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Sarasota Thursday, May 14, 2009 13 years ago

Ed Smith uncertainty to cost millions

by: Robin Roy City Editor

While the city and county continue spring-training talks with the Baltimore Orioles, millions of dollars are slipping away.

The Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB) said it is having to turn away lucrative contracts for high school- and college-baseball tournaments.

Due to the uncertainty over Ed Smith Stadium, the city has issued a directive to the SCVB not to book any events in the facility. Jason Puckett, the SCVB’s sports manager, said the region could lose more than $6 million this year as a result.

“We’ve had several event organizers attempt to plan future event in Sarasota, and we have had to inform them that the facility is not available,” said Puckett.

Those events include the Florida High School Athletic Association’s State Championships, IBC Baseball tournament, Big Ten/Big East Challenge, National Club Baseball Association tournament and RussMatt
College Baseball, which is billed as the largest spring college tournament in the country.

Read more in the May 21 issue of the Sarasota Observer.

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