People spending money to watch spring training baseball deserve some hustle and effort from all players including Ryan Braun.
Ryan Braun does not like spring training and putting any effort into a spring training performance. Apparently Ryan Braun has either forgotten or doesn’t really care that people invest money into his business in both Arizona and Florida and that part of his $19 million annual salary comes from various people who help enrich his industry. Given Braun’s attitude, at least he was public about his feelings, and some on field actions perhaps it is time to ask why invest in spring training? In Florida, Sarasota seemingly wants the Atlanta Braves spring training business. West Palm Beach spent a lot of money to get a stadium deal done with the Washington and Houston organizations.
The West Palm Beach facility is great just read the Major League Baseball website’s description that starts with fan-friendly amenities which actually means the teams are raising prices for something new while selling the same old stuff. Those franchises, Houston and Washington left behind facilities in Kissimmee and Viera which means that out of town money spent on spring training in Florida has shifted from Kissimmee in central Florida and in Viera on central Florida’s east coast to South Florida. But what happens to facilities that as of 2016 were Major League worthy?
Viera is attempting to fill the void by attracting youth and amateur baseball and softball tournaments. The U.S. Specialty Sports Association is moving to town leaving Kissimmee. Viera is losing the Florida State League’s local franchise to Kissimmee. Viera is hoping the sports association can generate business and fill local hotel rooms. As part of the deal, Brevard County taxpayers are throwing in $10 million for improvements to the Nationals old spring training facility. Kissimmee will have a minor league baseball team to help fill some of the dates in that town’s ball park. Both Florida and Arizona have histories of building facilities with help from the public that were briefly used and left behind. In Tucson, a ballpark build in 1998 for the White Sox and Diamondbacks still stands even though the teams are long gone. No one really knows how much spending really takes place for spring training or what the economic impact really is on local communities and states but Florida and Arizona communities keep over spending on complexes that are used and then abandoned by teams.
Ryan Braun should be happy politicians are spending money on facilities that help enable him to make millions upon millions of dollars.
One day, perhaps soon, the Milwaukee Brewers ownership might be looking to start a bidding war between Arizona and Florida in the quest of a new spring training facility.