FORT MYERS, Fla. - Lee County could once again be in talks with the Washington Nationals to host the team's Spring Training at City of Palms Park.
The team had most recently been working with Osceola County, but Monday, commissioners there voted against building a brand new $100 million stadium.
At Tuesday's Lee County Board of Commissioners meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Dave Harner said that news prompted him to reach out again to the Nationals in hopes of reengaging discussions.
The county had been in on-and-off talks with the team for years, but the last time meetings broke down after the team asked commissioners to allocate $36 million in tourism development tax dollars for upgrades to City of Palms.
The county said it could not afford that option.
At last check, the Nationals had not yet responded to the county's latest message, but Harner says if they do begin negotiations again, the tone would have to be different.
"We would have to look at alternative methods to bring a team in. The traditional method of using TDT (tourism development tax) dollars is not going to happen," Harner said. "We would have to find an alternative method for this to happen. Any type of public-private partnership could be a possibility."
Commissioners most recently were looking at closing down City of Palms Park, which has sat empty since the Boston Red Sox moved to Jet Blue Park.
It costs taxpayers about $500,000 to operate City of Palms.