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The Blue Jays are flirting with Fort Myers

Mar 14, 2013, 1:33 PM EDT

City of Palms Park

The Blue Jays have trained in Dunedin, Florida since the team was founded. But their lease is up in 2017 and, though they say they’d like to stay in Dunedin, there is at least some level of flirtation between them and Fort Myers, which still has an empty City of Palms Park, the old Red Sox joint.

The Fort Myers News-Press reports that Lee County — which runs the Fort Myers facility — would love to have them. But that (a) there are a lot more Canadian tourists up where the Jays train now than down in Lee County; and (b) one of the things the Jays would most like is for the ballpark and the minor league training facility to be in one location, but City of Palms does not and cannot offer that.

As we’ve noted in the past, the Nats have had discussions with Lee County too, but that doesn’t seem to be going anyplace. And really, in a day and age when teams are getting ground-up facilities with all of the new amenities, it’s gotta be a hard sell to get anyone to move into an old park like City of Palms. At the very least there would have to be a lot of incentives to do so.

  1. number42is1 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    hey craig… correct if i am wrong but don’t you and your team usually put out predictions on the full season standings around this time? i am looking forward to it.

    • missthemexpos - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Since this story is about the Blue Jays, I predict a 91-71 record for Toronto this season.

  2. hitdog042 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    There’s a lot of Canada tourists and winter residents in Naples which is 30 miles from City of Palms park.

  3. gza385 - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    The Blue Jays sent a handwritten note to Fort Myers that read:

    Do u like me? Check one

    [ ] yes
    [ ] no
    [ ] maybe

  4. indaburg - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    I read about this in the local paper, and it sounds like Dunedin is really motivated to try to keep the Jays. One stumbling block is that Dunedin is very built out, and there aren’t many empty acres available to build a facility that could include both the stadium and the training grounds.

    • unclemosesgreen - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      Cities always sounds super-motivated in the press, right until the day they lose the team they wouldn’t bend over backwards for.

      • indaburg - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        (Insert sad muted trombone sound here.)

  5. proudlycanadian - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    It is no secret that The Jays are ready to change their spring training home. At Dunedin, the Major League and minor league camps are not very close to each other and the stadium in Dunedin is out dated. They are looking at several sites as a possible new Florida home.

  6. Run Lines Baseball Betting - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    Awesome place to watch a game. Saw a game there 20 years ago, Jays played the Pirates and watched a skinny Barry Bonds hop on a ten speed after the game and ride home fast a hell.

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