Astros to be presented with spring site options
Astros owner Jim Crane said he is scheduled to meet with Palm Beach County officials on Thursday to be presented with three possible Spring Training locations within the county.
The Astros, whose contract at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla., expires at the end of 2016, would like to relocate their spring camp to Palm Beach County and have had recent talks with the Nationals about building a two-team facility in the area. Crane said the Blue Jays remain an option, though he hasn’t talked to them lately.
The team had hoped to build a facility with the Blue Jays in Palm Beach Gardens, but it hit a roadblock when citizens voiced concern over traffic.
“If we’re going to do something, we really have to have a deal signed by the end of this year to make sure have time to get something built,” Crane said. “That’s kind of the timetable. I think everybody’s leaning in and the last location got a little resistance from the locals. We think it’s still a good location, but we’ll have to see what they have to present with us.”
Having the Astros and one other club share a facility in Palm Beach County would give the area five teams and bring some financial incentives from the state. That being said, Crane said remaining in Kissimmee would be an option if there are some improvements, and he said the team could look to move its spring operations to Arizona as well.
“We knew we had some time when we started [looking for a new site] last year, and I think the next six months we need to get something signed if we want to make a move,” he said. “Certainly, we’d like to stay there and there might be some upgrades there, but we’re still looking at Arizona. All the doors are open, and we hope one of them shuts.”
Crane was given a tour of Tradition Field on Tuesday by Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon.
“This one has been here a while, and they’ve done a nice job of maintaining it and have some great common areas,” he said. “It looks like a very nice park.”