Dunedin mayor: Start "planning for life after the Jays"
Dunedin Mayor Dave Eggers’ latest weekly check-in with Toronto Blue Jays president Paul Beeston indicates that the city hasn’t moved any closer to persuading the team to extend its spring training contract beyond 2017.
In an Aug. 8 email to City Manager Rob DiSpirito and Dunedin parks and recreation director Vince Gizzi, the mayor recounted a phone conversation three days earlier with Beeston.
He said Beeston revealed that the Jays were sending a rep to Palm Beach Gardens on Florida's east coast to discuss proposed plans for a joint stadium that would house the Jays and Houston Astros. Beeston said the state is eager for the matter to be "settled."
“He was told that the Astros seemed close to working out the terms and conditions. In any event it appears to be moving forward,” Eggers wrote. “… I got the distinct impression that if ‘things’ work out on the east coast, we, the residents and his fellow Canadians might not even get the opportunity to try and keep the Jays in their home of 36+ years.”
Eggers said the city should keep in close touch with its east coast contacts and state Sen. Jack Latvala about happenings over that way. He also recommended that city staffers start preparing a commission meeting discussion item outlining how they are “planning for life after the Jays.”
“I am not trying to sound negative,” Eggers wrote, “but I have yet to get one positive signal of dialogues to come or true consideration for Dunedin to be their home for another couple of decades.”
Eggers copied Beeston on the email in case he wanted to clear up any misinterpretations.
Beeston didn’t reply.