There’s a long post on today’s Washington Post site about the poor Washington Nationals, whose plans for having Osceola County spend $98 million on building them a new spring-training facility in Kissimmee fell apart last summer over Osceola County not wanting to give them $98 million, and who ever since have been striking out at finding someone else to throw money at them:
Deals for a more ideal location, empty City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, have now fallen apart twice, including a recent proposal that involved a private developer who county officials thought would help make the project possible…
The Fort Myers site re-emerged as an option in August when a private development company, Rockford Construction, joined talks at officials’ requests. County officials hoped that a public-private partnership as part of a mixed-use project that featured the stadium as a centerpiece could be the solution to their financial concerns. But the project hit a major snag last week when officials told Rockford that they didn’t find the developer’s funding proposal feasible.
According to a Jan. 29 letter from Fort Myers City Manager William Mitchell to Paul Roberts, a principal at Rockford, the developer proposed that the city essentially finance the entire cost of the $45 million in refurbishments. By adding that to the existing debt, the city’s total debt on the project would be between $53 million and $56 million, according to the letter.
Now, writes the Post, the Nationals have “few known options.” Aside from, hmm, let’s see, staying at their existing spring training site that’s only 21 years old, or, if being a long bus ride from other teams’ facilities is such a huge deal-breaker, maybe building a new spring training site with some of their own money. But those aren’t “solutions” in the mind of team execs, so far be it from the Post to mention them, either.