Needs lease agreements from county, Beacon schools

The long-term future of Dutchess Stadium and its tenants, the Hudson Valley Renegades, remains uncertain pending a new agreement between Major League Baseball and its 162 minor league teams.

The agreement ends after the 2020 season, and one proposal would eliminate 42 teams in the Single-A, short-season leagues that begin play in June, which includes the Renegades, to streamline travel and cut costs. Another proposal would promote the Renegades to Single-A ball, extending the team’s season into April and May.

The Renegades, an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, have been based at Dutchess Stadium for 26 seasons. On Dec. 6, Baseball America named the Renegades the top Short-A operation of 2019, an award the team last won in 1998.

A view of the field from the Dutchess Stadium announcer’s booth (File photo by Michael Turton)

The Renegades last year agreed to a five-year extension of the lease with Dutchess County for the 4,500-seat stadium after the Legislature approved $2.4 million in bond funding to replace stadium chairs and repair the concrete seating bowl and other surfaces. Renegades ownership at the time said that a long-term agreement was contingent on a second phase of improvements that the club would help pay for.

Those discussions are ongoing, but with possible minor league realignment looming, “no one wants to sign anything that could be changed,” said Colleen Pillus, a representative for the county.

A second agreement that is important to the team’s future involves the Beacon City School District, which owns the land under Dutchess Stadium and leases it to the county. In 2018 and this past October, the school board approved one-year extensions of the $29,000 annual lease while the sides negotiate a long-term deal. The county and district are waiting to receive an appraisal of the land beneath the stadium and 21 undeveloped acres adjacent to it before proceeding, said school board President Anthony White.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Simms has covered Beacon for The Current since 2015. He studied journalism at Appalachian State University and has reported for newspapers in North Carolina and Maryland. Location: Beacon. Languages: English. Area of expertise: Beacon politics