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DrShorebird

Orioles and Sarasota Talking Seriously Again

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I am the last person to defend Angelos but I can't help but think there is more to the story as to why there is no deal yet on a new or renovated ST facility...certainly all sides want a deal that favors them and what remains is what type of compromise can be reached...obviously any report given by the cities involved are going to make them seem like they are willing to compromise if the Orioles are willing...unfortunately it doesn't seem like the Orioles have made their positions clear to the public what they are after and what they are willing to settle for...

Unfortunately what is the killer for the team is until that happens we have a geographically seperated major and minor league facilities that are less than par with the rest of the teams in the state...

As for getting a renovated facility, I wouldn't look at that as a bad deal...I have seen what the Pirates did to their camp facilities in Bradenton first hand and I have seen photos of what the Rays got in a fix-me-up from the old Texas facilities in Port Charlotte and neither are nothing to sneeze at...

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This does seem to be taking a long time, but better to have it done right.

I do not know if any city is going to cave in, but we need a first class facility to house all operations in one place. If someone is leaving a hand-me down behind, it is likely because they received a better deal someplace else.

Until an appropriate (first rate) offer is made, any solution ought to be for a short multi-year interim period.

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The setup at Sarasota is likely to be similar to that of Ft. Myers, except the Orioles minor league park is slightly farther away in Sarasota, but it's minutes, not hours. Considering the county is willing to kick in $39 million to renovate both the ML and minor league ST fields and the Orioles only have to kick in $5 million, it seems like a no-brainer.

However the Orioles seem to be holding out for a new facility that nobody wants to build. We aren't the Red Sox, and Sarasota is offering the best deal on the table IMO...

Edited by JTrea81

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They want us to kick in 5 million and we can't seem to do that? How can this organization not be labeled as cheap if we don't take that deal?

Who is going to defend the Orioles if they walk away from that?

Where are you taking this from?

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Where are you taking this from?

The article that was posted:

And that proposal calls for a total renovation of both Ed Smith Stadium and Twin Lakes Park, where the Orioles conduct their minor-league operations.

The positive reviews for the $29 million renovation of Charlotte Sports Park provided fuel to the argument that such a rehabilitation would work in Sarasota, in this challenging fiscal environment.

Given that a face-lift of Twin Lakes is part of the package, the price tag would be higher, around $39 million, the project funded primarily by state and tourist-tax money.

Sounds doable, right? Not to the Orioles, whose construction people have pegged the renovation cost at closer to $50 million.

By the way, the county's number is without any monies whatsoever from the Orioles. If you remember, the Reds were willing to kick in $9 million for their own renovation, the Red Sox $7 million for an entirely new facility.

I've been told that if the Orioles returned to Sarasota in good faith and agreed to a $5 million contribution, the deal would get done.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090319/COLUMNIST/903191057/2127?Title=Offer-is-for-the-Birds

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IMO, the article is a bit vague - and clearly written with disdain for the Os - not very professional or objective, IMO.

The article says the county's offer would not require any $ from the Os, but then says the Os should kick in $5M to get a deal done.

Assuming the "county's number" is $39M, the Os could be on the hook for as much as $11M if the cost is closer to the $50M estimated by the Os. That would require a contribution in excess of the $7M from the Red Sox and the $9M from the Reds.

Only if the city would agree to build to the Os $50M estimate with a $5M contribution from the Os, would I take away that the Os are rejecting a quality offer.

Otherwise, it seems that there is still work to do on the facility priorities to get to a narrower range of the build estimate, and then negotiate over how much the Os should contribute.

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I received the following e-mail from a member of the committee to bring the Orioles to Sarasota. This e-mail was directed to the Sarasota Commissioners.

"When the Sarasota commissioners vote to accept, or not, the Baltimore Orioles into our community as the franchise we want to embrace for spring training baseball, it is not just the game that is being relocated. Oriole owner Peter Angelos has given back millions of dollars to the Baltimore community’s charitable organizations. One would assume that Sarasota business leaders would love to see Angelos bring his charitable prowess for our area as well.

In addition, the potential for Sarasota tourism to be advertised on Angelos’ Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) in both Baltimore and DC, and down the mid-atlantic region, could add a financial component to the deal that is not measurable. Sarasota has a beautiful, upscale downtown and is very focused on the arts. They have a lot more to gain from a Baltimore/DC and mid-atlantic audience than they could ever hope to get out of Cincinnati or Boston. MASN serves a 7-state area, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Charlotte, North Carolina and parts of West Virginia.

Because the network is locally owned, MASN is able to bring more of the game to sports fans across the region. MASN features in-game programming enhancements and special access to the teams and their players that only a team-owned RSN can provide. Finally, no baseball franchise can also bring Cal Ripken baseball.

Below are just some of the examples of the Orioles giving back to their community:

Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation The Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation and the Baltimore Orioles, Inc., support many civic and charitable organizations with the goal of enriching the lives of fans throughout Birdland. Since the ownership group led by Peter Angelos purchased the team, the Baltimore Orioles have donated more than $9 million to support various organizations in the Orioles' community.

CareFirst and the Orioles Team Up to Help Children Each time an Orioles pitcher records a strikeout in 2008, CareFirst BlueCross/BlueShield will donate $25 to the YMCA of Central Maryland. In 2007, the YMCA received $25,000 from the partnership.

Saves for Shock TraumaThis season, corporate partner Kelly & Associates has once again pledged a donation of $2,000 to the University of Maryland Medical System's R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center for every save recorded by an Orioles pitcher. In 2007, $56,000 was raised to help UMMS save lives.

"Giant" Support for Area Programs On May 31, Orioles' corporate partner Giant Food presented a check to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine for $1 million and a check to the Children's Cancer Foundation for $500,000. The money was collected through Giant's Triple Winner Game, a scratch card promotion that gave shoppers the chance to win prizes for donating to fight pediatric cancer.

Sakrete and the Orioles Help Baltimore Homeless Last September, Sakrete Concrete and the Orioles presented a check for $8,600 to HomeAid, a leading national non-profit provider of housing for the homeless. Through the Sakrete Diamond Play of the Game program, funds were raised during each Orioles home game to help homeless people in the Baltimore area. "

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Sarsota may be about to be played for a sucker by an Investment Banker. Sound familiar?

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090321/ARTICLE/903211052

“New Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, an investment banker, sent an e-mail to Sarasota County commissioner Joe Barbetta on Thursday saying that once his family's purchase of the Cubs is finalized by Major League Baseball, "we may contact you at that time."

Barbetta was cold to spending money on new stadiums for the Reds or Orioles. But he said landing the Cubs is different.

"The Cubs as an entity are an economic development engine," Barbetta said.

He said the tourism dollars that could flow in from the Chicago area would be immense compared with what would come from smaller market teams in Baltimore or Cincinnati.

State Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, who grew up in Chicago rooting for the Cubs, said the idea of bringing the Cubs to Sarasota is exciting.

But after watching negotiations fall apart with three other teams, Detert worries that the Cubs could just be feigning interest in Sarasota to get a better deal elsewhere.

"We're interested in playing ball; we don't want to get played," said Detert, who was responsible for winning $15 million in state financing for Sarasota if it does get another team to sign a 30-year lease to train in Sarasota.

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Sarsota may be about to be played for a sucker by an Investment Banker. Sound familiar?

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090321/ARTICLE/903211052

“New Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, an investment banker, sent an e-mail to Sarasota County commissioner Joe Barbetta on Thursday saying that once his family's purchase of the Cubs is finalized by Major League Baseball, "we may contact you at that time."

Barbetta was cold to spending money on new stadiums for the Reds or Orioles. But he said landing the Cubs is different.

"The Cubs as an entity are an economic development engine," Barbetta said.

He said the tourism dollars that could flow in from the Chicago area would be immense compared with what would come from smaller market teams in Baltimore or Cincinnati.

State Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, who grew up in Chicago rooting for the Cubs, said the idea of bringing the Cubs to Sarasota is exciting.

But after watching negotiations fall apart with three other teams, Detert worries that the Cubs could just be feigning interest in Sarasota to get a better deal elsewhere.

"We're interested in playing ball; we don't want to get played," said Detert, who was responsible for winning $15 million in state financing for Sarasota if it does get another team to sign a 30-year lease to train in Sarasota.

On checking out the website, springtrainingonline.com , Sarasota may not be the Cubs first choice and even if they do pick Sarasota it's not totally out of the possiblity that a renovated Ed Smith for the Orioles is not out of the picture...

"In his annual spring meeting with reporters, Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney admits the team's days at Mesa's HoHoKam Park are numbered and says the team is looking at a new spring-training home.

The issue: the team practices at Fitch Field and plays at HoHoKam Park. While HoHoKam Park is a perfectly fine facility and the Cubs are a great draw -- perennially leading the Cactus League in attendance -- the ballpark lacks the luxury amenities you find in the new spring facilities. When you have luxury, you have bigger bucks (in theory; the Dodgers and the White Sox found out differently this spring at Camelback Ranch Stadium). And with Tom Ricketts closing on the $900-million purchase of the Cubs and Wrigley Field, the more bucks the better.

Hence the search for a new spring-training home. With a renovated HoHoKam Park apparently already out of the picture for the Cubs, the team has been casting about for a new spring home, either in Arizona or Florida. It would certainly be a long-delayed return to Florida should the Cubs return to the Grapefruit League; the team last trained in Florida in 1916, when the Cubs set up shop in Tampa.

We hear three locations are at the top of the Cubs' nascent wish list: a new ballpark on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Chandler, a Mesa location next to a proposed Gaylord hotel/convention center, and Sarasota in Florida.

All three have some advantages. It's no secret the Gila River tribe has been on the prowl for spring-training team, having already responded to a request for bids from the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. The tribe would need to change its plans to attract the Cubs: the bid was for two teams, but the Cubs are making it very clear they have no plans to share a facility with another team.

The surprise contender in all of this: Sarasota. Really, on one level it's not a surprise: Sarasota's demographics are absurdly strong, there's already interest in town for spring training, and the city has a location -- Payne Park -- already in place. (The Cubs aren't interested in a renovated Ed Smith Stadium; their demands are for a new facility.) Plus, there's already a pot of money on the table, one that may be sweetened if the Cubs express strong interest in the city. We're also told the Cubs' Florida list begins and ends with Sarasota; they're not interested in Dodgertown or Fort Myers, and they don't see any new complex in Orlando being a realistic proposition."

http://www.springtrainingonline.com/200903221405/news/cubs-new-home.htm

Edited by GulfBird

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Found another article getting to the crux of the matter. It appears the Orioles and Sarasota are only $6 million apart and the O's want Sarasota to fund the full $50 million...

In January, Commissioner Joseph Barbetta was asked to enter a "protracted discussion" with the Orioles, "which had stalled after their rejection of our offer in late December," he said.

There was a "loose" agreement to take another look at the situation and try a proposal that included complete rehabilitation of the Ed Smith complex, and utilizing the existing Twin Lakes site (now used by the Orioles minor league team), with renovations there also, Barbetta said.

Barbetta said after meeting with two local contractors, "The price for all this came in at approximately $44 million."

But the Orioles declined another meeting, Barbetta said, "unless we were willing to state, in writing, that $50 million would be the figure available for this project. We found that unreasonable, particularly in this economic environment."

C'mon Angelos, you can't come up with $6 million to improve the ST situation? :rolleyes:

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Found another article getting to the crux of the matter. It appears the Orioles and Sarasota are only $6 million apart and the O's want Sarasota to fund the full $50 million...

C'mon Angelos, you can't come up with $6 million to improve the ST situation? :rolleyes:

Once again, all the info seems to come from the side of the city and nothing from the O's to refute their claims...to me that makes it a bit suspicious...

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The Sarasota COUNTY Commissioners (not Sarasota City Commissioners) MAY discuss the Orioles tomorrow (Tuesday April 14) in reagrds to locating them in the County. The agenda is full, but one commissioner hopes to bring up the discussion.

The prognosis is NOT good, as in spite of good support from some commissioners, they seem to be short of the goal in funds, even though they have the land and can raise a hefty amount without City funds.

Several of us (local fans) are in regular contact with the commissioners with polite, but mixed results. At least two or three are working hard to bring this about, but they have huge hurdles to overcome.

If you would like to help secure a first class spring training facility for the Orioles majors and minors, please send a supporting and polite e-mail to the following commissioners.

Joe Barbetta jbarbett@scgov.net

Shannon Staub sstaub@scgov.net

Caroline Mason cmason@scgov.net

Nora Patteron npatters@scgov.net

Jon Thaxton jthaxton@scgov.net

Thank you

Edited by DrShorebird

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