Tinker Field demolition halted for now; Citrus Bowl renovations continue



ORLANDO, Fla. - Mayor Buddy Dyer will keep the wrecking ball from demolishing the stands at Tinker Field for now, but Citrus Bowl construction will continue encroaching upon the outfield of the ball park.

Even though Dyer directed his staff to hold off on demolishing Tinker Field's grandstands, some people want the county to withhold funding from the Citrus Bowl construction until there is an actual plan to commemorate Tinker Field, which will soon have a much smaller outfield.

The planned demolition came to a sudden stop on Monday.

"At this time, I am directing staff not to move forward with the demolition of the bleachers and to further evaluate options," said Dyer.

But that statement isn't satisfying people who came so close to losing a piece of Orlando's history.

"I listened to Mayor Buddy Dyer make an insincere commitment to Tinker Field, where he temporarily only halted the destruction of the bleachers," said resident Mike Cantone.

On Tuesday, concerned citizens called on Dyer and commissioners to step in.

In October, commissioners voted to fund the Citrus Bowl renovations but they say they were not told about the possibility that Tinker Field would become unusable, something Dyer's chief of staff told Channel 9 he first heard in August.

"I pray that the county rethinks the hasty handing over of the money to the city," said one resident.

"We can't vote to stop it," said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. "We don't have that authority."

Jacobs said she'll work with Dyer to preserve the history of the field but since it is a city field, she said all she has the power to do is ask nicely.

Commissioners questioned whether the venues agreement provided funding to demolish Tinker Field.

The county administrator said there was nothing about the demolition in the agreement.