Red Sox leave their spring training stadium – and its debt – behind

An increasing number of teams, now including the Boston Red Sox, will leave a town even before their taxpayer-funded stadiums are paid off, leaving debt and unhappy fans behind.

By , Guest blogger

  • close
    Boston Red Sox pitchers, from left, David Pauley, Kyle Snyder, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima and Devern Hansack take part in a conditioning run at spring training baseball in Fort Myers, Fla. in this file photo from February, 2007. The Boston Red Sox have decided to move from this spring training stadium to one in Lee County, leaving the taxpayers of Fort Myers with $17.5 million outstanding debt and an empty stadium.
    View Caption

The Red Sox want spiffier spring training digs in Fort Myers, Florida, and the locals of Lee County will oblige. After “kicking the tires” of one or two alternative venues, the Red Sox will apparently stick around to play in a new stadium “financed with $81.2 million” of tax-supported bonds. The title of the Bloomberg story (in which TSE blogger Dennis Coates has a cameo) is “Red Sox Threat to Flee Florida Winter Home Gets County to Finance Stadium.” A standard-issue ploy in what we call “The Stadium Game.”

But what caught my eye in the piece was the fact that the city of Fort Myers remains on the hook for $17.5 million of debt for the old stadium. This appears to be a standard-issue outcome as well: previous TSE posts discuss outstanding debt on the Meadowlands and RCA Dome, the Houston Astrodome, and Olympic Stadium and Three Rivers Stadium, among others.

In addition to the Red Sox’ legacy in Fort Myers, the current piece adds two new entries. The LA Dodgers left Vero Beach for Glendale Arizona in 2009. The county “still owes $12.3 million” on the old Dodgertown facility. The Pima County “Stadium District” lost the Chicago White Sox in 2009 and the Arizona Diamondbacks will leave next year. The stadium debt tab in Pima County is $21.3 million according to the Bloomberg article.

Recommended: Business

Teams leave before the debt does.

Add/view comments on this post.

------------------------------

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...