Astros and Nats could partner for spring site
The Astros and the Nationals could possibly share a Spring Training site in Palm Beach County, Fla., the team’s general counsel said Tuesday.
Giles Kibbe, who’s spearheading the team’s efforts to relocate its Spring Training operations from Kissimmee, Fla., following the 2016 season, said he met with Palm Beach County representatives last week and has also a brief conversation with the Nationals.
“I know that the Washington Nationals have now expressed an interest in moving down to Palm Beach County and they’ve met with Palm Beach County representatives, so we’re just kind of looking forward to seeing the different potential site sand trying to make this happen,” Kibbe said.
Kibbe said the team is going to meet again in a couple of weeks to look at some potential sites and to discuss some financing issues.
The Astros had hoped to build a two-team facility to share with the Blue Jays in Palm Beach Gardens, but that plan fell through following stiff opposition from residents. The team has since explored other options in Palm Beach County – its preferred location – and even Arizona.
“I know that Palm Beach County has met with the Nationals,” Kibbe said. “I don’t know if they’ve met with the Blue Jays recently, so I don’t know where the Blue Jays stand on this.”
The Astros’ lease at Osceola County Stadium expires at the end of 2016, so construction on a new site would have to begin by the end of this year for completion in January 2017. The Astros prefer a two-team facility for financial reasons.
The Nationals would like to leave Viera, Fla., and put their spring site closer to other teams. Their lease at Space Coast Stadium expires at the end of 2017.