Can Spring Training Games Be Held in Fort Myers And Port Charlotte In 2023?

MLB is doing damage assessment of three facilities.

On the list of clean up and restoration priorities in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, baseball spring training is at the bottom. Nevertheless, at least three baseball training facilities, two in Fort Myers and the other in Port Charlotte did sustain some sort of damage and that means the Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays ownerships have to assess the structures and begin making plans for the 2023 spring training portion of the schedule. Twins management thinks the team’s stadium was largely spared from damage from the storm surge because it’s relatively far inland from the Gulf of Mexico. But there was damage to the batting cages, trees fell and cosmetic damage to buildings along with damage to some dugouts and batter’s eyes on the playing fields. The Red Sox Fort Myers ballpark apparently survived mostly intact, but there were toppled street signs, wind-damaged poles and fallen trees around the stadium. What is probably on hold and maybe on hold for a long time is getting proposals to build a stadium-village around the Red Sox ballpark. Fort Myers politicians in August sifted through three plans and were not satisfied with any of the proposals.

In Port Charlotte, it is far too early to know if Tampa Bay Rays spring training could be held in the city’s stadium and baseball complex. There was extensive damage to the facility. Other baseball plants in Florida seem fine. Major League Baseball spring training has been impacted by hurricanes. Cleveland lost its spring-training home when Hurricane Andrew wiped out Homestead back in 1992. Homestead lost baseball, but life went on as the town attempted to rebuild and Florida changed building codes statewide. Baseball seemed rather unimportant. Cleveland ownership went to Winter Haven for the spring training in 1993, Homestead rebuilt the baseball complex and MLB never came back.

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