City Council and Potomac Baseball LLC have worked out a deal to reduce potential scheduling conflicts at the $35 million, multiuse stadium opening in Celebrate Virginia South in 2020.
City Council unanimously approved a sublicense agreement with Potomac Baseball, LLC, on Tuesday that will allow the Potomac Nationals’ owners to run all revenue-producing events at the stadium. This will include the Celebrate Virginia After Hours concert series.
In exchange, Potomac Baseball will pay the city $100,000 per year. For the first two years, Fredericksburg also would get payments of up to $150,000 a year, depending on the number of people who attend non-baseball revenue events such as the concert series, high school and college sports events, Boy Scouts camp outs and fireworks displays.
“We believe that this structure aligns the interests of the club and the city,” said Bill Freehling, Fredericksburg’s director of economic development and tourism.
City staff believes that it is possible that the stadium will attract an annual total of 65,000 ticket-payers for these non-baseball events, which would result in the full $150,000 payment, he said.
Starting in the third year of the licensing agreement, the license fees would be capped at a maximum of $200,000 annually if the tax revenue produced at the stadium and the $100,000 net revenue from Celebrate Virginia South’s owners association’s annual payment in exchange for marketing exposure exceeds $850,000 during a particular year. In that scenario, Fredericksburg would still be able to produce enough total revenue from the stadium to cover its $1.05 million payment to Potomac Baseball.
In addition, Fredericksburg would still be able to run non-revenue-generating community events for up to 183 days a year at the stadium. These would include such things as James Monroe High School’s graduation, business development meetings and City Council retreats.
The sublicense will run for 10 years, after which both parties could mutually elect to extend the agreement.
The City Council on Tuesday also voted unanimously to execute a trademark license agreement with SIP Rights, LLC, a Silver Cos. affiliate, for “CELEBRATE VIRGINIA AFTER HOURS,” for the purposes of conducting recreational and entertainment events, including live musical concerts, at the stadium.
The Brailsford & Dunlavey study conducted in 2013 when the Hagerstown Suns approached the city about building a stadium in Celebrate Virginia South estimated annual outside-event attendance of 38,500. Those projections included only four concerts. Based on the current concert series being held in Celebrate Virginia South, the actual number of concerts held at the 5,000-seat stadium could be triple that estimate.
The concert series is expected to generate annual revenues of at least $100,000 in the first five years of stadium operations, as well as admissions, meals and sales tax revenues.
Both the city and Potomac Baseball anticipate that Event Makers-USA, Inc. the current concert series promoter, will promote a 2019 concert series under the CELEBRATE VIRGINIA AFTER HOURS trademark. The concerts currently draw an average of 2,800 people per performance, but it’s possible that the series will draw larger audiences once it moves to the stadium in 2020.