Auction scheduled for seats at historic Hagerstown Municipal Stadium

A date has been set for the public to have a chance to sit at the historic Municipal Stadium house before it is demolished.

Hagerstown officials say they’re ready to rely on saws, grinders and wrenches to get the rumps out.

Rain or shine, Cochran Auctioneers & Associates will auction more than 400 92-year-old stadium seats on April 6 at the stadium, 274 Memorial Blvd.

The sale begins at 6 p.m. sharp, according to an announcement from the auction company.

The stadium is being demolished to make way for a multimillion-dollar ground that could open by the end of next year.

City officials said recently that many people inquired about the possibility of obtaining items from the stadium – especially its seats – before it was demolished. That’s when city officials started talking about an auction to give people a chance to buy some.

What type of chairs can I get?

An announcement from Cochran Auctioneers said the seats will be sold in various groups, such as doubles and triples.

“Great way to get a collectible – a piece of history!” says the ad.

Seats can be purchased with cash or an approved check with positive identification, depending on the announcement.

Although Cochran Auctioneers plans to sell 479 chairs, city public works manager Eric Deike said he doesn’t think many will be sold because some may be destroyed when the sold ones are removed.

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He said the doubles and triples are sold as a set because that’s how they are currently configured on the ballpark. Other sets could be purchased on a row of 10 chairs, Deike said. That’s when the chairs can be destroyed to remove the ones a buyer wants, he said.

Saws, grinders and wrenches

Deike said city staff will be on hand to help remove the chairs, using saws, grinders and wrenches, if necessary. He said hardware such as stadium seats can be more difficult to remove because they have been exposed to the weather.

Municipal has seen many alterations and expansions over its nine decades. The number of seats in the stadium is unclear, Deike said, adding that a large part of the seats are benches. The orange plastic seats sold were primarily for VIPs and subscribers.

“Staff felt these may have sentimental value to those (who) used them,” Deike said in an email.

The planned new pavilion will provide facilities for sports such as basketball, soccer, lacrosse and volleyball. It could also be used for summons and dog shows, project officials said.

The Hagerstown Suns, a minor league affiliate of the Washington Nationals, played at Municipal Stadium, but the team disbanded in late 2020 after Major League Baseball reduced the number of minor league teams.

However, Downtown Baseball LLC, a group of investors, including Hagerstown businessmen Howard “Blackie” Bowen, Don Bowman and James Holzapfel, struck a deal with the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball to bring a new team to Hagerstown.

To help prepare the team, the state legislature authorized the Maryland Stadium Authority to allocate up to $59.5 million in bonds for the design and construction of another facility: a 5,000-seat stadium. on Summit Avenue and West Antietam Street. Proceeds from the Maryland Lottery will be used to pay debt service for the project, which is still in the planning stage.

Dirt could fly on that job this year.

Regarding the municipal stadium, some have called on the city to slow down its plan to demolish the monument so that its history can be studied closely before it disappears. But Councilman Bob Bruchey said it was time to move forward on the land project and added the city was willing to work with Preservation Maryland – an entity expressing a need to examine history. of the stadium – as the demolition proceeds.

What happens to other parts of the stadium?

The board approved a $60,000 contract with Adam’s Demolition to raze the stadium, which is expected to happen over the next few months.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue recently said the parks department would remove items from the stadium that could be used elsewhere by the city, such as water fountains, restrooms, and air conditioning and refrigeration units.

Public interest in other items, such as stadium lighting and other equipment that Little League teams may be interested in, would likely need to be worked out with the demolition contractor, officials said. the city.

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