Park board approves new Honkers lease
The Rochester Honkers will play summer baseball at Mayo Field for at least the next five years, following a new lease agreement approved Tuesday by the city of Rochester's Board of Park Commissioners.
The new lease agreement had been in negotiations since September, according to Rochester Honkers General Manager and Co-Owner Dan Litzinger.
The negotiations took time to find appropriate compromises for both sides. The baseball club pushed for a long-term lease to protect its investments in the park, while the city sought flexibility to move its Park and Recreation Department maintenance operations off the property if needed.
The compromise came in the form of a five-year lease with an automatic renewal for five additional one-year terms. The agreement calls for a raise in the yearly lease rate, from the $15,190 the Honkers paid in 2015 to $17,500 in 2016, plus an annual increase of 4 percent.
The Honkers have also committed to $50,000 in improvements to the Mayo Field facility over the first five years of the lease term, either monetary contributions or in-kind services. Both parties must approve the improvements.
The only questions put forward by park board members asked for details on the annual lease agreements costs and the park department's access to maintenance equipment during Honkers games.
Litzinger and Park and Recreation Department Director Paul Widman addressed the questions to the satisfaction of the board members. The board voted 7-0 in favor of the new agreement.