LANSING, Mich. — It’s official, the Lansing Lugnuts will be playing in the state capital through 2038.
“It was an extension, so we did an amendment to their current agreement based on changing conditions,” said City Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar.
Dunbar was one of the people who negotiated the deal. She said it came as Major League Baseball cut 25 percent of its minor league teams.
“There were 160 teams in the minor leagues at one point, but now it’s only 120,” Dunbar said. “Lugnuts made the cut, but in order for us to stay in the league, they had some mandatory facility improvements that needed to be done.”
The city has agreed to pay for $1.25 million in improvements over three years, including a second batting tunnel, a women’s locker room and LED lights, which will help with the stadium’s massive electric bill.
“The minimum savings is at least 50%, but it could be as high as 70%," Dunbar said.
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said the investment "is going to help improve the stadium, so we can use it for other things that’s not just baseball."
As they wait for opening day, officials with Lugnuts say they're grateful.
“We just want to thank the city of Lansing, City Council and everyone involved for all their support,” said Lugnuts’ General Manager Tyler Parsons.
The Lugnuts have moved up in the minor league ranking and are also now affiliates of the Oakland A’s. This means the players on the team will be that much closer to the major leagues.