The Nationals and Astros have been trying to get funding for a new spring training complex in Palm Beach for some time. As Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports, they may finally be getting what they want:
The Nationals’ longstanding search for a new spring training home took a potentially significant positive step forward Tuesday when Palm Beach County commissioners voted to approve funding for a complex that would house both the Nats and Houston Astros.
By a vote of 5-2, the county commissioners approved to allocate $108 million in hotel tax revenue for a proposed $135 million, two-team stadium complex.
The clubs must first find a site. If they don’t do so in 90 days, they lose the money. If they do, the new complex will be ready for spring training 2017.
The Palm Beach location is important for more than just these two teams. If they had left the east coast of Florida for either the Gulf coast or for Arizona, it could have imperiled spring training on that whole side of the state. The Marlins, Cardinals and Mets are on the east coast, but they need some other teams to make things make sense logistically. While the Astros would be leaving central Florida for the new facility, the Tigers and Braves remain there and are still relatively close to the several teams around Tampa Bay.