Twins On Verge Of 30-Year Deal To Keep Spring Training In Fort Myers
The Lee County (Fla.) government and the Twins "are on the verge of extending their lease by 30 years" for the club's Spring Training facility, according to David Dorsey of the Ft. Myers NEWS-PRESS. Lee County Commission Chairman John Manning said that the cost of improvements to the Lee County Sports Complex "is expected to be about $45 million ... with $15 million being contributed by the state of Florida in $500,000 increments over the 30-year deal." The Twins "would contribute $13.5 million, which includes an increase in rent from $300,000 a year to $500,000 year." Part of the "remaining $7.5 million will be used to construct a player dormitory on property the county would contribute for the project." Manning said that the "refinancing of $35 million in bonds would finance the rest of the project." The county also "is continuing its negotiations" with the Nationals, "who are considering City of Palms Park, former spring home of the Red Sox, as a new home should they relocate from Viera." The 30-year extension with the Twins "likely would begin with the year in which the project breaks ground." That is "expected to be by 2015, which would keep the Twins in Lee County through at least 2045" (Ft. Myers NEWS-PRESS, 10/26).