WUFT News

Tampa Yankees One Step Closer To New Home In Ocala

By and on October 29th, 2013

The Ocala City Council held a public meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the possible move of the Tampa Yankees to Ocala before the 2016 baseball season.

The Yankees Single-A baseball team would play their regular season in Ocala, but Yankees spring training games would not relocate.

Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn speaks with WUFT before Ocala City Council meeting to discuss the baseball stadium proposal.

Trevor Sikkema

Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn speaks with WUFT News before Tuesday's Ocala City Council meeting to discuss the baseball stadium proposal.

Representatives from the Yankees Organization ran the numbers and designed plans, including stadium location and structure, past the Ocala City Council.

If the new stadium is approved, the city is expected to take a one-half cent tax for five years to cover the $38 million stadium costs.

Of the four Ocala residents who spoke at the meeting, two were in favor of and two were against building the new stadium.

Supporters of the Ocala stadium said the Yankees playing in Ocala will attract the public, expand the city’s economy and increase traffic to surrounding attractions.

“I think it’s a huge opportunity for our community,” Allison Campbell, Ocala resident, said. “It’ll be a huge economic driver. It’s a great unifier for our community.”

Dunnellon Mayor Nathan Whitt said in support of the Ocala stadium, “the city of Dunnellon has your back.”

Yankees Organization representatives proposed location and stadium design for the Ocala stadium at the Ocala City Council meeting this morning.

Trevor Sikkema

Yankees Organization representatives proposed location and stadium design for the Ocala stadium at the Ocala City Council meeting this morning.

Residents not supportive of the new stadium said the benefits of building the stadium will not outweigh the costs.

“I’m not in favor of it and it’s going to be a big money losing proposition,” said Dr. Rangaswamy Asokan, who lives in Ocala.

The Ocala City Council will meet again Nov. 5 to further discuss approving the proposal.


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  • Brian Cassidy

    I have lived in Ocala for 14 years. I have not seen anything in the town that brings in revenue. Most everyone rejects growing. Whether it’s a distribution center or possibly this stadium, people here fear growth. The HORSES are not bringing money into this county. This is an opportunity for everyone here in Ocala and surrounding counties to bring money into this place. 1/2 cent tax people…. Really? As for this Dr. stating that the yankees don’t make money, really? Who would you like here Boston? No matter who comes here they will bring the money. “If you build it, they will come.” Ocala citizens need to wake up. This is our last chance.

    • Kyle Clements

      The horses are actually starting to leave too. Ocala has had a notorious history for rejecting growth, which has helped make it one of the poorest counties in the state with a weak economy. Having this stadium on 200 will be a big boost throughout the season for the economy in the local area, not to mention helping stimulate further growth in the area, creating more jobs and opprotunities. This is a good deal for Marion County

 

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