By on September 27, 2016
Mark Shapiro speaks to City of Dunedin, Florida Commission about spending another 25 years in Dunedin. (EDDIE MICHELS PHOTO)

Mark Shapiro speaks to City of Dunedin, Florida Commission about spending another 25 years in Dunedin. (EDDIE MICHELS PHOTO)

DUNEDIN, FLA. —The Toronto Blue Jays made their first presentation on Monday that could keep the team in Dunedin, Florida year round for the next 25-years. This with a price tag in the neighborhood of $81 million provided by the state, county, city and the Blue Jays.

The meeting continues a process that started with city commissioner’s resolution #1316 of April 3, 2013 that is designed to keep the team in Dunedin.

This is a matter of extreme importance,” said Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro of staying in Dunedin. “It’s not a spring home, it’s not a spring training home, it’s a year round home. We want to be here, we’re making a decision for 25-years.”

As far as fans go Shapiro said, “There is an overwhelming number of Canadians coming down here,” referring to the weather in Canada during spring training and monies to the economy.

The income generated according to the team’s slide presentation stated that $481.00 per day is spent generating approximately $92 million overall per year for Pinellas County, Florida.

Florida Auto Exchange Stadium at Grant Field improvements had numerous suggestions made including increasing the stadium seating from 5509 to approximately 8500. This would include berm seating, sky type boxes and stand up eating/viewing areas.

The proposal for the new Mattick Training Center at the Englebert Recreational Complex will have the three softball fields being eliminated along with two dog parks at the present Vanech Complex. One local school (Garrison-Jones Elementary) according to the presentation will not be affected. There would be a new larger state of the art training center built where the present field three is along with expanding the indoor clubhouses, training and medical faculties.

John Webb the President of the Florida Sports Foundation brought up about a call he got last spring training from Jim Currie of London, Ont.

I don’t even know where London, Ont. Is,” said Webb, “He wanted to make sure the Blue Jays were going to stay in Dunedin because he just bought a house and had to rent out hotel rooms at $300.00 a night for a week for his family.”

Webb concluded that Currie stated he didn’t like the Arizona heat and the desert.

Notes: The Blue Jays present contract with the city expires on December 31, 2017 with the ball club having two five year extensions. The ball club is also the only major league franchise to have just one spring training site during its history.

Categories: Baseball, Featured, Sports


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