Naples deal falling through

November 14, 1991|By Mark Hyman

Prospects for the Baltimore Orioles setting up a spring-training home in Naples, Fla., have gone from remote to practically zilch.

A week after public funding for the project was thrown out by a Florida court, Collier County commissioners dealt the project another setback this week. By a 3-2 vote, the commissioners rejected the proposal that would have provided real estate on which the project was to have been built.

J. D. Nicewonder, a local real-estate holder, had offered to donate land for the Orioles complex. The gift was conditional on the county agreeing to rezone adjacent property he owned for commercial use.

Two weeks ago, Orioles officials spoke of perhaps moving into a state-of-the-art complex in Naples for spring training of 1993. Now, there is no money to build the stadium and no property to build it on.

Orioles senior vice president Tom Daffron, who has spearheaded the team's spring-training negotiations said last night, "We're disappointed. We will be exploring all alternatives."

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