Saturday, December 16, 2017

Pinellas May Give Blue Jays Free Pass on Lease Guidelines

PINELLAS COUNTY, Florida – In a lucrative deal to renovate and expand the Blue Jays’ longtime spring training home in Dunedin, county commissioners appear likely to waive county guidelines that suggests only contributing to expansion projects that lock the tenant in for 30 years or longer.

The Blue Jays and city of Dunedin have been negotiating only a 25-year extension in exchange for an $81-million project, funded mostly by county and state taxpayers. The failure to meet the county’s minimum guidelines for length of lease was first brought up on this blog more than a year ago, but the length of the extension has not changed.

County staff tells me the guidelines can be waived by commissioners, who have now affirmed their support for the project three times in the last year or so;   however, the Blue Jays and city of Dunedin have not yet locked down all the specifics of the deal, so it will still require one more commissioner sign-off.

That means the good people of Dunedin and Pinellas County are still waiting to enjoy all the made-up economic benefit the project will bring.

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