Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Are the Birds Leaving Ft. Lauderdale for a New Spring Training Home in Sarasota?

If the news is true, it's going to suck as a fan to see the Orioles leave their Spring Training home in Fort Lauderdale for Sarasota; however, the move is a no-brainer considering the circumstances.

Sarasota County officials say they've reached a tentative agreement that would bring the Baltimore Orioles to the area for spring training in 2010.

Officials released a statement Tuesday saying they would send the agreement to the county commission for approval. The Sarasota City Commission will also have to approve parts of the deal. Both boards are scheduled to vote Wednesday.

The 30-year agreement calls for the renovation and expansion of Ed Smith Stadium at an estimated cost of $31.2 million.

Some of the funding would include local tourism tax revenue and more than $7 million in state money.

If the deal is approved, the Orioles would leave their current spring training facility in Fort Lauderdale.

Well, the facility in Fort Lauderdale is antiquated and in need of upgrading -- which I assume would cost millions to do, and in this economy, I cannot imagine it being done. Furthermore, the Orioles' minor camp is in Sarasota, and one would think it would make sense for the minor and major league teams to train with one another. From what I know as well, the Orioles have a site ready for them to use, and it will be expanded; plus, I'm sure there will be some incentives and additional projects thrown in as well.

Again, as a fan I bemoan the fact that the may be team moving from the Ft. Lauderdale-Miami area to across the state, but as a business move, it makes perfect sense.

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