Indians explore spring training options - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Indians explore spring training options

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) - The Cleveland Indians are considering whether to move their spring training facilities away from the central Florida city of Winter Haven, a team spokesman said Tuesday.

The Indians informed Winter Haven officials that the team didn't have the money to build a new training complex there, spokesman Bob DiBiasio said.

While the stadium at Chain of Lakes Park remains is in good shape, the Indians have been unhappy with accommodations such as locker rooms and team offices.

The Indians' lease in Winter Haven goes through 2008, but the contract allows the team to break the deal at any time.

The Indians may still train in the city about 45 miles east of Tampa next season, but the club is exploring other options for a new spring home, including a return to Arizona where they trained in Tucson from 1947 until 1992, DiBiasio said.

"This comes as no surprise to us at the city," Winter Haven Mayor Mike Easterling said. "It is unfortunate that they choose to leave the city of Winter Haven, if they choose to do that."

DiBiasio said the team has voluntarily increased its rent to Winter Haven to help the city offset financial losses.

The Indians have trained in Winter Haven since 1993 after Hurricane Andrew wiped out the team's complex in Homestead.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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