At the end of a season of uncertainty, the Frederick Keys had not only a Carolina League title but also a 10-year lease to stay at Harry Grove Stadium.
The city of Frederick was considering a change in which the Orioles’ high-Class A affiliate would leave town in favor of an independent Atlantic League team. Instead, on the same day the Keys took a 2-1 series lead on their way to winning the Mills Cup title in four games, the city’s aldermen approved the deal.
“We are very pleased to have this long-term partnership approved securing affiliated baseball in our region for years to come,” Keys General Manager Dave Ziedelis said in a statement released by the club. “Frederick is our home and we are committed to continue in bringing affordable family fun to our fans throughout the area.”
According to several reports, the process irked Atlantic League officials, who felt as if they were never given a fair opportunity before the Keys agreed to pay $100,000 a year in rent and up to $1 million in matching capital improvements.
Meanwhile, the Atlantic League team planned for Loudoun County is still in the works, but ground has not been broken on the Loudoun Hounds’ ballpark. A team spokesman said definitive plans for 2012 and 2013 are expected to be announced in the next 30 days.
Also, the Carolina League’s Potomac Nationals are hoping to have a new stadium in Prince William County for 2013. Earlier this month, Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart told the Manassas-based News & Messenger that an announcement would come no sooner than December.