Winter Park lures Brevard baseball team with new stadium

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WINTER PARK, Fla. - Winter Park city leaders approved a proposal that will bring a minor league baseball team to the area with a new stadium at Rollins College.

The city had a plan to bring the Brevard County Manatees to Winter Park and the Alfond Stadium proposal sealed the deal.

The Alfond stadium is home to the Rollins College baseball team, but coach Joe Bellini said they would be thrilled to share the field.

"People are pretty excited about it," Bellini told WFTV. "It's a win-win for the college, the city of Winter Park and the baseball programs."

The proposal went before city commissioners and the Community Redevelopment Agency Monday. It still needs final approval from Orange County commissioners. The proposal would mean $30 million in major upgrades to the stadium.

"The facilities would be a sale in a recruiting standpoint and tremendous for the kids already playing," Bellini said.

The renovation plans indicate the current stadium will essentially be torn down and a new stadium will be built that will hold 2,500 fans. The plans also include an onsite parking garage.

Winter Park's mayor sent out a notice to residents announcing the tentative stadium plans and the deal with the Manatees. The city is pledging $6 million to put the proposal into action.

Many people told Eyewitness News they were excited to have minor league baseball in town.

"We go down to Disney for spring training so it would be nice to have something here," Winter Park resident Judy Lee said.

"There are a lot of people who live here that would come," another resident, Loralee Rider, said.

The mayor estimates the economic impact on the city could be $60 million over ten years.