FORT MYERS, Fla.- The project manager says workers are on time and on budget to finish Jet Blue Park, the new stadium for the Boston Red Sox spring training, on Jan. 12 of next year.
"We will be completed, barring a major hurricane of Katrina size or some other unforeseen disaster," said Bob Taylor of Lee Co. Public Works. "People were nervous at first, but I knew once we started to build, we'd be fine. We will make that date of Jan. 12."
Workers have put in virtually all the tiers in the bowl of the stadium. Those will become the seats, 10-thousand of them, for the fans. Workers have completed the clubhouse and training room, complete with tubs for players to soak sore muscles after a workout or game.
"We now are moving to the top of the stadium structure, with the administrative offices, the luxury suites and the press box," said Taylor. "We also have the steel framing in place for the replica of the Green Monster wall at Fenway Park in Boston. The sheeting for that wall should arrive in the next few weeks. Later we will put in the undulating roof. It is supposed to resemble the un-even tops of the nearby Cypress woods."
The project is costing Lee Co. about 80-million dollars, counting land and financing for bonds. Hotel room taxes will be used to pay off the bonds, not property taxes. The stadium is supposed to be open for the first spring training game in late February or early March of 2012. The complex also includes a year-round training facility and half-a-dozen practice fields. Eventually, the Red Sox may lease some of the land at the site for hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops and other retail outlets.
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