The Florida Grapefruit League

Florida has been home to the Florida Grapefruit league for over 125 years. Each spring, 15 MLB teams more south to Florida to prepare for the season ahead, all while basking in the Florida Sunshine. Teams include: Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, and more.

The two teams near and dear to Fort Myers, FL are the Red Sox and Twins. Both teams have their own professional stadiums right in the heart of Lee County. During the Spring time South West Florida receives an influx of loyal fans and vacationers seeking out a Spring training game and of course the Gulf Coast beaches. Find out more about these two teams below!

"During the Spring time South West Florida receives an influx of loyal fans and vacationers seeking out a Spring training game."

Boston Red Sox Spring Training

Fort Myers, FL

 
It's that time of year, spring training has begun. Fort Myers, FL is home to the official Boston Red Sox spring training facility. Games start February 23rd and run through March 31st.
 
For those of you that are new to the area, the Boston Red Sox have made Fort Myers their spring training headquarters since 1993. Originally based out of the City of Palms Park, the facility soon proved to be too small and Jet Blue Park was rolled out. In 2012 construction was completed and the team began training there.
 
The new facility is one of a kind in the area. It can hold up to 11,000 spectators and boasts unique and similar designs.
 
The Red Sox signed a 30 year agreement at the new ballpark two years ago. [2012 when the park was built] “The facility is just phenomenal. It’s state of the art. It’s everything that we wanted and honestly we were just bursting at the seams at our old facility downtown,” said Haas.
 
Its design is partially based on Fenway Park in some overt ways (there is a Green Monster in left field) and some subtle ways. These subtle ways make the ballpark unique – and also different from Fenway Park or City of Palms Park.
 

Economic Impact:

 
Building Jet Blue Park was not necessarily done with pocket change. With taxpayer dollars, the county built the stadium for a little more than $105 million. Some of those dollars are still in use as the continue to renovate Hammond Stadium (home to the Minnesota Twins spring training). Although seemingly a large sum, spring training brings in roughly $25 million dollars in economic boost per team per year for the region, Lee County Parks and Recreation Director Dave Harner said it’s well worth the cost.
 
Spring training not only has a seasonal impact but long-term as well. Residents have permanently relocated to Southwest Florida simply because it is home to so many spring training facilities. The investment of Jet Blue Park, Hammond Stadium, and close by Tropicana Field has and will continue to have positive economic impact on the area.

The full season schedule can be found here.

"In the short time that the Twins have been part of the Lee County community they have made a significant economic impact on the area."

Minnesota Twins: Hammond Stadium

 
The Twins are spending their 27th Spring Training season at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in 2017.
 
The Minnesota Twins began spring training in Lee County in 1991, after 53 years in Orlando. For the first time, the entire Twins organization was located in the same place. In the short time that the Twins have been part of the Lee County community they have made a significant economic impact on the area. The Twins inaugural 1991 spring training season set the new grapefruit league attendance mark at 112,355, the best spring training record in baseball, 21-10, and the team went on to be Baseball’s World Champions.
 
About Hammond Stadium:
 
• Seating
 
• Concessions
 
• Ticket information 1-800-33-TWINS
 
• Hours: Monday - Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to dusk unless permitted.
 

Address:

Hammond Stadium at CenturyLink Sports Complex

14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway

Fort Myers, FL 33912

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