May 8—The Frederick Keys’ immediate future in the city is a little more certain after the Board of Aldermen voted Thursday night to approve a new lease for the team at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium.
The aldermen unanimously approved a new one-year lease for the team that includes a drop in rent from $100,000 per year to $50,000 and includes three mutual one-year extension options.
The move comes as the team gets ready to begin its first season since losing its affiliation with the Baltimore Orioles and after missing all of last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 Keys will play as a Major League Baseball Draft League franchise, with college juniors and seniors looking to show scouts what they can do ahead of the major league draft.
The options for ending the stadium contract initially belonged only to the Keys, but that was changed after several aldermen said at a recent workshop that they would be more comfortable if the contract allowed either the city or the team the option to renew.
City officials have made it clear that they view the draft league as a temporary step, and they would like to see the team work to acquire another affiliation with a major league club.
While the new lease solidifies the team’s immediate future, upgrades to Nymeo Field will be needed if the team is going to attract another major league franchise to affiliate with the team, city officials say.
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