Sports Village was humming this spring

Most activity since 1940s helps boost local businesses

Mike Piazza chats with guests at a Vero Beach Sports Village event. (

By Vero Beach Sports Village | April 14, 2011 9:23 AM ET

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Vero Beach Sports Village (VBSV) has experienced the most use of its 67-acre facility in more than 60 years over the past 45 days. Since March 1, when more than 70 teams began participating in its inaugural Spring Training program for high school and college baseball teams, VBSV diamonds have hosted more than 300 games, plus an average of three practices a day.

During this period, VBSV has also hosted the Italian National Baseball Team, three members of the Chinese National Boxing Team, two college swim and dive teams, and other organizations.

"The amount of volume that has been generated by the number of teams and organizations at Vero Beach Sports Village recently is what we had envisioned for this historic, multipurpose facility when we agreed to operate it," said Craig Callan, VP, MiLB-Vero Beach.

Callan was the director of the facility from 1988 until 2008, when it was known as Dodgertown. One year later, after the Dodgers had moved their Spring Training to Arizona, Minor League Baseball agreed to operate VBSV.

The 89 hotel-style villas at VBSV have been used for more than 8,600 guest nights since the beginning of last month.

The dining facility, which offers full or cafeteria style service, has prepared more than 25,000 meals this spring.

The high volume of participants and accompanying family members has provided local businesses, particularly hotels, restaurants, shops and gas stations, with an influx of business. An estimated 2,800 guest nights have been generated for local hotels as a result of the recent activities at VBSV.

"We are pleased to see that our activities at VBSV continue to positively impact the bottom lines of businesses in Vero Beach and Indian River County," Callan stated.

The use of VBSV in a 45-day period this spring has been, by far, the heaviest since the Brooklyn Dodgers fielded 26 teams when they held their Spring Training at the facility in the 1940s.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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