High-A Tampa Yankees could move from Tampa to Ocala

J. Meric

A year after announcing the organization was exploring the relocation of their High-A affiliate from Tampa to Ocala, city staff will present an agreement it has negotiated with the Yankees to the City Council. If approved, the Florida State League franchise would move into a planned new ballpark only 90 minutes away from Steinbrenner Field where they currently play and where major league spring training takes place.

Nothing is official yet as the planned $45 million ballpark will need to be approved by the city council and the proposed five year half-cent sales tax plan to fund the project will have to be voted on by local residents. No vote has been scheduled yet as they still need to present the project publicly. The Yankees will also need to get approval from the Florida State League, Minor League Baseball, and Major League Baseball to determine if the move is in the best interest of the rest of the league.

The Yankees want to move in order to get away from the other professional sports teams in the area, like the Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Lightning. They probably also want to get some of their teams out of that stadium. On top of spring training and the Tampa Yankees, Steinbrenner Field is also home to two rookie-level teams, as well as extended spring training. Someone needs to move out and the High-A affiliate seems to be the right one.

If the plan is approved, the stadium could be open for the 2016 baseball season. The Tampa Yankees would likely become the Ocala Yankees, but it's unknown if they will even keep the Yankees moniker after the move.

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