SPRING TRAINING SEEN IN A NEW LIGHT BY SEVERAL FLORIDA CITIES
The New York Times recently ran an article by Abby Goodnough (registration required) on how some Florida cities, including Winter Haven, are looking at baseball spring training differently in the face of budget pressures and demands by teams to build new facilities or upgrade current facilities.
Several years ago, the Legislature approved a fund of $75 million to assist cities toward that end, but with a caveat that teams must commit to five or ten years in the facility. Winter Haven did try to reach an agreement with the Indians to get a share of that money for improvements to Chain of Lakes Park, but the Cleveland team refused to make the necessary commitment.
The article also looks at the increasingly aggresive attempts by Arizona to attract teams currently training in Florida there.