WINTER PARK, Fla. - Rollins College trustees have rejected a plan to build an on-campus baseball stadium in Winter Park, with the Rollins Tars and the Brevard County Manatees as its main tenants, according to Local 6 partner Florida Today.
Now, Winter Park city officials are looking at other locations for a stadium that could be shared by those two baseball teams.
Rollins had been working with Manatees owner Dr. Tom Winters and Winter Park officials on the proposed on-campus stadium. Winters, a resident of Winter Park, has indicated he wants to move the Manatees from Space Coast Stadium in Viera to his hometown.
But the executive committee of the Rollins board of trustees voted against pursuing the project, citing opposition from area residents.
Lauren Bradley, director of public affairs for Rollins, said at least 95 percent of the more than 200 letters and emails the college received about the project were from people opposed to it. Chief concerns were traffic and noise.
The proposal called for a 2,500-seat stadium and 480-space parking garage to be built on the site of the current 1,000-seat stadium owned by Rollins.
Bradley said nine executive committee members voted on the issue during a conference call, but she would not reveal the vote count. Rollins is a private school, and its trustee meetings are not open to the public.
Bradley said Rollins is "open to further discussions" with Winter Park about alternative, off-campus stadium sites.
City of Winter Park communications director Clarissa Howard said city officials are considering two off-campus sites that could be shared by Rollins and the Manatees.
She said Winter Park city commissioners could get a briefing on the other options as early as August.
Manatees officials declined to comment on the latest developments.
According to Winter Park officials, the Orlando metropolitan area is the nation's largest metro area without full-time professional baseball, although it does host major-league spring training.
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