Blue Jays considering options for Dunedin spring training - WFLA News Channel 8

Blue Jays considering options for Dunedin spring training

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DUNEDIN, FL (WFLA) -

For 36 years, the Toronto Blue Jays made Dunedin the home base for spring training.  Now the team confirmed it's considering other options, according to spokesperson, Jay Stenhouse. 

"The frustrating thing is we haven't had a chance to actually sit down and listen to them to find out what their needs and wants are, then let us retrench and come out with some alternatives for them," said Mayor Dave Eggers, Dunedin.

The Blue Jays' 15-year contract has them in Dunedin for four-more seasons, but Mayor Eggers says he wants to prepare for negotiations.

One issue for the team is the three-mile distance between the multi-field practice complex, and the stadium on Douglas avenue.

Dunedin would be eligible for 20 million dollars in state funds to build a new spring training facility.

"If we use the full 20 we'd have to come up with 20 locally, we've talked to the county and the county certainly wants to be players," said Eggers.

At the Home Plate restaurant, across the street from Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, where the Blue Jays play, business goes up about 35% during the three months of spring training.

Restaurant owner Cindy Phillips wants to see the team stay.  "I think it would be a huge hole in our hearts.  I was raised about a mile and a half from here so as kids we came here to the games with our families.  I brought my children here for games and family time, so it's a part of our tradition," said Phillips.

Mayor Eggers said he checks in with the team regularly and is hoping to sit down with them in the near future to find out what it would take to keep them in town.

 

 

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