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Arbitrator Resolves Dispute Over City of Jackson's Baseball Stadium by Ruling in Favor of the City
Posted on 11/09/2021

City awarded sole possession and control of its Stadium

JACKSON, Tenn. ─ The Arbitrator presiding over a long-running dispute between the City of Jackson and the Jackson Baseball Club LLC d/b/a The Jackson Generals has ruled in favor of the City. In a 22-page Award issued on November 8, 2021, the Arbitrator found the Generals breached their agreement with the City for use of The Ballpark and Stadium at Jackson and that the City therefore was within its rights in terminating that agreement in May this year.

Starting in 1998, the Generals were the Double-A affiliate of a series of Major League Baseball teams, most recently the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Generals’ agreement with the City for use of the City’s Stadium required the team to remain a Single-A, Double-A, or Triple-A team playing within the Minor League Baseball system. In late 2020, Major League Baseball (MLB) chose not to invite the Generals to continue to be part of that system. With the 2021 baseball season about to begin this May, the Generals had no MLB-affiliation, no players, and no schedule. The City declared the Generals in default and terminated the agreement.

The Generals filed for arbitration to contest the termination. The Generals argued the agreement did not require them to be affiliated with a MLB team. The Arbitrator held a two-day evidentiary hearing that included Jackson Mayor Scott Conger and Generals co-owner David Freeman among five witnesses. In his Award, the Arbitrator rejected the Generals’ position, finding that the requirement that the Generals continue to be affiliated with an MLB team “is singularly woven into the contract” and that the Generals breached that requirement. The Award gives the City full possession of the Stadium and directs the Generals to remove any property they still have in the Stadium within 30 days.

“We are very pleased by this ruling,” said Mayor Conger upon learning of the Arbitrator’s decision. “The City already has begun the process of bringing professional baseball back to Jackson, and we will do so on a financially responsible basis. I’ve never been more excited about the future of our Stadium and the opportunities it brings to our community.”

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