Tortugas and the City of Daytona Beach Agree to Long-Term Lease and Facility Upgrades to Jackie Robinson Ballpark

November 16, 2023 - Florida State League (FSL) - Daytona Tortugas News Release

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Daytona Tortugas are pleased to announce the signing of a new lease with the City of Daytona Beach (CODB) that will allow the Tortugas to continue to call Jackie Robinson Ballpark home for the next 20 years, with options to extend the lease for an additional 10 years.

The partnership between the Tortugas and the CODB will continue a long and successful history of professional baseball in Daytona. Affiliated professional baseball has been played at the ballpark for over a century, following Daytona's Florida State League debut in 1920. "The Tortugas are ecstatic this proud tradition will continue for many years to come in Daytona Beach and I am excited for the future of the ballpark and the City of Daytona Beach," said Tortugas General Manager Jim Jaworski.

As part of the agreement, improvements are currently underway focusing on meeting standards set by Major League Baseball (MLB) across all minor league teams. The ballpark upgrades fans should see in the 2024 season include new LED field lights, a new batter's eye in center, and the replacement of the foul poles.

Owners Reese Smith, Bob Fregolle, Rick French, and Kyle McKuhen, want to thank the CODB for their support and passionate defense of the Tortugas' presence at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

"We could not be happier with our partnership with the CODB and that affiliated professional baseball will continue to be played at Jackie Robinson Ballpark for years to come," said Fregolle. "This partnership with the CODB will allow us to continue to showcase the MLB stars of tomorrow at the first-class facility that fans of baseball in Daytona Beach deserve."

Smith emphasized the new agreement would not have been possible without the commitment of Mayor Derrick Henry, City Manager Deric Feacher, Deputy City Manager Dru Driscoll, City Attorney Ben Gross, and the CODB administrative staff; along with the support of many other government and civic leaders who are choosing to invest in the necessary facility upgrades to ensure 'The Jack' meets new standards required of all affiliated minor league baseball teams.

"The facility is probably, from my perspective, second only to the home of Dr. Bethune as the most historically significant cultural touchpoint in our city." said Mayor Henry.

"On behalf of everyone at the City of Daytona Beach, we are delighted to continue our relationship with the Tortugas", said Deric Feacher, Daytona Beach City Manager. "We appreciate everything that ownership and the team have done to invest in our community and demonstrate their commitment to Daytona Beach. The ownership group and their staff have been excellent to work with and Tortugas fans are some of the most passionate in all of minor league baseball."

Fregolle also mentioned how much the team values the productive relationship it has with the Cincinnati Reds and Major League Baseball, both of which are key partners in creating an exciting baseball product in Daytona Beach. "It takes a village to create a beloved franchise that stands the test of time. "We are deeply appreciative of our committed stakeholders who have helped make the Tortugas one of Minor League Baseball's most beloved teams," he said.

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