Throwing Cash at Red Sox
Lee County commissioners are meeting today to consider borrowing $146 million to pay for the Boston Red Sox's new spring training facility.
The BoSox, a big draw in Florida's Grapefruit League, have trained at Fort Myers' City of Palms Park since 1993. They're scheduled to move into their new stadium on Daniels Parkway in 2012.
The county has pledged to fund the $75 million facility -- the only question is how to finance the deal. The latest idea is to bond the project and pay it back with Tourist Development Tax revenues over 30 years.
While bonds make the venture affordable in the short term -- a key for politicians -- the interest charges will bring the total price tag to $146 million.
Oh well, it's just the cost of doing business with Major League Baseball.
Meantime, the spring training merry-go-round continues to whirl.
The Washington Nationals reportedly are looking to leave their base in Viera. Though the team's lease with Brevard County runs through 2017, the Nats may be interested in moving to the soon-to-be-vacated City of Palms at an earlier date.
No word yet on what t-h-a-t deal might involve.