- February 6, 2012
Lee County taxpayers won't be the only ones backing a spring-training stadium for the Boston Red Sox. Turns out, the nation's taxpayers are on the hook, too.
Lee County recently sold $81.2 million worth of municipal bonds to build a new spring-training stadium for the Boston Red Sox, Bloomberg reported. The baseball team's owner, commodities hedge-fund billionaire John Henry, threatened to take the team to Sarasota or somewhere else unless Lee County agreed to build a new stadium to replace the aging one in Fort Myers the Sox practice in today.
But it turns out the federal government played a big role in subsidizing the bonds whose proceeds will be used to build the stadium, Bloomberg reported recently.
Lee County's bond sale included $42.5 million of taxable Build America Bonds, which carry a 35% interest-rate subsidy from the federal government. In addition, the county sold $37.4 million in Recovery Zone Economic Development bonds, which have a 45% federal subsidy. Lee County sold just $1.3 million of its own tax-exempt debt.
The new stadium will open for the 2012 spring-training season on land east of Interstate 75 off Daniels Parkway.