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Twins sign 30-year spring-training lease extension

Minnesota TwinsThe Minnesota Twins and Lee County agreed on a 30-year lease extension to keep the team in Fort Myers, but the rest of the agreement — covering improvements and funding — is not yet public.

It’s an unusual situation, to be sure. And there are plenty of contingencies at play, so it’s not nearly important  — yet — as it will be down the road.

Here’s what is happening: The Twins and Lee County have an agreement for improvements to Hammond Stadium and the Lee County Sports Complex, largely unchanged since they opened in 1991. To fund these improvements, Lee County is seeking money from a Florida state fund designed to help keep MLB teams training in Florida. The deadline for applying for these fund is July 6, and one big part of the checklist used by state officials is having a new lease from the MLB team in place.

So the Lee County Board of Commissioners and the Twins agreed on a new lease, which will kick in once the complex improvements are made. If no improvements are made, then there’s no lease. And although there’s been some mention of what sorts of things would be included in a new lease — like player dorms and a player-development academy, elevators in the ballpark and more seating — nothing as of yet is public. With the board not scheduled to meet until late July, this lease in limbo will be refined by county staff.

RELATED STORIES: Lee County: Twins spring-training improvements hinge on state grant; Twins present spring-training wish list to Lee CountyLee County commissioner: “50-50” chance Nats will move spring ops to Fort MyersLee County, Nats to meet about spring trainingLee County applying for state ballpark-improvement grantLerner: Fort Myers is tops on our spring-training wish listGammons: Nats present spring-training wish list to Lee CountyIs Nats, Brevard County marriage over?Nats go public with desire for new spring-training facilityNats, Astros eying new Osceola County spring-training complexCould Cards, Marlins leave Treasure Coast?Kasten: Nats definitely looking for new spring home


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