Yankees Agree To Move Single-A Team Out Of Tampa

by Gavin Ewbank | Posted on Monday, October 28th, 2013
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The New York Yankees have reached an agreement to move their Advanced Single-A team, the Tampa Yankees, out from the confines of George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida — it’s also where the Yankees hold their spring training — to about 90 minutes north in Ocala, Florida.

The move was first reported over the weekend — you might have seen me tweet about it — and it will have no effect on the Yankees spring training arrangements, as they still have about 12 years remaining on a 30-year contract that has them tied GMS Field.

Even with the agreement in place, there is still a lot of work to be done in order to officially move the club. The deal must be approved by the city council and the sales tax would have to be voted on by local residents in a special election. The $45 million stadium, which would have to be built, will be presented to the Ocala City Council on Tuesday. No voting date has been set.

Kent Guinn, the Mayor of Ocala, says that the Yankees wanted to move the team out of Tampa because the team is tired of having to battle with the other Tampa Bays teams, like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who play just down the street from the T-Yanks, Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning — for attendance. With the other pro sports team in the area, minor league baseball isn’t very popular within the Tampa Bay area.

The Yankees finished fourth in attendance in the Florida State League last season, totaling 118,770, while averaging 1,827 fans per game. The Clearwater Threshers (Philadelphia Phillies) lead the league with 172,151 total fans and average of 2,608 fans per game. The Daytona Cubs (Chicago Cubs) finished second at 146,049 and 2,518, followed by the Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota Twins) at 121,832 and 1,904.

The Yankees have been looking at possible destinations for several years now, and rumors about them moving to the Orlando area came up a couple years ago, but nothing was close to happening until recently.

Gavin Ewbank covers the Yankees for Baseball Hot Corner. Follow him on Twitter, @GavinEwbank2013.

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Gavin Ewbank
About the Author

Living in always-too-hot Florida, Gavin an MLB Columnist for BHC. Apart from that, he occasionally covers high school sports for the Palm Coast Observer. You can follow Gavin on Twitter @GavinEwbank.

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