In a newspaper interview, MiLB President Pat O’Conner lays out an initial game plan for Vero Beach’s Dodgertown that calls for some upgrades and the possibility of MLB spring training — but we’re not holding our breaths.
In a newspaper interview, MiLB President/CEO Pat O’Conner lays out an initial game plan for Vero Beach’s Dodgertown that calls for some upgrades and the possibility of MLB spring training — but we’re not holding our breaths.
Assuming a lease can be finalized, O’Conner says MiLB plans to take control of Dodgertown and Holman Stadium by June 1 and immediately implement some improvements, including the installation of lighting on four diamonds and the conversion of two practice fields to youth fields. The immediate plan is to use the facility for youth and college games and tournaments — which we’ve said all along is the best (and probably most profitable) use of the historic facility.
Of course, the big issue for the newspaper is the return of MLB spring training, and it’s an issue O’Conner handles of tact, saying it’s something MiLB would be open to hosting at Dodgertown. O’Conner says there’s "superficial" interest among MLB teams in Dodgertown, but we think he’s being diplomatic for the sake of the hometown newspaper: from what we’ve been told Dodgertown has totally fallen off the radar of the Baltimore Orioles, with Fort Myers the preferred destination and Sarasota serving as a backup.
(One thing left unaddressed in this interview: the future use of Dodgertown as a moniker for the facility, something that apparently requires the approval of the Los Angeles Dodgers. That future is somewhat cloudy after the Dodgers and Los Angeles received approval from the Postmaster General to call the 276 acres around Dodger Stadium Dodgertown.)
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