toward furnishings.

The deal was finalized when City Council approved the memorandum Thursday night.

Construction must begin before January 3rd.

Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander said the successful deal came with a lot of hard work. “We’ve spent untold hours and energy trying to keep this team in our town where they belong,” he said. “I can’t tell you how glad I am that we’ve reached an agreement.”

Below is an earlier story:

ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL) – The mayor of Elizabethton said a vote by the city council tonight could assure that the Minnesota Twins will keep a Minor League Baseball team in the city for at least the next five years.

Mayor Curt Alexander told News Channel 11 that the Minnesota Twins’ front office signed a memorandum of understanding today.

The city council will vote on the agreement tonight and if they pass it, the Twins will be committed to staying in Elizabethton for the next five years.

At one point Minnesota Twins management indicated that they might leave the city where they’ve had a team for decades because of dissatisfaction with the team’s home field facilities.

The agreement includes over a million dollars in upgrades to the Twins’ clubhouse at Joe O’Brien Field.

Renovations at the stadium must start no later than January 3 of the upcoming year, according to the current agreement.

The city council meets tonight at 6 p.m.

Be sure to tune in tonight at 11 p.m. on News Channel 11 for the latest information on this story.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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