The Lee County Sports Complex in Ft. Myers has been the spring-training home of the Minnesota Twins since 1990. It's a facility that's designed for the entire organization, with five full fields and two half fields, as well as a stadium that also serves as the home of the Ft. Myers Miracle (Class A; Florida State League) and the Gulf Coast League Twins. It's an interesting stadium: it features an outside facade that's supposed to invoke the feeling of Churchill Downs. There are only two levels of seats for spring training: box and reserved bleachers.
The Twins have trained in Florida since their days as the Washington Senators: 1936 to the present (except for the war years of 1943-45, when the team trained in College Park, Maryland). Most of those years were spent training in Orlando -- 1936 through 1990 -- while their minor-league teams trained in Melbourne from 1964-1989. The minor- and major-league camps were combined in Lee County in 1990.
The Boston Red Sox also train in Fort Myers, while the Tampa Bay Rays train in nearby Port Charlotte.
Spring Training History
The Minnesota Twins/Washington Senators have held spring training in the following locations: Phoebus, Va. (1901); Washington, D.C. (1902-1904); Hampton, Va. (1905); Charlottesville, Va. (1906); Galveston, Texas (1907); Norfolk, Va. (1910); Atlanta (1911); Charlottesville, Ga. (1912-1916); Atlanta (1917); Augusta, Ga. (1918-1919); Tampa (1920-1929); Biloxi, Miss. (1930-1935); Orlando (1936-1942); College Park, Md. (1943-1945); Orlando (1946-1990); Ft. Myers (1991-present).
The Lee County Sports Complex has been the home of the Twins for its entire history.
Ft. Myers has been home to several major-league clubs in its spring training history. Nearby Terry Park Stadium is possibly the oldest surviving spring-training stadium in Florida. It's just east of Ft. Myers and still heavily used by amateur teams. Lee County Parks and Recreation Director John Yarbrough wants to spruce up the 77-year-old structure in a historically authentic fashion and put a museum in the old ticket office illustrating the history of spring training in Southwest Florida and its impact on the area’s development and character. It hasn't been used for major league spring training since 1987 (when the Kansas City Royals trained in Ft. Myers); it was built originally as the spring-training home of the Philadelphia Athletics, owned and managed by Connie Mack.
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