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Lee County passes on City of Palms as a swim facility

City of PalmsLee County has decided to pass on a proposal to convert City of Palms Park, the spring home of the Boston Red Sox, to a swimming facility after National Swimming Center Corp. failed to provide detailed financial information.

The proposal would have converted Fort Myers’ City of Palms Park to a natatorium to host competitive swimming events once the Red Sox move out for 2012 spring training. While National Swimming Center Corp. threw out some rough figures — it would pay $22.5 million for the facility, with the county paying $11.5 million — sources of the revenue was never disclosed, so the county for the moment is passing on the proposal.

What becomes of City of Palms Park remains unclear. No MLB tenant is jumping at the chance to train there, and the county still owes upwards of $18 million in bonds on the facility. The more likely outcome is using the ballpark for concerts and higher-profile games while using the spring-training facility for youth tournaments.

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