Keys close to finalizing a 10-year agreement with the city of Frederick

FREDERICK, Md. - After a summer of some uncertainty about the future of pro baseball in Frederick, the Keys are about to finalize a new 10-year lease to remain at Harry Grove Stadium through the 2021 season.

For a while earlier this year, the independent Atlantic League tried to get a deal with the city of Frederick and, in effect, push the Keys out of town.

But this franchise,which has been here since 1989, doesn't seem to be going anywhere. The Keys have always been an Orioles affiliate.

The city of Frederick's five-member board of alderman is expected to approve the new lease at their public meeting Thursday night.

"We have an agreed upon 10-year lease with the city of Frederick that will be voted on for approval (Thursday)," Keys general manager Dave Ziedelis said this afternoon.

"I think it will go well. We've had a couple of previous public meetings called workshops. The workshop isn't a meeting where they approve anything, but they can discuss it. We've been through two of those where they've had an opportunity to voice their opinions. Therefore, this should go very smoothly on Thursday night."

There were times this summer when it looked like the Keys could be leaving town, but now the Keys are days away from finalizing a long-term deal to stay here.

"It feels terrific," Ziedelis said. "We are very pleased to be making a long-term commitment to Harry Grove Stadium and the city of Frederick. It is certainly what we wanted. We have respected the city of Frederick's process and have been very patient over the last year.

"We and the city both need that long-term stability and that is a foundation that we can build upon and make this better."

This could be a big week in Keys history. If Frederick wins tonight's playoff game against Potomac, they move on to the championship series in the Carolina League.

So it's a week when the team could win a championship and also finalize its long-term future in the city, as well.

The new lease would take effect Oct. 1.

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