Monday, October 28, 2013
In a move that has been in the works for quite a while, the Tampa Yankees (Florida St. League 'A+' ball) have reached an agreement to move north to Ocala, FL. George M. Steinbrenner III will continue to host Spring Training for Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and the rest of the Major League Yankees.
The city council of Ocala, a 90 minute straight shoot up route 75 from Tampa, will be presented with plans Tuesday for a proposed $45MM stadium and entertainment complex. The city's mayor, Ken Guinn, said a half-cent sales tax for a five year period would pay for the new ball park, though the tax would have to pass referendum.
If all goes as planned, the Tampa Yankees could begin play in Ocala in 2016. The reason for the move is a reported lack of interest in Single-A baseball in the Tampa area, especially with a Major League team located nearby.
The Steinbrenner family owns the Kinsman Horse Stable, which is located in Ocala. There is no word on future plans for GMS III Field outside of Spring Training use. While it will mean the loss of several jobs, the county and Tampa Sports Authority will not be affected since there are no ticket surcharges on Tampa Yankees tickets.