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Red Sox Offers Ray of Hope in a Slumping Economy...

January 14, 2009 - Gary Tasman
Last Saturday I wrote an article about the benefits of having a high-profile sports team here in Lee County. Boston Red Sox fans are some of the most loyal fans and many will vacation here bringing their dollars to our local economy.

I discuss a variety of benefits, both direct and indirectly. I received several emails regarding my support of this project and I am always happy to receive emails about my column. I like to know what the readers of my column think and this is one of the ways I get an opportunity hear what the public thinks.

As I state in my column, "think of the spring training facility as a big shopping center. First you have to get the anchor, then the junior boxes and restaurants that make up the entertainment component. If built in one of the more visible prospective sites (near I-75 in south Lee County), the university and airport would be the anchors and the Red Sox stadium would be the entertainment component. More important, the facility also could help illustrate to visiting baseball fans that Southwest Florida is progressive, accessible and beautiful, thereby serving as an economic development showcase.

The bottom line is this: Since the county commission has made the decision to build the new spring training facility, let's leverage their decision in a way that will steer businesses and employment opportunities our way."


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