LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The Buccaneers are coming to City of Palms Park in Fort Myers. The baseball and softball teams from Edison State College, soon to become Florida South Western, will play at the little-used fields on the south edge of downtown.
"This is a great day for Lee county, and it will be good for the businesses all around the park, and great for the city of Fort Myers," said Randy Henderson, mayor of Ft. Myers.
The college is paying 24-thousand dollars a year for 10 years to rent the space and help pay the electric bill. The last baseball tenant, the Boston Red Sox, paid 300-thousand dollars rent to Lee county for spring training at City of Palms.
"We don't have the funds that the Boston Red Sox have," said college Pres. Dr. Jeff Albritten. "We are just starting out with sports again and we need to do things inexpensively. So I am very happy with how this has worked out."
The men's and women's teams will have access to the park starting Sept. 1, 2015. They will play a total of 50 games a year, mostly in the winter and spring months. Lee county also will rent the park to amateur baseball events, as it has for several years.
Lee county has tried unsuccessfully to bring another Major League baseball team to city of palms, after the Red Sox left for Jet Blue park. Lee does have an out clause in the contract-- 6 months notice to end the deal.