FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox announced Tuesday that they're teaming up with a national airline and naming their new park. Jet Blue Park will sit east of I-75 on Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers. It is about 10 miles from where the team plays now. Local people and businesses are already planning for their return next spring.
"Its under the new agreement we will be naming the new spring training facility Jet Blue Park," said Marty St. George, Senior Vice President, Jet Blue Airlines.
After 19 spring seasons, the Red Sox took their final swing Tuesday at the City of Palms Park. By this time next year, they'll call Jet Blue park their new home.
"We're very much looking forward to carrying fans from across Red Sox nation to Fort Myers in the spring of 2012 to visit us at the new stadium," said St. George.
Tuesday players and managers checked out the never before seen renderings of the new facility at RSW. The park will be an exact replica of Fenway in Boston.
Businesses aren't swinging for the fences just yet. "We're looking to a couple options to extend and make bigger. this is just something we're going to have to see with the time and see how it comes," said Fabio Ruiz, server at Casa Lupita.
"I think that traffic is going to be so fast by here that people aren't going to be paying attention to my signs and they're going to be trying to get to the game," said Tammy Kaske, owner, Gateway's Mini-Spa.
Fans eager to catch a glimpse of the World Series winning team are already planning for 2012.
"This is my first time down here for spring training so it was kind of neat to go out with the old one and we will be down here next year to come in with the new one," said Karen Piantek, a Red Sox fan.
"I feel sorry for the City of Palms. they lost a lot of money in the deal but i am looking forward to the new stadium, bigger stadium, big monster, I'm looking forward to coming back," said Reed Finney, a Red Sox fan from New Jersey.
As the Red Sox look forward to their new stadium, the question remains, what's next for City of Palms Park?
The City of Fort Myers is still paying off at least $17-million in bonds and the county spends several hundred thousand dollars a year to maintain the park. The hope is to bring in another major league team, but it would cost money to spruce up the stadium.
Downtown businesses worry what will happen now that the Red Sox are gone.
Lee County is booking amateur sporting events for the stadium but the rental fees are low and they don't typically generate big business for downtown bars and restaurants.