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Spring Training continues as fans deal with record heat in Southwest Florida

Posted at 3:48 PM, Feb 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 11:59:34-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It doesn’t matter who your favorite team is, there is something magical about the pop of a glove and the crack of bat.

Fans from all over the country are heading south not only to enjoy the warm Florida sunshine, but also America’s pastime.

But as Spring Training has gotten under way, fans are experiencing record heat in Southwest Florida. When Fox 4 asked one fan how he was staying cool, his answer was pretty blunt.

"We are not, we are really not," said Richard of Tampa, Florida.

Not being able to stay cool is right. Minnesota native Richard, says he's doing his best to stay hydrated, but since he now lives in Tampa, he knows the heat.

"It's just part of the deal," Richard added.

Richard was not alone, with plenty of fans noting Friday how hot it's been the last few days.

Kyle Whitney and his family are in Fort Myers on vacation. He says he has been spending plenty of time looking to stay cool.

"Going to the pool, staying in the shade," said Kyle.

His father echoed those words.

"That's what I heard. It's usually a little bit cooler than this, but anything is better than 20 degrees."

With our northern friends reminding us that we're still in Winter, the warm weather is why they come to Southwest Florida. Twins Director of Florida Business Operations Mark Webb says despite near record heat, Twins fans still are ready to get out of the cold.

"How can you not be excited to be in Florida this weekend,” said Webb. "We just got 20 inches of snow in Minnesota, and we have sunshine and warmth in sunny Southwest Florida."

And with the above normal temperatures expected to continue, Webb says for fans to stay cool and hydrated at the ballpark they can bring their own sealed water bottle.

"Our guests can bring in a 32 oz bottle of water, it has to be closed, or two 16 oz bottles of water, or they can bring in an empty container that they can fill at our water stations around the stadium," Webb explained.

And if you forgot your bottle of water, no problem.

"If they want a 12 oz glass of water with ice in it, we will provide that. Just ask for it and we will provide that," Webb added.

Webb also says fans should wear sunscreen and be aware of finding shade.

But unfortunately, not every fan here Friday will get to enjoy the first Twins Grapefruit game on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays.

"We are going to go home tomorrow on a plane and it's going to be 20 degrees. So, not looking forward to getting off that plane, back to the real world of cold."

As for the Red Sox, they will be up in North Port Saturday against the Atlanta Braves but will be back in Fort Myers Sunday to face the Rays. The Twins will be in Clearwater Sunday, squaring off against the reigning National League Champion Phillies. All games this weekend will start at 1:05 pm.