Washington Nationals reconsider City of Palms Park for spring training home
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Aug. 20, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The City of Palms Park hasn't seen a lot of action this year.
But that all could change, especially now that the Washington Nationals are once again shopping for a spring training home.
"We have reached out to the Nationals to gage their interest," Dave Harner, Lee County Parks and Recreation Director, said.
It's not the first time Lee County has negotiated with the team. The county was in talks with the ball club for years, but struck out after the team asked commissioners to give them $36 million in tourism development taxes to fix up the City of Palms Park.
So what would make it work this time around?
"We would have to look at alternative methods to bring a team in, the traditional methods of using TDT dollars is not going to happen," Harner said.
The county is also meeting with a developer to see what can be done to revitalize the area around the park.
"It would be excellent for them to come back," Stejean Enseliere, manger of Furniture Kingdom, said.
Enseliere's store is right next to the park. He remembers what things were like when the Red Sox played there.
"On game day I got more traffic inside and business was better," Enseliere said.
Enseliere said now business is "completely slow," and thinks a new team would be a nice boost for business in the area.
Lee County said it did speak to the Nationals Tuesday and the organization is interested in working with Lee County and the City of Fort Myers. The county says the success will depend on public-private partnership.