Plant City Stadium is set for a new purpose, as city officials have approved an agreement for the XFL to set up operations at the former Cincinnati Reds spring-training facility.
Spring-training home of the Reds from 1988-1997, Plant City Stadium has been used more recently as a softball complex. It is now poised to be used for XFL operations, the result of an agreement with Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment, LLC that was approved by Plant City officials this week. Under the terms of the two-year deal, the XFL will use a portion of the facility for training and practices, a media center, and other operations.
Renovations will be made as part of the arrangement, with Alpha Entertainment, LLC to cover the cost of changes to the facility and complete them months ahead of the XFL’s spring 2020 inaugural season. More from the Plant City Observer:
City Manager Bill McDaniel said the renovations to the stadium that the league requires will be fully funded by Alpha Entertainment, LLC. The group reached out to the city around the state time the Sheffield Sports Village deal was coming to an end. The timing was perfect and McDaniel joked that even though he isn’t even remotely interested in football, he dove right into his research to see if this would be a good fit for the city.
Currently, the facility is used by the International Softball Federation and the XFL wants to do many interior renovations before the training starts. They’re trying to get in early to get started and are in the process of speaking with the current tenants to see if they can get early access to portions of the property to begin the preliminary work. The renovations will begin Nov. 2 and the team hopes to be ready to roll by the time December training begins.
“We always want to make sure that we are protecting the assets of the community,” Vice Mayor Nate Kilton said. “It’s great that we have the opportunity to utilize the assets we have in Plant City that are under-utilized.”
Kilton said by entering this partnership, Plant City is “stepping up” and showing the city is prepared to be a part of the greater Tampa Bay sports scene. He said it’s crucial the city really starts to think about its Urban Forest and ensure there is a planned long-term use for all of its assets.
The facility will be used for training by the Tampa Bay XFL squad, which will play home games at Raymond James Stadium. For more XFL coverage, see sister site Football Stadium Digest.
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