Yankees minor league may move to Ocala - FOX 35 News Orlando

Yankees minor league may move to Ocala

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OCALA, Fla. (WOGX FOX 51) -

Ocala leaders are negotiating a deal to move the New York Yankees minor league Single A team from Tampa to Ocala. Officials have been talking with franchise owners since 2011 and they hope to have a deal pretty soon.  

Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn says that moving the minor league to the city could have a major impact.

"It's not just about baseball," he told Fox 35. "It speaks volumes about the type of community Ocala is. ... If I were a company looking to move to Ocala, the fact that we have a minor league baseball team would be important." 

If a deal is reached Ocala city officials plan to purchase and develop land along I-75 so that the stadium will be highly visible.

The city already has a licensing agreement with the Yankees, but it still needs approval from the Florida State League and Minor League Baseball. Building a stadium is a crucial benchmark to receiving that approval.

The proposed stadium would cost $45 million and could be garnered if voters approve adding a half cent sales tax over five years. If approved, it could generate more than $85 million.  

When Kent was asked whether he thought the measure would pass in Ocala, he was optimistic. "I think it'll pass. It might be close but I think it'll pass," he says.

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