The Impact of Mlb Spring Training on Floridas Cities

By: Grant Eckert

More and more Major League Baseball teams are choosing areas in Florida to hold their spring training camps. This is done for several reasons. Due to the fact that the climate in Florida is very warm and very mild during the late winter/early spring months, a team from anywhere in the United States can start their spring training on time, and not have to deal with cold and snowy weather.

This allows teams to have the same advantage as every other team in the country. For instance, the Boston Red Sox cannot begin to train outside in Boston until late April, when the season opens. On the other hand, the Los Angeles Dodgers can train outside all year long. This factor contributes to the migration of many major league baseball teams to Florida to conduct their spring training.

The more teams that choose Florida for the site of their spring training, the more impact it has had on Florida's cities. Over the past ten years, as the number of teams conducting spring training in Florida has increased, millions of dollars have been spent in Florida's cities. The baseball franchises generate millions of dollars each season as well.

Since 1908, almost every MLB team has had their spring training in Florida. More than 30 cities have at one time had a training camp in that state. Currently, there are 16 cities in Florida that have training camps. These cities each host an MLB team, or sometimes more than one team.

The impact on the cities in Florida is easy to see, and easy to understand. For several months each year, the teams descend on Florida's cities. Many of the players rent apartments or hotel rooms, which puts money into the rental industry. Also, players bring their wives and families with them to spring training. This also means that more properties are rented, because there are more people to accommodate. Many of the players choose to simply buy homes in Florida, near where their training camps are being held. That way, they do not have to worry about finding a place to stay during the training camp. This is very good for the housing market in Florida in general, because it allows more homes to be sold. It also adds to the renting market, because many players rent the homes out for the rest of the year while they are not using them.

The impact on the economy is significant. During the month of training camp, which is usually March, there is at least $450 million spent in Florida due to the training camps. The stores, restaurants, and other venues where people spend money, are completely full during the month of training camp. More people flock to the stores and restaurants, and things like attractions, museums, zoos, and theme parks, are constantly booked.

It is not only the players and their families that help to boost the economy in Florida during training camp season. During these training camps, the teams hold practice games. These games are attended by at least 1.7 million baseball fans each season. Because the training camp season is only one month long, it means that an extra 1.7 million people descend into these cities and towns with one goal in mind, watching a major league baseball game. This is an additional boost for the economy, as all of these people need to have a place to stay, places to eat, and most likely, places to shop.

The vacation and tourist industry in Florida also flourishes because of the MLB spring training. This is because many people come down to Florida to see one game during training season, and end up making an entire vacation out of it. Usually, they will travel between a few towns, visit theme parks, eat at restaurants, and visit tourist attractions.

The month-long boost to Florida's economy is due to spring training. Florida exhibition baseball has been having a positive effect on Florida's economy for 100 years. The cities that host MLB teams see growth in all areas of their economies. However, with the increase in population comes increased responsibility. More police officers are required to handle extra people, and there is a definite impact on the actual towns. For instance, there is more garbage produced, and more problems arise due to bars and restaurants being overcrowded. Therefore, the cities in Florida must keep this in mind and must employ more people to deal with the influx of players and fans.

All told, however, the impact of the spring training camps on the cities in Florida is a positive one. It fulfills a major economic need within these cities, and many cities currently vie for the attention of other teams.

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