Waves settle bills, but not contract - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Waves settle bills, but not contract

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March 17, 2003

Albany - The South Georgia Waves meet the city's ultimatum to pay a hefty utility bill before starting the new season. "We gave the check in good faith, but we still have problems with the utility bill," said General Manager Gerry McKearney. The Waves question if they should foot the entire $26,000 bill for the Paul Eames Complex.

A late rent payment, tension with city commissioners, and now a dispute over a utility bill is taking its toll on moral for the South Georgia Waves and their fans. "I think that the negativity has hurt the team over the past few months. The city and the team haven't been able to sign a new contract as of now," said McKearney.

On Monday, McKearey paid the utility bill but wants the city to prove that the cost of construction crews renovating the Paul Eames Complex wasn't included in the Waves bill. The city continues to demand the team sign a new contract for the 2003 season before hitting the mound on April 7th.

So are problems here in Albany hurting the Waves chances for moving to Evansville, Indiana? "I don't think it's hurting our chances in Indiana, but I'm not really at liberty to comment on that," said McKearney.

If the Waves will stay for the 2004 season is still up in the air, but the teams uncertainty isn't stopping talk of building a $1.8-million partial roof on the complex.

"Two different systems would provide fans with protection from the sun and the rain. And, the cover gives fans protection for the weather when going to the restrooms or concessions," said Engineering Manager Wes Smith.

Luxury suites can be added to the structure in the future, but the future of minor league baseball in Albany looks dim. The Waves told commissioners that they want to start contract negotiations as soon as possible and put the problems behind them.

Posted at 4:55PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com