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Dunedin mayor asks county for baseball help

DUNEDIN — Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski paid a visit to the County Commission last week to ask commissioners to join in the city's efforts to build a new spring training facility for the Toronto Blue Jays.

She said as the city's contract with the team nears its December 2017 end, it's important to know the county financially supports the projected $50 million new stadium project.

"We the city of Dunedin and our residents feel baseball is of great importance to us and our county as a whole," she said. "We hope you do as well and will partner with us along with the state."

Bujalski presented numbers from an economic impact study that show the region gets roughly $80 million in economic impact during the six weeks of spring training. She said county hotels have at least 25,000 booked nights, and at least 60 percent of game attendees come from out of the county or state.

"We believe that spring training is a Florida economic and tourism driver," she said. "I would venture to say that (the Blue Jays) are watching this meeting with great anticipation, as many of our residents are, in hopes that you are as excited about spring training as we are."

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