Ocala leaders drop plans to lure Yankees minor league team



OCALA, Fla. - Ocala city leaders are preparing to cancel their plans to lure the New York Yankees minor league baseball team to the area.

A Ocala City Council meeting was held Tuesday afternoon, during which the plans were discussed.

Renderings of a proposed Yankee stadium are still displayed in the city's lobby, but now they'll probably end up in the trash.

The city's plans to bring minor league baseball to Ocala and build a $53 million stadium have come to a halt.

"Sometimes we win some and sometimes we lose some. This is one that looks like we may not be able to make a success," Assistant City Manager Marc Mondell said.

A letter obtained by WFTV essentially terminates the city's offer to buy the land the stadium would have been built on along I-75. The city needed the Marion County Commission to authorize a special election so voters could decide whether to approve a half-cent bump in the sales tax to pay for the stadium.

But the commission hesitated, and the Yankees decided to move on and consider other options.

"This was an opportunity to have the New York Yankees. The number one sports franchise in the world coming into our town. From that standpoint, I'm disappointed, but we went through the system and we tried hard. At the end of the day, it just didn't work out for us," City Council President John McLeod said.