SBD/August 20, 2013/Facilities

Osceola County Denies Nationals' Request To Build New $98M Spring Training Home

Brevard County hopes the Nationals will keep their Spring Training in Melbourne
The Nationals yesterday "struck out" in their efforts to get Osceola County (Fla.) to "build a new $98 million spring training stadium for the team in Kissimmee," according to Dave Berman of FLORIDA TODAY. The Osceola County Commission voted 4-1 against building the stadium for the Nationals "primarily using money generated by the county’s tax on hotel rooms, deciding against delaying the decision further." Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher said that he plans to "meet with Nationals’ officials later this week in an effort to persuade them to stay" at Space Coast Stadium in Melbourne. There is a "question, however, about whether the Nationals would be interested in reconsidering their plans to leave Brevard." The Nationals had tried to "sweeten their offer to Osceola County by increasing their proposed annual rent payments and agreeing to add a $3-per-ticket surcharge, the proceeds of which would go to the county." But that "wasn’t enough to sway the commissioners" (FLORIDA TODAY, 8/20). In Orlando, David Breen notes Osceola County "reached out to the Nationals about a year ago" because the Astros, who have trained in Kissimmee since '85, are "expected to depart for a new two-team facility in Palm Beach Gardens when their lease at Osceola County Stadium expires" in '16 (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/20).
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