Fort Myers mayor Randy Henderson told the News-Press that the Lee County region would have been better served to permit the Red Sox to leave the county rather than paying for the construction of a new facility for the Sox, JetBlue Park, which opened in 2012. The decision in 2008 to fund a new Red Sox spring training facility put Lee County on the hook not only for most of the construction expenses related to JetBlue but also obligated the region to fund improvements in the Twins’ facility in Fort Myers. Meanwhile, Lee County is still paying off its debts for the construction of City of Palms Park — the currently vacant facility where the Sox played before moving to JetBlue.
Lee County now faces more than $436 million in ballpark expenses over the next 32 years, according to the News-Press.
“It would have been smarter to let the Red Sox move on,” Henderson told the News-Press. “I would debate that we wouldn’t be any worse off, in fact, I think we would be better off.”
The article also suggested that there is little optimism about the possibility of wooing the Washington Nationals to move to the vacated City of Palms Park.
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