SBD/May 15, 2013/Franchises

Moving On: Nationals Likely Leaving Viera Spring Training Site After '15 Season

Nationals Spring Training could be headed for a new stadium in another county
Brevard County (Fla.) Commission Chair Andy Anderson said that the Nationals "plan to move their spring-training operations out of Viera, possibly after" the '15 season, according to a front-page piece by Dave Berman of FLORIDA TODAY. Anderson said that he had "received word that the Nationals are in talks with another county interested in using a combination of state funds and county tourism tax money to build a new stadium." He said that the Nationals will "not be renewing their lease at Space Coast Stadium in Viera." Anderson said that an official announcement is "expected within weeks." Anderson added that it is "unfortunate that state money is being used by one Florida community to lure a major league spring-training operation from another Florida community." Anderson: “I’m not mad at the Nationals. The Nationals are not at fault. I’m just mad at how the system worked. The Nationals have been a good community partner, but they’ve been offered a deal they can’t refuse.” The Nationals have "indicated that they definitely will hold spring training in Viera" in '14. Anderson said that if a new stadium is "built for the team in another county, it is unlikely it would be ready for the 2015 season," so the Nationals likely would be in Viera in '15 as well. Anderson said that one "potential site for a new stadium for the Nationals is the Osceola Heritage Park complex in Kissimmee," where the Astros hold Spring Training (FLORIDA TODAY, 5/15).
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