The lack of a firm financing plan is forcing Rollins College and the Brevard County Manatees (High Class A; Florida State League) to put on hold plans for a new ballpark in the Ravaudage development in Winter Park.
The plan would have seen the Manatees and Rollins College share a new ballpark, with the developer picking up the cost. But with financing not settled, the pair are seeking a new ballpark blueprint.
News that the stadium idea fizzled came on the same day that the Winter Park City Commission unanimously approved the establishment of a community development district for Ravaudage. That quasi-governmental entity will allow developer Dan Bellows to issue tax-free municipal bonds and more quickly develop the project.
“The college is regrouping and assessing its options right now,” Mike Miller, Rollins’ development director, said of the proposed stadium. “Rollins is still committed to partnering with professional baseball to build a new stadium and host a professional team.”
Miller is coordinating efforts for a shared stadium with a group of private investors and said renovating the college’s existing Alfond Stadium remains an option. The investors, he said, felt there were “too many moving parts” with the site to make Ravaudage work.
Renovating Alfond Stadium at Harper-Shepherd Field will be a challenge: the current small ballpark is fairly landlocked, so bringing it up to pro specs and allowing for parking will require additional land.
RELATED STORIES: Developer pitches new Winter Park ballpark; Brevard County Manatees, Rollins College discussing new ballpark; Pro baseball an endangered species in Viera; Twins, Lee County negotiating over player dorms, naming rights at spring-training complex; Twins sign 30-year spring-training lease extension; Lee County: Twins spring-training improvements hinge on state grant; Twins present spring-training wish list to Lee County; Lee County to Nats: We really, really love you; If Nats leave Viera, will other teams follow?; Lee County commissioner: “50-50” chance Nats will move spring ops to Fort Myers; Lee County, Nats to meet about spring training; Lee County applying for state ballpark-improvement grant; Lerner: Fort Myers is tops on our spring-training wish list; Gammons: Nats present spring-training wish list to Lee County; Is Nats, Brevard County marriage over?; Nats go public with desire for new spring-training facility; Nats, Astros eying new Osceola County spring-training complex; Could Cards, Marlins leave Treasure Coast?; Kasten: Nats definitely looking for new spring home
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at email@example.com.
Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.