The new Palm Beach Gardens complex, to be shared with the Toronto Blue Jays (though, we hear, the agreement is not final), would be located within a close drive of Jupiter’s Roger Dean Stadium, setting up a nice four-team interchange with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins.
That the team is seeking a new spring home is no surprise: Osceola County Stadium is the smaller facility in the Grapefruit League and lacks many of the amenities most teams are looking for in a spring complex. In this case, “spring” is perhaps a misnomer: teams now use these facilities for pre-spring workouts, rehabs, rookie games and extended spring.
Barring an unforeseen setback, the Astros and Toronto Blue Jays will share a facility in Palm Beach Gardens in the same manner the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals share a facility in Jupiter, Fla.
“It’s nothing against Kissimmee, but if you ask our guys our facility is 28th out of the ones that are out there,” Crane said. “It’s outdated. I think we’ll get all the final approvals no later than the fall. You can’t press city hall. If it was a business deal we’d be done with it by now, but they work at their pace.
“It’s a very positive environment down there for it, and the city wants to get it done. It requires zoning and some land they want to get in position. It’s a good location, and it will be better for everybody, the fans, the players, the traveling, all sorts of different things. For the media, the hotels are closer, better restaurants.”