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DETROIT TIGERS AND THE CITY OF LAKELAND REACH TERMS FOR SUCCESSOR AGREEMENT

DETROIT TIGERS AND THE CITY OF LAKELAND REACH TERMS FOR SUCCESSOR AGREEMENT
LONGEST RUNNING SPRING TRAINING RELATIONSHIP IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL CONTINUES

LAKELAND, FL (July 18, 2014) -- The City of Lakeland and the Detroit Tigers have reached agreement on the terms and conditions that will be included in a contract that will extend the City’s relationship with the organization another 20 years.  The current contract signed in 2000 expires December 31, 2016.  The new contract will solidify the Detroit Tigers continuing their Spring Training, their Class A Minor League operations with the Flying Tigers and their rehabilitative program at Joker Marchant Stadium and the TigerTown Complex through 2036.

City Manager Doug Thomas said, “The parties approached the negotiations with a win-win attitude and I am very pleased that both the City and the Tigers were able to accomplish our respective desired outcomes.  We have developed a package that is cost effective for the City and continues to support the estimated $45 million in economic benefits associated with Spring Training and additional $18 million in economic impacts from the Flying Tigers to our community.  In return, the Tigers will be provided contemporary facilities designed to enhance player development and improve the fan experience so it will allow them to remain competitive with their counterparts in Major League Baseball. 

In anticipation of a new agreement, the parties have been involved in a process over the last two years that included tours of all the spring training facilities in Florida and Arizona to view best practice designs and to better understand the standards that are expected at current MLB facilities. The tours were followed up with a critical evaluation of the current configuration of Joker Marchant Stadium and the Tigertown Complex to identify the areas that would require improvements to allow the Tigers and the City to have facilities reflective of the market required for another 20 – 30 year contract period.  

“The Detroit Tigers are thrilled this new agreement will ensure the ball club will maintain its winter home in the City of Lakeland for an unprecedented 100 years,” said David Dombrowski, Tigers President, CEO and General Manager. “We are thankful and appreciative of the long-standing relationship with the City of Lakeland, Polk County and the State of Florida that in terms of years is second to none in all of Major League Baseball. 

The proposed design of the complex calls for separate Major and Minor League clubhouses that will be constructed; improved and realigned seating areas including additional shading; a 360 degree walk around layout to allow fans to be in constant view of the game; upgraded concession and new vending areas; expanded press box facilities in response to growing media interest with international players; a new artificial field surface in the minor league complex; new team cafeteria equipment; various improvements throughout the complex to assist in player development and rehabilitation; and overall improved layout and security features consistent with MLB security measures.

Melony Bell, Chair of the Polk County Tourist Development Council said, “Polk County has enjoyed a strong relationship with the Detroit Tigers for 78 years. With today’s announcement, we look forward to welcoming them back for another 20 years. According to the Florida Sports Foundation, the annual economic impact of the average Major League Baseball spring training operation in Florida is $47 million. We feel strongly that the Tigers have far more impact than that. Whether a Tigers fan chooses to come to Polk County for a month, or just drive to Lakeland for a day of baseball, all of our residents benefit from sales generated when these tourists are here.” 

R. Todd Danzler, Chairman of the Polk Board of County Commissioners said, “This announcement is great news for Polk County. We appreciate the Detroit Tigers’ long-term commitment to Lakeland. The Tigers bring more than just spring baseball to the county. Their presence through their minor league affiliate, the Lakeland Flying Tigers and other uses of the ballpark bring crowds to Joker Marchant Stadium year round. Undoubtedly, our hotels, rental homes, restaurants and other recreational facilities benefit during the spring season when the Tigers are in our community.”

Specifics of the agreement include the following terms: 

•       A total of $37 million will be available for capital improvements to the Joker Marchant Stadium and Tigertown Complex, to be completed and ready for occupancy by the Tigers in January 2017.  The City contemplates a bond issue for the capital costs that will be amortized from the following sources:

–      The State of Florida, through the Spring Training Retention Program will fund $1 million per year for 20 years.

–      The Polk County Tourist Development Council will fund an income stream capable of amortizing a total of $14,560,000, payable over 20 years, or 39.4% of project costs, with total project costs not to exceed $37 million.

–      The Tigers will provide funding through the payment of $530,000 per year to the City for 20 years, with such payments taking the form of rent, coupled with a management services fee, the latter of which includes CPI adjustments every five years.

–      The City will fund an estimated $190,000 per year for 20 years. 

Dombrowski said, “We believe the extensive enhancements to TigerTown will offer the loyal and passionate fans in Lakeland and the legions of Tigers fans that travel to Florida with a one-of-a-kind Spring Training experience. Lakeland plays a significant role year-round in the Tigers baseball operations and the planned renovations will provide the players with a state-of-the-art development and rehabilitation facility, certain to be amongst the best in all of baseball.”

Mayor Howard Wiggs said, “We truly appreciate the partnerships with the Detroit Tigers, the State of Florida, the Central Florida Tourist and Development Council, and the City Commission for their financial support for the successor agreement.  I would also like to thank our local legislative delegation, the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, and local baseball supporters John and Becky Rodda, Robert Puterbaugh and others who helped the City in our efforts to amend the State's Spring Training Retention Bill which was a critical component in our negotiations.”

“Congratulations to the Detroit Tigers, the City of Lakeland and Polk County for extending the longest spring training relationship between a community and a Major League Baseball team," said Florida Sports Foundation President John Webb.  "This lease extension is a salute to the professionalism of all parties involved and the heritage and tradition both have enjoyed for almost eight decades.  This agreement will continue their partnership to over 100 years of a mutually beneficial relationship.  This unmatched partnership is a good example of Florida's strong sports industry and ensures Major League Baseball Spring Training will remain in the area for future generations to enjoy."

 

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PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE: WABASH AVE EXTENSION PROJECT DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT STUDY

 

Project Contact:

Greg James, CPM

City of Lakeland – Project Manager

(phone) 863-834-6040

(email) Greg.James@lakelandgov.net

 






 

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE


WABASH AVENUE EXTENSION PROJECT DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT STUDY

 

 

WHO: Citizens of Lakeland, Lakeland City Commission and City of Lakeland Administration

 

WHAT: Public Hearing - Wabash Avenue Extension Project Development and Environment Study

  

WHEN: Thursday, August 1, 2013 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 

 

WHERE: City Commission Chambers at Lakeland City Hall / 228 S. Massachusetts Ave.  

 

LAKELAND, FL (July 30, 2013) – The City of Lakeland has scheduled a public hearing regarding the Wabash Avenue Extension Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study. The hearing is Thursday, August 1, 2013 from 6p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lakeland City Hall, 3rd Floor, City Commission Chambers, 228 S. Massachusetts Avenue in Lakeland, FL 33801.

 

The hearing begins with an open house at 6 p.m., when participants may review project displays and other documents and discuss recommended improvements with staff. A formal presentation begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by formal public comment period open to everyone.

 

The PD&E study is conducted to evaluate the location, conceptual design, and social, economic, and environmental effects of the extension of Wabash Avenue from Harden Boulevard to Ariana Street, a distance of approximately 2.6 miles. The study team is evaluating these improvements to address future travel demand and to provide for enhanced mobility and regional connectivity in Southwest Lakeland. The public hearing is conducted to present roadway concepts under evaluation and to obtain input from elected and appointed officials, property owners/tenants, business owners/operators, and other interested parties.

 

Project documentation is available for public review weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from July 11, 2013 to August 1, 2013, at the City of Lakeland Public Works Department at 228 S. Massachusetts Avenue in Lakeland, Florida 33801. These materials will also be available at the hearing.

 

Participants may provide public comment directly to a court reporter at any time during the hearing. Written comments can be submitted at this hearing or by mail to Mr. Greg Moore, 941 Lake Baldwin Lane in Orlando, FL 32814 or by e-mail to gmoore@drmp.com, no later than August 1, 2013. All written and oral comments will become part of the project’s public record.


Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status. People requiring accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or people who require translation services (free of charge) at the hearing should contact Study Team Project Manager Mr. Greg Moore at (407) 896-0594 or by e-mail to gmoore@drmp.com at least seven (7) days prior to the hearing.

 

Project-related information may be obtained by contacting Mr. Moore or Mr. Greg James, City of Lakeland Project Manager at (863) 834-6040; by email toGreg.James@lakelandgov.net or follow the City of Lakeland Public Works Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/fbcolpw.

 

 

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