Rander Henderson, Mayor of Ft. Myers, belives the city and county would have been better off without JetBlue Park.
Fort Myers mayor Randy Henderson told the News-Press
that the Lee County region would have been better served to permit the
Red Sox to leave the county rather than paying for the construction of a
new facility for the Sox, JetBlue Park, which opened in 2012. The
decision in 2008 to fund a new Red Sox spring training facility put Lee
County on the hook not only for most of the construction expenses
related to JetBlue but also obligated the region to fund improvements in
the Twins’ facility in Fort Myers. Meanwhile, Lee County is still
paying off its debts for the construction of City of Palms Park — the
currently vacant facility where the Sox played before moving to JetBlue.
Lee County now faces more than $436 million in ballpark expenses over the next 32 years, according to the News-Press.
“It would have been smarter to let the Red Sox move on,” Henderson
told the News-Press. “I would debate that we wouldn’t be any worse off,
in fact, I think we would be better off.”
So, you're telling me that being on the hook for over $400k, for a stadium that gets full use for just over one month a year, is leaving the county in a financial bind? On top of that, they are still paying off the debt of City of Palms Park. No sweat in this economy.
I would have to agree with Mayor Henderson, and say Lee County screwed themselves in the deal and will continue to with future obligations.