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Hillsborough agrees to make improvements to Steinbrenner Field

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The New York Yankees will be in Tampa for a while.

The Yankees agreed to a new lease with Hillsborough County Wednesday that will keep the team in Tampa through 2046.

The state and county will pay for two-thirds of the improvements, which will include new seats, a roof and improvement to practice fields. The county will pay its share from the Tourism Development Tax.

The agreement also must be approved by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. The new agreement provides penalties if the Yankees decide to leave for another city before 2046. An early departure would require that the Yankees pay all of the debt incurred by the county as well as $500,000 a year for all the years remaining on the lease.

About 172,000 fans attend the Yankees’ spring training games each year, resulting in $160 million in economic impact, including over $1 million from hotel room nights since 2013.

The stadium also is where the Yankees’ Class A Florida State League affiliate plays.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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