MiLB to stay in Daytona

The Daytona Tortugas (A Advanced Florida League), former Daytona Cubs, have been sold to a new owner: Reese Smith III. The veteran sports operator announced that he will keep the team in Daytona and that he wants to stay in historic Jackie Robinson Ballpark. I always cheer for these kind of initiatives. Finally a new owner that doesn’t want to move. Smith: “We have no intention to move in the coming years. We like the market here.”

There is a but…. The current lease of the stadium only expires in 2022, so even if the new owner wants to move he can’t go nowhere, unless there is a clause in the lease contract that says if the club doesn’t draw a certain number of fans in a season, they have the right to move.

Jackie Robinson Ballpark was originally built in 1914, but the current grandstand and press box were built in 1962.

Next to the Tortugas, Smit owns the Jackson Generals of the AA Southern League. Smith has also owned stakes in the Nashville Sounds (AAA; Pacific Coast League), the Huntsville Stars (AA; Southern League) and the Greensboro Hornets (A full season South Atlantic League). With the acquisition of the Tortugas, Smith returns to Daytona. He did own the Daytona Beach Admirals back in the mid-eighties.

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