Author Topic: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast  (Read 7547 times)

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Offline comish4lif

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #150: February 07, 2013, 06:59:23 AM »
I'm surprised that the Nats and Orioles haven't tried to pair together for Spring Training. There's lots of people in the region that are fans of both teams; of course, not many of those here at WNFF.

If they teamed up, they'd have a nearby, built in opponent who is in the other league.

Offline aspenbubba

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #151: February 07, 2013, 07:16:48 AM »
II still wish we could take over the old Dodgertown 8)

I think so too. Why is that not being discussed. Great facility and aren't there other teams close by in Port St. Lucie (Mets)?

Offline PowerBoater69

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #152: February 07, 2013, 07:29:58 AM »
I'm surprised that the Nats and Orioles haven't tried to pair together for Spring Training. There's lots of people in the region that are fans of both teams; of course, not many of those here at WNFF.

If they teamed up, they'd have a nearby, built in opponent who is in the other league.

Might be smart financially, and MASN could set up shop there and televise about 20 Nats games, but bleech.

Offline 1995hoo

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #153: February 07, 2013, 09:26:39 AM »
I think so too. Why is that not being discussed. Great facility and aren't there other teams close by in Port St. Lucie (Mets)?

Ultimately it's the other teams that are the problem—the Mets are in Port St. Lucie and the Cardinals and Marlins are near Jupiter. But (other than the Nationals at present, of course) there are no other teams on the east coast. It's easy enough to get from Vero Beach to Orlando (Braves and Astros) via the Turnpike. Vero to the Tampa Bay area (Yankees, Phillies, and Blue Jays) isn't horrible—straight shot across on Florida Route 60, a four-lane surface road comparable to, say, US-29 between Charlottesville and DC. It's around 140 miles from Vero to downtown Tampa. That's around 15 miles further than it is from Viera. In theory the trip from Viera would be faster since it's all on Interstate-grade highways (I-95, I-4, and the Bee Line), but Orlando/Disney traffic is the wrinkle there, plus it seems like there's always a wreck somewhere on I-4.

It's not as easy to get to places like Sarasota (Baltimore and Pittsburgh) or Port Charlotte (Rays) because most of the drive is on a very rural two-lane road that's prone to getting really slow if you get stuck behind a yokel in the wrong place.

In either case, Vero or Viera, the odds of going down to Fort Myers to play the Twins or Boston are slim, and indeed I note the Nationals don't play either of them this spring training. I've mentioned that my sister-in-law lives up the street from Space Coast Stadium. Her son and his family live in Fort Myers (south of the city center, although we go right past the Twins' facility on the way to their house) and it takes at least four hours one way because you go south to Fort Pierce and then halfway across the state on the same two-lane road mentioned above. Then you drop south on US-27 and FL-80. It's a long, boring drive.


Edited to add: You know, those comments made me wonder—it's customary for the teams to take buses to spring training games, but how much more would it cost for them to fly if they set up in Vero? There's a small airport right next to Dodgertown. The Red Sox facility is right next to RSW airport near Fort Myers and the Twins' facility is a short trip away. Ditto Baltimore and Pittsburgh being near the airport in Sarasota. The airport in Tampa is a lot busier, but no doubt MLB teams are used to arranging the charter flights. Then for the Orlando and east coast games you'd just use a bus. (Melbourne has an airport as well, although it can be a pain in the arse to get there from Viera because it's between I-95 and US-1.)

Offline GburgNatsFan

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #154: February 07, 2013, 10:03:15 AM »
Arizona is the answer.

Offline comish4lif

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #155: February 07, 2013, 10:27:59 AM »
Arizona is the answer.
But only if Arizona is still giving away Spring training stadia.

Offline GburgNatsFan

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #156: February 07, 2013, 10:42:14 AM »
I was mostly commenting that Arizona is a great place to go for Spring Training games. I don't know about the financing details.

But only if Arizona is still giving away Spring training stadia.

Offline HalfSmokes

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #157: February 07, 2013, 12:03:23 PM »
I'm surprised that the Nats and Orioles haven't tried to pair together for Spring Training. ...

I have to think there is a decent amount of acrimony in that relationship right now

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #158: February 07, 2013, 12:13:05 PM »
The big advantage to Fort Myers would be to have two teams to practice against that youdon't paly in the regular season.  I don't like the idea of clustering near the Mets and Marlins, with the Barves being one of the next closest teams.  I don't want them getting to see our staff too many times, especially the relief pitchers.  A site in the Tampa area would work well. The idea of splitting a stadium with Baltimore deserves some thought, especially if it would generate more revenue for both teams.

If we could find a second team to share Vero, then that might work.  You'd begin to build the east coast of Florida back up as a spring training location.

The only problem with Arizona would be the travel difficulty for visitors.  East coast people go to Florida.

Offline Galah

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #159: February 08, 2013, 09:14:47 AM »
Edited to add: You know, those comments made me wonder—it's customary for the teams to take buses to spring training games, but how much more would it cost for them to fly if they set up in Vero? There's a small airport right next to Dodgertown. The Red Sox facility is right next to RSW airport near Fort Myers and the Twins' facility is a short trip away. Ditto Baltimore and Pittsburgh being near the airport in Sarasota. The airport in Tampa is a lot busier, but no doubt MLB teams are used to arranging the charter flights. Then for the Orlando and east coast games you'd just use a bus. (Melbourne has an airport as well, although it can be a pain in the arse to get there from Viera because it's between I-95 and US-1.)

An offer to fly the team to away games was on the table when Brevard County was talking to Nats managemnt.  Face it, if Spring Training is about getting the players ready, what does it matter WHO they play, isn't that just the owners trying to make an extra coupla bucks with exhibition games?

Offline machpost

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #160: February 08, 2013, 12:54:17 PM »
Whatever happened to the rumors that the Nats might be interested in building a new facility with the Astros, somewhere close to Disney? I wonder if that's still a possibility.

Offline hammondsnats

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #161: February 08, 2013, 01:10:24 PM »
sorry city of palms park ... if you don't have the cash, we're not coming.


Offline PowerBoater69

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #162: February 08, 2013, 01:58:42 PM »
Whatever happened to the rumors that the Nats might be interested in building a new facility with the Astros, somewhere close to Disney? I wonder if that's still a possibility.

It's certainly possible, there were reports of this plan just a couple months ago. The thing is that we are getting almost no info from the team and the local governments are being forced to sign confidentiality agreements in order to meet with team officials. So the only sources of information are leaks from local officials who have their own agendas for the leaks and from a few public hearings.

Fort Myers seems unlikely because they have no money, Viera seems unlikely because of the location, so Kissimmee remains in the running.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #163: February 08, 2013, 02:55:08 PM »
Is somewhere in Polk County available?  That's between Orlando and Tampa, so it should be easy travel and lots of teams to play.  Winter Haven is there, as is Lakeland, and Plant City is just outside Polk.

Offline GburgNatsFan

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #164: February 08, 2013, 06:34:36 PM »
Can Spring Training really bring in the kind of money that would make a team attractive to a Florida city these days?
I know the parks get used for other things during the year, but if I were mayor, I'm not sure I'd bite.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #165: February 09, 2013, 10:56:03 AM »
These folks are in the tourism business.  Much of that is bunched over short periods, like spring break, but they manage to find secondary uses for the facilities that make construction profitable. 

Offline PowerBoater69

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #166: February 09, 2013, 11:01:57 AM »
These folks are in the tourism business.  Much of that is bunched over short periods, like spring break, but they manage to find secondary uses for the facilities that make construction profitable. 

Secondary uses for a ballpark?  That's one of the big lies used to justify public funds for stadiums.  Fort Myer's problem is that they have an empty ballpark and no clue for how to use it other than spend millions more that they don't have in order to bring in another team for six weeks a year.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #167: February 09, 2013, 11:10:42 AM »
I'm not saying ballparks in particular have good secondary uses.  I'm saying tourism facilities in general.  There's peak season, then there are secondary uses.  You may be right that most ballpark proposals are full of BS when  it comes to the secondary uses they pitch at cities.   However, the mere fact that there is a peak season for a  tourism facility then lots of time for secondary uses does not make tourism facilities unprofitable.

A place in Polk County might be able to schedule tractor pulls, rodeos, country acts, and revival meetings to draw on Tampa and Orlando.  Fort Myers is kind of isolated, and, from Hammonds description, city of palms is not in area that you want to hang out in, so the lack of secondary uses does not surprise me.

Offline PowerBoater69

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #168: February 25, 2013, 09:09:15 PM »
Interesting thing happening with Nats away game tickets on StubHub this year, they are selling.  Every year I wait until the games get closer and prices start dropping before buying my seats but the game I'm going to against the Astros in Kissimmee has almost no tickets available.  In the past it was easy to get a pair of set your beer on the dugout tickets at a bargain price, but the only ones listed sold fast for over $50 each. 

Fortunately during the presale last month I was able to get a pair of great seats on the field just past first base thanks to a nice Stros fan who posted the coupon code online.

Offline NatsAddict

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #169: February 26, 2013, 09:03:44 AM »
So far as spring training goes, it depends on the team and its following.  Vero Beach used to receive nearly a third of its tax revenues from the Dodgers spring training (now dependent upon over-development and outlet malls since the Dodgers left and the Sunkist Orange grove has gone condo).  Jupiter doesn't depend on the Cardinals, though the Cardinals do bring in a huge amount of revenue with their fan base (which usually draw 2 or 3 times that of the Marlins, which share the facility).  Spring training facilities often draw more hotel room nights than the major league parks.

As for the secondary uses, the stadiums are used for the minor leagues and for tournaments during the minor league all-star break and other times during the year.  The larger facilities have tournaments that will draw 200 teams from all over the country, and can bring another 25,000 hotel room nights.  There are few non-baseball uses.  However, there is a huge difference between spring training facilities and other minor league parks.  Spring training facilities are several times larger, and in addition to the stadium, the better ones usually have several other full-size fields, a few smaller fields, massive bullpens, what amounts to a golf course cart house, etc.  All the fields need maintenance every day of the year.  The Nationals facility in Viera is/was one of the smallest in Florida.  I think it has only one other full-sized field and one smaller one for infield practice.  Most others have at least 4 full-size fields.

Offline 1995hoo

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #170: February 27, 2013, 12:30:14 PM »
Found myself wondering....where do the Nationals' players stay during spring training? I'd ask my relatives but I know they wouldn't know the answer (and my sister-in-law would just complain about the traffic on Stadium Parkway on gamedays).

Offline NatsAddict

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #171: February 27, 2013, 01:50:52 PM »
Fla. Gov. pledges state help for spring training
The Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. —

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to spend $5 million in the coming year to help keep spring training alive in the state.

Scott made the announcement Wednesday during a work day held at the Lakeland baseball stadium that is the spring training home for the American League champion Detroit Tigers.

State legislators will have to approve Scott's request.

This year marks the 125th anniversary of spring training in Florida. There are currently 15 Major League Baseball teams training in the state.

But the state has been in a battle in recent years to keep teams from relocating to Arizona.

Scott was scheduled to spend the day working with a grounds crew, handing out programs and selling concessions to baseball fans.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/ap/ap/florida/fla-gov-to-work-at-spring-training-site/nWbRF/

Online Mattionals

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #172: February 27, 2013, 02:24:01 PM »
Fla. Gov. pledges state help for spring training
The Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. —

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to spend $5 million in the coming year to help keep spring training alive in the state.

Scott made the announcement Wednesday during a work day held at the Lakeland baseball stadium that is the spring training home for the American League champion Detroit Tigers.

State legislators will have to approve Scott's request.

This year marks the 125th anniversary of spring training in Florida. There are currently 15 Major League Baseball teams training in the state.

But the state has been in a battle in recent years to keep teams from relocating to Arizona.

Scott was scheduled to spend the day working with a grounds crew, handing out programs and selling concessions to baseball fans.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/ap/ap/florida/fla-gov-to-work-at-spring-training-site/nWbRF/


Anyone think the Nats could use portions of that money to help fix up City of Palms park?

Offline PowerBoater69

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #173: February 27, 2013, 02:43:05 PM »
Anyone think the Nats could use portions of that money to help fix up City of Palms park?

Possibly, but there are several issues with this. It still leaves Fort Myers $25 million short of what the Nats are demanding. It ties up all the money in one ballpark instead of spreading it around. And most importantly the state isn't going to fund one county stealing a team from another county when there is almost no chance of that team leaving the state.

Offline hammondsnats

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Re: The Future Of Baseball On The Space Coast
« Reply #174: February 27, 2013, 02:45:40 PM »
city of palms park is a dump ... no way we should move in there unless they completely upgraded it, the adjacent facilities and more.  they have a lot of work to do.