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Spring Training home could see $40 million update

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins' Spring Training home in Fort Myers, Fla., would receive more than $40 million in renovations with a new 30-year lease, under a proposal sent on Friday to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners.

Twins president Dave St. Peter and special assistant to the general manager Bill Smith made the announcement. The Lee County Commissioners will vote on the issue on Tuesday.

Under the proposed renovations, Hammond Stadium would receive a major facelift with seating capacity expanding from 8,000 to 9,300. The concourses would also be extended with a new outfield boardwalk around the playing field, including a party deck in right field.

The concession stands, bathrooms, suites and press box areas would also be renovated under the plan. Additionally, the dimensions of the field would be altered to match Target Field. The clubhouses would also be renovated, with a new weight room and hydrotherapy area being added.

The Twins would pay $13.8 million under the plan, with most of the cost coming via increased rent and a $3.9 million dormitory paid for by the Twins that would include 55 sleeping rooms for players and staff. The rest of the renovations would be paid for by a county bond issue.

Under the plan, the renovations would be complete in time for the 2015 season. The 30-year lease would kick in once the renovations are complete.

The Twins have been training at the Lee County Sports Complex since 1991. The Class A Fort Myers Miracle and Gulf Coast League Twins also play at Hammond Stadium.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.