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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Opportunity in spring training baseball to visit most desperate Florida counties

Certain counties in Florida are among the most depressed in the nation, so I checked to see which of those also host spring training baseball. In case anyone can't decide which parks to visit and would like to visit one or more in most desperate counties. In this example, I'm using the 'underwater mortgage' rank to determine neediest cases. The 3 most desperate counties each have a team, Astros, Mets, and Braves. Among top 30 US counties with highest percentage of mortgages underwater as of 9/30/10 (owners with mortgages owing more than homes are worth),
  • Osceola
  • St. Lucie
  • Orange
  • Flagler
  • Pasco
  • Broward
  • Lee
  • Polk
  • Hillsborough
  • Dade
  • Brevard
  • Hernando
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  • Osceola county- Houston Astros (Kissimmee)
  • St. Lucie county- NY Mets
  • Orange County- Atlanta Braves (near Disney World)
  • Lee County- Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins
  • Polk- Detroit Tigers
  • Brevard- Washington Nationals
  • Hillsborough- NY Yankees (In the past they haven't had trouble selling tickets, but Tampa is in a distressed county so it's on the list).
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  • Teams and counties still worth visiting who didn't make the first cut of underwater mortgages:
  • Manatee county-Pirates
  • Pinellas county- Phillies, Blue Jays
  • Palm Beach county- Cardinals, Marlins
  • Sarasota county-Orioles
  • Charlotte County-Tampa Bay Rays
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  • Here is another Florida misery index, the drop in populations migrating from other states, formerly a bread and butter group for them:
1/23/11, Map shows falling migration to Florida from other states, formerly Florida's bread and butter. Population drops by county are shown on this interactive map. Comparing 2005-07 numbers to 2007-09 numbers. Tampa Bay Rays counties hit hard, among others:
  • Pinellas county (St. Petersburg) -17.1
  • Hillsborough (Tampa) -23.7
  • Pasco -16.3
  • Hernando -30.8
  • Sarasota -11.2
  • Lee county (Ft. Myers) -19.1
  • Polk -20.7
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  • Florida unemployment is at 12 percent as of Dec. 2010. (cited 2nd to last para. in linked article)
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  • P.S. My best experiences were attending team practices and intrasquad games rather than the officially scheduled games. ed.

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