The Palm Beach Post reports on the increasing concern by Dunedin residents that they will lose Toronto Blue Jays spring training baseball to a new stadium in Palm Beach Gardens.
“During the season, I bet I get 75 percent of my business from that stadium,” Marguerite Allison, tells The Post. Allison is the owner of Marguerite’s Cafe & Catering, down the block from the 5,500-seat Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, the current home of Jays spring training.
“And those folks from Michigan and Canada, they are loyal customers,” Allison added. “They come back and bring their friends.”
The talk of moving the Jays to the East Coast heated up when lawmakers passed a bill giving tax breaks to keep Major League Baseball spring training in Florida, which provides an tremendous tourism boost to local economies.
The bill, which passed in this year’s legislative session, gives communities that build or refurbish stadiums that play host to two teams for spring training up to $50 million in state sales-tax rebates for over 37 years.
For new stadiums that host only one team, those communities are entitled to up to $20 million in rebates over 30 years.
Both the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays have expressed interest in leaving their current spring training sites, moving to a new stadium built in northern Palm Beach County. This stadium would be near the existing Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, the spring training home for the Marlins and Cardinals.
Local officials say an MLB group in northern Palm Beach County will prevent teams moving to Arizona.
The original article can be found here.