SBD/March 7, 2012/Research and Ratings

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  • Grapefruit, Cactus League Teams Getting Big Money From States For New, Upgraded Venues

    The state of Florida since ’01 has awarded $108.4M in grants to city/county governments designed to go toward new Spring Training facilities or major upgrades to existing ones, according to data collected by SportsBusiness Daily/Journal. Facilities for the Blue Jays, Dodgers, Rays, Pirates and Orioles each received $15M in funds during that period, tops among all clubs. Grants were even larger for teams in the Cactus League. The state of Arizona allocated $183.3M during the same period to 11 teams. The Dodgers' and White Sox’ Camelback Ranch in Glendale received $60M, tops among all clubs, followed by $55M for Goodyear Ballpark, which is shared by the Indians and Reds (THE DAILY).

    City of Dunedin Blue Jays Florida Auto Exchange Stadium
    Indian River County Dodgers* Holman Stadium
    Charlotte County Rays Charlotte Sports Park
    City of Bradenton Pirates McKechnie Field
    City of Sarasota Orioles Ed Smith Stadium
    City of Clearwater Phillies Bright House Field
    St. Lucie County Mets Digital Domain Park
    Osceola County Astros Osceola County Stadium
    City of Lakeland Tigers Joker Marchant Stadium
    Glendale Dodgers, White Sox Camelback Ranch
    Goodyear Indians, Reds Goodyear Ballpark
    Peoria Padres, Mariners** Peoria Sports Complex
    City of Surprise Rangers, Royals Surprise Stadium
    Scottsdale Giants Scottsdale Stadium
    Tempe Angels Tempe Diablo Stadium
    Phoenix A's Phoenix Municipal Stadium

    NOTES: * = Although Indian River County (Fla.) received $15.0M in incentives in '01 to keep the Dodgers at Holman Stadium, the team relocated Spring Training operations to the Cactus League and the new Camelback Ranch facility in '09. ** = The city of Peoria will fund the majority of a $48M upgrade to the facility, and will be repaid a to-be-determined amount from a state fund, but payments won't begin for at least eight years.

    NATIONAL DEBATE: In Florida, Kendall & Reed note Lee County commissioners on Mar. 20 “will decide whether to move forward and negotiate with the Washington Nationals -- bringing to a head two years of flirtation" between the team and county to make City of Palms Park in Ft. Myers their new Spring Training home. The commissioners will be asked “to approve a 90-day discussion period that will end in a report detailing whether it is feasible to move the Nationals into City of Palms.” Assistant County Manager Doug Meurer said, “It still must be established what kinds of improvements the Nationals would want for the park, and what the county could concede to.” The Nationals currently hold Spring Training in Brevard County, but the club is looking “to move into a location with more nearby opponents.” The team’s current contract “expires after the 2017 season” (Ft. Myers NEWS-PRESS, 3/7).

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