Pinellas News

Report: Brewers considering spring move to Dunedin

The Milwaukee Brewers may get on deck for some of Florida’s economic-development money.

The Phoenix Business Journal reported that the Brewers are considering a possible move to Dunedin, the current spring-training home of the Toronto Blue Jays.

“We are reviewing all of our options and have not ruled anything out at this point,” Bob Quinn, executive vice president for the baseball team, told the Phoenix Business Journal on Wednesday.

The Brewers have trained in Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix since 1998. A 10-year extension to the team’s lease started in 2013, but the agreement includes an option to leave after the 2015 season.

The Blue Jays and Houston Astros, who now train in Kissimmee, continue to work on a deal to move into a $100 million complex on 82 acres near a residential section of Palm Beach Gardens in Palm Beach County.

The ability to play off one spring-training location against another was a goal of the new rules for spring training funding that was included in a legislative economic-development package signed by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year.

The measure offers up to $666,660 a year in sales-tax revenue for stadium upgrades or construction if a community seeks to retain or entice a single team to move. The funding can jump to $1.33 million if a community can cobble together a two-team package.

The new rules require agreements to be at least 20 years, a minimum of the length of bonds for the stadium work. Deals can only be made with teams within four years of the end of existing lease contracts.

Scott pitched the proposal as a means to keep Florida’s existing spring training lineup of baseball teams from jumping to the Cactus League in Arizona.

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