LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. — After a sports complex in Loudoun County was sold, many people began to wonder what that would mean for the little league baseball teams that play there.
Rumors began circulating about the fate of the Lions Field Complex after it was sold to a new owner. The complex is the longtime home of the Loudoun South Little League (LSLL).
In a Facebook post, LSLL President Joe Soricelli shared that the league and the complex's new owner have come to a compromise and while the league will ultimately be impacted, the effects won't be felt immediately.
Soricelli says the complex was purchased by Chuck Kuhn of JK Moving in December 2022. He claims he has been working with Kuhn for days so that the league retains access to the fields through June.
"This gives us the ability to finish our spring season without impact to our players while ensuring a graceful transition and exit from the property in a few months," Soricelli's Facebook post reads.
Soricelli says the league's lease at the Lions Field Complex was set to end in December of this year. He claims while the lease included a provision that would allow the league to recoup "large capital expenditures" should the property be sold, it did not provide “protection” in the event of a sale by guaranteeing continued access should such an event occur.
According to Soricelli, due to some communication issues, Kuhn believed the league was not interested in a new lease and no longer needed access to the fields.
Believing the league was no longer in need of the fields, Kuhn began searching for a new tenant, while LSLL continued to prepare for the upcoming season, unaware that the property had been sold. Part of that preparation included spending funds on maintenance and prep work on Lions fields.
Soricelli wasn't aware of the sale until March 8, when an engineering company began surveying the property and laying out boundary stakes.
"We began investigating and asking questions which led to us finding out about the property sale back in December. On March 10th the league was contacted by the affiliated travel club to notify us the property had been sold, that not many details were available and that we would be able to retain access through the spring season," he said. "As it turned out this was not 100% accurate."
Contingency plans were put into place and with the help of Dulles District Supervisor Matt Letourneau, the league was able to speak with Kuhn.
"[Letourneau] agreed to facilitate a conversation between Mr. Kuhn and myself the following week to discuss the situation," said Soricelli. "That conversation occurred on March 16th and it was the first time that Mr. Kuhn and his representatives were aware of the difference between LSLL and the affiliated travel club. It was also the first time they were aware of how much our league uses the fields on the property and the hardship we face by their immediate loss."
During the conversation, Soricelli says Kuhn stated up front that he wanted to give the little league first access to the property and to impact LSLL as little as possible.
Soricelli says with the property values in the area rising, a 50% discount on the lease was outside of the league's means.
"So Mr. Kuhn offered an extremely discounted rate to accommodate us and ensure we retained field access through the end of our spring season," he said. "I’m very thankful to Mr. Kuhn for his generosity and his commitment to youth baseball!"
Soricelli says the next steps include figuring out storage for equipment to get ready for the summer and fall and brainstorms options for the future.
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