Sayonara Sarasota?

Ed Smith Stadium

Not terribly in-depth, but here is a column from on what Sarasota stands to lose from the fans if the Reds leave town. It’s obvious that the Sarasota community will lose the economic stimulus of the fans that travel south to see the Reds. There are other considerations as well – Reds Fantasy Camp, the Sarasota Reds (The Reds Rookie League Affiliate) and other baseball events such as the State High School Baseball Tournament – they are thinking of moving elsewhere too.

Even more interesting, are some of the comments that the column has generated from locals who are glad to see a pro sports team leave:

Thank goodness. The only people that watch the games are the retirees anyway, and they aren’t exactly known for being big spenders in the economy. As they like to complain, while driving from up north in their brand new Cadillacs and Lincolns, to their second homes: “We’re on fixed income, we don’t have any money for _____.” I am sick of my tax dollars being wasted on this nonsense. More money for the schools- what REALLY matters. – toots2375

Local elected officials are FINALLY doing what their constituents want. Taxpayers are tired of paying for sports teams. It wont make a hill of beans of difference here. We have the beaches. We dont need no stinkig baseball team here unless they pay their own way. – srqpilot

All in all, it looks like the Reds already have one foot out of town. While many fans are disappointed with the possibility of the move, there seem to be an awful lot that are excited about Arizona.

While we are talking about Reds’ Spring Training and Ed Smith Stadium, there will be three different team members heading to spring training this year – all at different times. So, we’ll have a lot of first-hand spring training action for you right here.


  1. grandpaboy

    Moving to Arizona is stupid on so many levels – break from tradition, further from the organization, further away from the fan base and AZ is going to get pricier and pricier as the cost of water goes up.

    So basically, the Reds shoot themselves in the foot for short-term financial benefit. Surprising.

  2. Dan

    What tradition? The only tradition about the Reds being in Florida is them being in Florida. That’s it. It’s not like we are still training at the same facilities that we have been at since the 20’s. There is really not much history there. Ed Smith is a dump and no one is interested in flipping the bill to get it up to speed – including the Reds. If there is something else to it, please let us know.

    If the fans in Sarasota are that much into the tradition – they would have voted for the tax increase last fall. If they think the made a mistake by not voting it in then, they certainly didn’t make it known to the Sarasota powers that be – they voted to pretty much let the Reds move on.

    In this day and age – how much further is AZ than Florida? In mileage, yes… but I would have to guess that the majority of folks that go to SP fly down from the Midwest.

    Spring training is about getting the team ready for the season in a warm climate. That is the mission – and part of that is having the best possible facilities for the team. NOT looking into the Arizona offer would be ridiculous at this point. It seems quite obvious that these facilities will be better for the fans too.

    I can’t speak for the price of water in AZ, but what else about this deal would cost the Reds in the long run? I would be willing to bet that MORE fans attend games out there – based solely on the fact that all the clubs are in closer proximity to one another. More fans of other teams will come to games as well. The teams are much further apart in Florida, thus the travel time for fans and team is greater.

  3. Bay Rat North West

    Man this would be great if the Reds move to AZ. It’s a 10 hour drive and I can catch about 8 teams in 3 days if I want. Adding the Reds would mean 6 teams in 3 days as I would be at the Reds camp mainly. And water has no bearing on prices in the area.

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