Florida's biggest concern now is losing the Houston Astros, which train in Kissimmee. The team's lease expires in 2016, and there has been talk of Arizona cities trying to lure the team out west.As I've written before, the Sunshine State is not in position to lose a spring training team, but maybe even pick one up from Arizona; City of Palms Park in Ft. Myers has been vacant since the Red Sox got a new $77 million stadium across town.
But maybe Governor Scott is truly concerned about the Grapefruit/Cactus competition. It would stand to reason Arizona would be just as concerned since its main draw, the Cubs, threatened to move to Naples in 2010.
Scott has two choices for keeping Grapefruit league teams in Florida:
- Offer state and local subsidies to keep building new and improved ballparks to keep teams (like the Baltimore Orioles);
- Speak to his friend, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, and agree that neither state would contribute public funds toward stealing the other's spring training teams.
Option No. 2 makes the most sense and is a win-win for both states; which is why my money is on Option No. 1.