Maryland Baseball, which owns three minor league teams in the Baltimore Orioles' system, is hoping to construct a 6,000-seat stadium in Aberdeen that could lead to the relocation of the Orioles' Class AAA club to Bowie.
Maryland Baseball Chairman Peter Kirk said the group is hoping to receive state funding next year for the stadium project, which currently is in the design phase. Kirk said the group also recently completed a feasibility study for a team in York, Pa.
Both proposed ballparks would be smaller than Prince George's Stadium, the 10,000-seat home of the Class AA Bowie Baysox. If the new teams in Aberdeen and York are in the Orioles' system, Bowie could replace Rochester as the AAA affiliate.
The needs of the parent club would determine a new team's level of play. The Orioles also are currently affiliated with Class A Frederick and Class A Delmarva. Kirk said Maryland Baseball would prefer that a AAA team in Bowie also be affiliated with the Orioles.
"If the Orioles aren't interested, then we're not interested," Kirk said. "We have no interest in leaving the Orioles family."
The stadium in Harford County would cost between $14 million and $15 million, Kirk said, and would open in 2001 if state funding is obtained. The 8,000-seat stadium project under consideration in York is farther away from completion.
"We've made no secret that we'd like AAA ball in Bowie," Maryland Baseball senior vice president J. Keith Lupton said. "To me, it's a great AAA market. If the opportunity presents itself, we'd love to bring AAA here."