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There’s talk of a $100M Astros-Blue Jays spring training complex in Palm Beach Gardens

Nov 8, 2013, 11:21 AM EST

Grapefruit

The Grapefruit League is sort of at a crossroads. Defections to Arizona have left the teams in Florida more geographically remote from one another, and it’s especially pronounced for the teams on the Atlantic coast. The dual-team complexes in Arizona have proved to be efficient moneymakers for teams that have them too.

Against that backdrop comes word that, in addition to a new complex for the Marlins and Cardinals, there is the possibility of a $100 million dual complex in Palm Beach Gardens for the Blue Jays and Astros.

In the article the general manager of Roger Dean Stadium — where the Cardinals and Marlins are currently — talks about how another nearby complex would benefit everyone in terms of travel savings, sharing of resources and use of a modern complex by local youth and amateur teams.

And it does all make sense, as anyone who has traveled around the Cactus League can attest.  It’s all just a matter of who pays for it and how.

  1. stex52 - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Rumor around here is that the Astros are ready to ditch Kissimee. But I thought they would be looking for a place in Arizona with the AL West. But no deal is done yet.

    • jkaflagg - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      Agree….now that they are part of the AL West, it would seem they would want to join the other teams in their division in AZ and also look at moving their rookie league team from FL to AZ…..there must be some sort of financial angle to staying in Florida, i.e. a team like Toronto to partner with on a shared complex.

    • rohlo - Nov 8, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      houston is actually closer to florida short trip across the gulf of mexico.they have other instructional league teams in flrida too.it makes more sense for them to be in florida! i grew up in florida in cocoa beach nad we had a bar my parents did next to their old complex in cocoa florida and i met terry puhl,jose cruz etc as a kid..this was before i moved to houston in the 80’s ,but being out west it would be great to see some st games for the stros.it would be a short drive from here in san diego,but thye belong in florida still with the spring training etc…

  2. proudlycanadian - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    It is probably going to happen. It is no secret that the Jays want a new spring training site.

    • cur68 - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      Sure hope so. I’m living in nearby! I could go to some awesome ST games…..

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 8, 2013 at 7:07 PM

        It will still be a few years before anything is built.

  3. tcostant - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Yet the Nationals still can’t find a place in Florida that isn’t 90 miles away from the nearest team…

    • dwrek5 - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      That’s a pretty nice complex to just walk away from though.

  4. sdelmonte - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Good news for the Mets, who have been isolated in Port St Lucie for some time now.

  5. jbriggs81 - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    The blue jays spring training park in Dunedin is far and away my favorite spring training facility. It’s small, in a residential neighborhood, and has people from the neighborhood working the facility, which all provides for an old school charm. Plus they have brats and Labatts on tap. The park itself is nice and reasonably updated. I have no clue why they would want to leave. I would be bummed if they left.

    • kalinedrive - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      Mmmmm, brats on tap. /drool

  6. chiadam - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    $100 million for a venue to play a few dozen practice games in every year seems reasonable.

    • dwrek5 - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      Rookie team(s) can use it during the summer and/or can partner with a FSL team.

    • 1oldpro - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      The Astros use their facility year round. Spring training, extended spring training, Gulf Coast league short season rookie league. Florida instructional league and a major league rehab and workout facility. it will be great to have a new one closer to the other teams so that there is more ball and less travel. Plus, if you visit there you will get to see two home teams and two road teams a lot of times.

  7. jashton11 - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    First of all, a quick correction for Craig: the Marlins and Cardinals are NOT in talks to get a new complex and move out of Roger Dean Stadium. They were only at the city commission meeting to offer support for the proposed dual complex for the Blue Jays and Astros.

    That said, I went to an open house on the stadium proposal last month, and I used to live a couple of minutes up the road from where it’s supposed to go. From a baseball standpoint, the location would be great. It’s maybe a 10-minute drive to Roger Dean Stadium. Plus, the Mets would only be about 45 minutes away. With all the teams moving to the Gulf coast and Arizona lately, you can see why the Cardinals and Marlins (and Mets) would want this.

    On the other hand, the location may also be the biggest stumbling block. There are two communities and two schools right across the street from where this complex is supposed to go. The people who live around there are already mobilizing opposition, and this thing is still in the very early stages.

    I hope something ultimately gets worked out because I’m all for more Grapefruit League baseball on the east coast, but there are a lot of details to sort out to make everyone happy.

    • kalinedrive - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      He didn’t say anything about the Marlins and Cardinals moving out of Roger Dean Stadium, just that they supported another nearby complex for the Jays and Astros.

      • jashton11 - Nov 8, 2013 at 8:02 PM

        Maybe I misread it, but that seemed to be what this sentence was saying:

        “Against that backdrop comes word that, in addition to a new complex for the Marlins and Cardinals, there is the possibility of a $100 million dual complex in Palm Beach Gardens for the Blue Jays and Astros.”

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