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MORE: Minor league baseball hopes return to Loudoun County

A rendering of Edelman Financial Field, when it was planned to host the Loudoun Hounds.
Fresh attempts to bring minor league baseball to Loudoun appear to be gathering momentum. A new group, which includes former Redskins quarterback Joe Theisman is lending its support to the plans, which could finally see a stadium built in the county after a catalog of failures.

Speaking to the Times-Mirror, Ric Edelman, the prominent CEO of Edelman Financial Services, said he's one of several people involved.

“There are a lot of business plans being developed, negotiations are underway and fundraising is under way,” Edelman said. “It is all relatively early, I'm hopeful in the next few months to have made some progress. I believe the business plan is sound ... various parties needed to make it happen, are favorably inclined to proceeding.”

Edelman said he's convinced that Loudoun County needs a cultural center that offers family-friendly events that are affordable and accessible to the entire community. He didn't elaborate on where the stadium would be built, adding it was too early to go into details.

The revived talk was first reported by the Washington Business Journal.

Previous pitches for a local minor league baseball team – the much-hyped Loudoun Hounds franchise that never materialized – included two stadium plans, first at the Kincora development, then at One Loudoun.

Also throwing their weight behind the latest effort is former NFL Quarterback Joe Theisman, who explained the reasons for his involvement.

“I've been a baseball fan all my life, I was drafted to play professional baseball at college,” Theisman said in an interview. “There's been a lot of conversation about hopefully bringing baseball to Loudoun County … My role hasn't been defined other than been an enthusiast about having it be brought here.”

He continued,“Any way we can grow Loudoun County to create more activities for families in the Loudoun County area … it would be a terrific thing, the affordability for families to be able to go and appreciate baseball.”

John Horshok, who has a background in baseball management and was involved in the original plans as chairman of the Kincora Baseball Advisory Board, told the Times-Miror he is also backing this latest venture.

Dennis Crawford of Safe at Home LLC is another involved partner working to raise money.

Efforts to bring minor league baseball to the county have been beset with problems.

The Hounds franchise was originally scheduled to open back in 2012 at the Kincora development east of One Loudoun. VIP Sports and Entertainment, who had deals in place to make the Loudoun Hounds a reality, then moved the development site to One Loudoun. The ballpark was to be constructed there in time for the 2014 season, but that never happened.

Edelman previously secured naming rights to the stadium that was intended to house the Hounds.

Thus ensued a long-running battle between developers of the One Loudoun complex and VIP Sports and Entertainment, with a lawsuit from One Loudoun, and then a counter suit from VIP. One Loudoun said VIP officials didn't meet their contractual obligations related to the stadium while VIP claimed One Loudoun officials caused the delay.

The lawsuit was dismissed Feb. 23 2016 in Loudoun County Circuit Court. An agreement between the two entities was reached that terminated VIP's lease for the land planned for the stadium at the intersection of Route 7 and Loudoun County Parkway.


Id rather see a semi/pro soccer stadium than minor league baseball.

Buff - yes, there will be a Metro stop in Ashburn sometime soon, but with all of the stops, it will still take a long time to get into DC. And, for a family of four, it will be as expensive as parking, so what’s the point?

I don’t want to see anymore houses or restaurants built there either. I think the area is already pretty saturated with both.

If a minor league baseball stadium does arrive, I may support it, depending on ticket costs, traffic impact, how much crime increases, if my taxes are impacted any, and esthetics.

Hey Glen

A little history lesson that people tend to forget is that the Hagerstown Suns were originally a Baltimore farm club and that Frederick convinced the owners to move there in 1990.

For what it’s worth I agree with you about Baltimore’s owner, but the Keys are still a great example of what was a struggling team making a moved to a new ball park in a new location and being a great success in terms of local interest and attendance.

The problem with the Keys is that they are a Baltimore franchise. Since their owner kept baseball out of DC for over 30 years, I will not send them a dime. I do make the trip to Hagerstown several times a year and our family has an annual birthday event in Hagerstown every year. The Suns have been wonderful hosts. I fully support bringing baseball to Loudoun…maybe the Suns??

The Fredrick Keys have demonstrated that you can have a successful team with the right plan and leadership. There are plenty of potential fans in Western Fairfax and Loudoun County to support a minor league team. That said, to get this team off the ground with staying power they need a major league affiliate and a league to play in. This is often achieved by buying a currently affiliated team and relocating it to a desirable location. I wish this group luck but I’m not optimistic.

LoCoHP3, HoneyCrispApples (you folks come up with creative names!): I’m the guilty party who wrote the Cannons were some kind of Semi-pro baseball, I couldn’t remember what league they played in and went on their website to check but I didn’t see a league listed. I do remember it was college players who were looking to play through the summer (usually under their college coaches orders). My bad.

I wasn’t saying the Purcellville Cannons were semi-pro.  Only that it was a fun (and inexpensive) activity playing to a stadium filled with all ages.  There needs to be more inexpensive options for families.  Not everyone can spend a couple hundred dollars to play Top Golf every month.

If this is not built at One Loudoun every supervisor should be fired, twice.

Let’s be clear - while the Purcellville Cannons are a new source of baseball in Loudoun, they are not a semi-pro team as other people have been saying. They are simply a summer league college team. College players (amateurs) from all over the country are (at all levels of baseball: D1, D2 and D3) contact the coaches to play. While it’s definitely quality baseball and a few of the Cannons’ guys got drafted last year in the late rounds, it is not semi-pro. They’re all college/amateur players.

As far as the stadium goes, the BOS approved One Loudoun to build a parking lot instead of the Sportsplex, so I wouldn’t think its a far-fetched idea to consider the fact that they’re putting a parking lot there (albeit a very, very small reason) because it’s a potential for the stadium’s location. We’ll see.

This one seems to have a bit more backing and based on the article in the Wash Biz Journal seems to be run and managed by more level-headed folks who have financial security and think before they act. Again, we’ll see.

We went to the Purcellville Cannons a couple times last year.  Really had a great time.  Hope they can get the Hounds going!

John M—Very good counterpoints, pls allow me a brief response:

An odd number of teams in a single division league has the potential to extend the season by several weeks.  Since teams play multi-game series, in the Atlantic League usually four games at a time, one team has to be sitting at home for four days while everyone else plays.  If all nine teams have to do so once, that is 36 extra days to get everyone the same number of games.  In the past, leagues who have faced this issue have created travel teams rather than extend the season—the Atlantic League has done so itself.  This is not a problem for us or our team, but for the League, and a reason why as I said they would much prefer to either relocate a franchise or have two expansion teams.

There is no comparison between the expense of the semi-pro games in Purcellville and building a stadium and maintaining a franchise.  According to Atlantic League rules, any ballpark built for the League has to be built to Triple-A standards, and a franchise here has to pay player and coaching salaries.  I don’t doubt for a minute that some folks will want to go to the games—I would too.  The issue will be stadium construction and operating expenses are highly unlikely to be offset by ticket revenue and local advertising. 

As for the Atlantic League, it has operated since 1998 as an eight-team league.  In that time, there have been 15 franchises—about a 200% turnover rate.  To me, that is not stability—but I give them credit for hanging in there.

Don’t get me wrong—I’d love to see this work.  I just don’t think it will—and in the end I think we’ll be left with an empty stadium dumped on the County.

buffacuse- not all of your points make complete sense.
1. Who cares if there are odd numbers of teams? So one team gets a night off every night…that’s really not a big deal, these teams do not play every single night anyway.
2. I’m not sure why you think you know what all people want. Clearly there is a thirst for baseball in Loudoun County because the team that played at Fireman’s Field in Purcellville last summer drew the biggest crowds in their league and that was summer semi-pro ball, I don’t recall what league they are in but combine that and all the people who constantly showed up to Loudoun Hounds events was pretty convincing that a team will succeed here.
3. The Atlantic League is doing just fine, they pick and choose their ownership and cities very carefully, they are not “always struggling”.

Why isn’t the county charging Miller and Smith for the lost revenue that a stadium would bring?

Loudooun Independent is right.

If they don’t build the stadium at ONE Loudoun then we’ll end up with hundreds of townhomes instead.  The BOS is playing hardball right now on the re-zoning, but I have no doubt they’ll cave eventually.

BUFF:  All excellent plots.  Especially the player salary issues that was highlighted by the WAPO last year.

Here is the dilemma: a stadium was approved for One Loudoun with all your points known. Bad potential ownership took this down the toilet. Now the developer wants houses that will cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions in services over the years.

What is the answer for this property so as to be cost neutral for the taxpayer?

Oy…here we go again…

Look, we all love baseball—I do too.  But there were flaws in the Hounds plan that had nothing to do with the stadium and the con-man potential owner—for example:

1.  They need a league to play in, and if it’s the Atlantic League and the Loudoun Whatevers are an expansion team, that would create an odd number of teams in the League and a scheduling nightmare—they need to relocate a team or add two to the league to avoid having one team in the league always sitting at home not playing;

2.  There is major-league affiliated minor league baseball barely 30 minutes down Route 15, and we’re soon to be a metro ride away from one of the best teams in the majors.  There is a team in Potomac, one in Hagerstown, and another major league team barely an hour away in Baltimore.  Bottom line—there is no baseball need in this area for this team to fill.

3.  Independent minor league teams (in all sports) are notoriously expensive to operate, always have cost overruns, and routinely bankrupt their owners—why?  There is no major league team paying player salaries—and without any revenue from television or radio—local advertising like programs and outfield signs and ticket sales in the hundreds can’t cover the cost of operations.  These leagues and teams fold like cheap suits all the time…do we want to have an empty stadium here hosting tractor pulls and faded-glory rock concerts 12 times a year?

Look—if you’re hankering for affordable local baseball, drive up to Frederick and have a great time in one of the best minor league parks in baseball.  We just don’t need to do this, particularly if there is going to be additional traffic on major roads and taxpayer dollars involved.

Too many other minor league teams around and most are struggling. Why does Loudoun think they will be different. Smoke and mirrors again….

LoudounResident010: Couple things you should know: 1. It is “One Loudoun” not “Loudoun One”.
2. The Atlantic League is considered to be high AA baseball in quality, which is pretty darn good and would likely be better than the Single A teams that are closest to Loudoun County. The good thing about the Atlantic League is some high profile players will play there so they can showcase their skills against good competition while remaining a free agent.

I hope this deal can get done, it’s been a very long wait!

Also, can we get a real MLB-affiliated minor league baseball team (A, AA, or AAA)? 

The Loudoun Hounds were going to play in a 3rd rate “independent” pro baseball league (think Arena football vs the NFL).

I’m re-applying my Loudoun Hounds sticker to my car as we speak.

Was and is a great idea.  But, the devil is in the details.

” offers family-friendly events that are affordable and accessible to the entire community”

I certainly hope that is true.  Keep the tickets cheap to get the foot traffic.  If people want to spend more, upsell them on concessions etc.

Lets approve this and get the stadium built ASAP before Loudoun One builds more townhouses on the land.

A perfect solution to the One Loudoun issue of houses where the stadium should/could be.

Will Miller and Smith endorse this idea?  Bet not…

Hopefully this time around somebody says, “Show Me The Money”.

Also it would be nice to see this stadium leased out to area sports leagues for their championship games.

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