LEE COUNTY, Fla.- WINK News has learned that Lee county will get $15 million from the state of Florida, to upgrade Hammond Stadium and the surrounding player development complex. Hammond is the spring training home of the Minnesota Twins.
The money comes from the Fl. Sports Foundation and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Both agencies announced the award of the money Friday afternoon. The money was set aside to help Florida communities, improve spring training facilities, with an eye to keeping Major League Baseball teams satisifed with training in Florida.
Lee can use the money over as much as 30 years. It has to match the state grant.
The money is considered key to improving Hammond and the sports complex. The Twins are asking for upgrades, and those improvements could cost as much as $45 million. Lee County still is negotiating with the team about the improvements, and is supposed to have a final list of upgrades and costs by Feb. 1 of 2013. Lee is supposed to make the improvements by the winter of 2015.