LEE COUNTY, Fla. — On Tuesday, the Lee County commissioners are expected to approve $130,752 tourist development tax dollars to give JetBlue Park a facelift.
The Red Sox spring training facility opened in 2012 and has gone through some wear and tear. Recent inspections show cracks in the concrete on the walls and walkways and some corrosion.
A study done by the county in 2018 showed spring training visitors spent $68.9 million in our area. Some local fans said paying for touch-ups is worth getting visitors to come back.
“I think you know when you have a facility that you already invested so much in the cost to keep it up and make sure that it’s looking pristine and perfect whether it’s paint or some rust or anything like that, I feel like that’s a great investment,” said Korey Hall of Fort Myers.
If the renovations are approved, the county will extend its contract with HighSpans Engineering for 240 days. Along with making repairs, the company would also provide additional engineering design for structural reinforcement. If approved, this would start next year after this spring training season.
Another agenda item on Tuesday’s list would add ductwork and an exhaust system to the players’ clubhouse to increase the ability to feed the players. This would cost $247,980.40 and would be paid for by the JetBlue Airlines donation fund. If approved, construction would start in January of next year.
“As long as the taxpayers don’t have to pay for that, I know the players whatever they can get that’s fine money-wise, but let’s face it, they’re not hurting in the wallet department. I don’t think we have to go pay for their meals, too,” said Jay Kershenbaum of Gateway.