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Ocala could spend $53M to move N.Y. Yankees minor league team

 Ocala city leaders are aiming to land another minor league team in central Florida on the taxpayers' dime. (WFTV)
Ocala city leaders are aiming to land another minor league team in central Florida on the taxpayers' dime. (WFTV)
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Updated: 11/09/2013 10:54 am
OCALA, Fla. (WFTV) -- Ocala city leaders are aiming to land another minor league team in central Florida on the taxpayers' dime.

The city wants to spend $53 million to move the New York Yankees' minor league team from Tampa to Ocala.

A patch of ground along Interstate 75 might become the city of Ocala's Field of Dreams – a 4,500-seat stadium project.

The New York Yankees want to move their minor league team out of Tampa. Local leaders say it's a chance to land the number-one sports franchise in the world.

"People outside of baseball know the logo of the Yankees when they see that," Daniel Owen, of the Ocala City Council, said. 

The Ocala City Council and Yankee executives looked over the offer at a meeting.

The Yankees say Tampa has too many pro teams and said Ocala is better. 

"This market fits. We're going to be the only professional sports team in town," said Tony Bruno of Yankee Global Enterprises. 

Critics said the Yankees should pay for the stadium. But instead, it would be local taxpayers paying a half-cent sales tax over five years. The proposal would be put before voters on the ballot next March.

"This is the most asinine idea I've ever heard," said Ocala resident Dr. Rangaswamy Asokan. 

"I just think that the voters have a right to decide what they want to do with their own money," Mayor Kent Guinn said.
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