Elmira City Council approves Dunn Field deal

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — The Elmira City Council officially approved a deal Monday to keep the Elmira Pioneers at Dunn Field through the 2026 season.

The five-year license agreement between Pioneers owner, Robbie Nichols, and the city was approved 6-to-1, with Councilman Nick Grasso voting “no.”

As part of the American Rescue Plan, the city plans on investing in the infrastructure of the field. Nichols would pay the city $11,000 in 2022 and have payments increment by $2,000 every year until 2026 when the deal is $19,000 for the season.

The agreement—which begins on Jan. 1, 2022, and runs through Dec. 31, 2026—also lays out an agreement for the club and the city to split gas and electric expenses, with the club paying 10% of the bill in 2022 and increments of another 10% each year until 2026 when they would pay 50% of the bill.

The Pioneers have played at Dunn Field since 1888 and are currently a member of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. The Elmira Babe Ruth League would also be allowed to play at Dunn Field and all concessions would be handled by the club. The team would handle all costs and expenses for maintaining the field, dugouts and locker rooms.

As for the Elmira Enforcers, Nichols has yet to hear from the Chemung County Industrial Development Agency regarding a possible deal to bring hockey back to First Arena.

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