Indians Leave Florida, but Wahoo Still Remains

winter-haven-water-towerThe Cleveland Indians have moved their spring training headquarters from Winter Haven, Florida to Goodyear, Arizona.  Through the last month, we have heard about how extravagantly nice the new confines are, and that they will be used year round for different events.  Mountain views, improved technology, and better facilities for the players themselves.

It’s kind  of like when (for lack of a better example) Brad Pitt leaves Jennifer Aniston, and then all of his philanthropic, award-winning events are tied to Angelina Jolie.  Except instead of old magazine covers and the occasional piece of jewelry to remind Aniston of her former significant other, the city of Winter Haven has a constant reminder plastered to the side of their water tower.

The face of Chief Wahoo, a symbol of the departed Cleveland Indians baseball team, will continue to smile down on Winter Haven – at least for the remainder of the city’s current budget year.

Money to paint over the Chief Wahoo image, which is stamped into the city water tower at U.S. Highway 17 South and Post Avenue, S.W., won’t be available until at least Oct. 1, the start of the city’s 2009-2010 fiscal year.

City of Winter Haven spokeswoman Joy Townsend said painting a water tower is an expensive undertaking.  “Repainting the one in southwest Winter Haven is not budgeted at this time,” Townsend said Tuesday.

I do not know how much it actually costs to repaint a water tower.  But judging by the looks of the visual above, it does not appear that the city has even touched up the faded logo since it was applied roughly 16 years ago. Perhaps if they just wait it out, the graphic will disappear completely.

This is obviously another case of tough economic times coupled with the fact that one of the bigger (read: money making) attractions in Winter Haven, Florida is no longer there.  Given the typical demographic of Florida, income taxes are not likely to be topping any national lists.  Thus, residents will be forced to wait out the summer.  Personally, I think it adds a little color.  At least what color is left.  Sort of like Ziggy on the water tower in Strongsville. 

Good times.

(h/t to ShysterBall, whom is obviously not a fan of Sir Wahoo)