A proposed new Houston Astros and Washington Nationals spring-training complex in Palm Beach County is moving forward after receiving approval from West Palm Beach.
The proposal is a $135-million complex on 160 acres of land. To make it happen, Palm Beach County wants to trade two acres of prime downtown land to West Palm Beach for 160 acres of less desirable land. West Palm Beach officials had rejected the trade previously, but yesterday the plan the city commission approved a term sheet for the project that allows for the land swap and other financing details.
Palm Beach County commissioners are expected to discuss the trade today, as well as a term sheet for the complex, which could open as soon as 2017.
Getting a team back into West Palm Beach has ramifications past the two teams. Right now there are four teams — Washington, the Mets, St. Louis and Miami — training on Florida’s Treasure Coast. If that number dips to three, those teams have out clauses in their spring-complex leases, freeing them to move elsewhere. A new West Palm Beach complex keeps spring training on the Treasure Coast for years to come.
West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium hosted spring training between 1963 and 1997. Photo of Milwaukee Braves spring training is from 1965, courtesy of the city of West Palm Beach.