Tampa Yankees One Step Closer To New Home In Ocala

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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.
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.
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.

About Trevor Sikkema

Trevor is a reporter for WUFT News who may be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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