SBD/January 8, 2014/Facilities

Astros Could Look To Arizona With New Florida Spring Training Facility In Limbo

Astros execs have long wanted a Spring Training facility in Palm Beach Gardens
Astros General Counsel Giles Kibbe said that with the team's "proposed site for a new spring training stadium in Florida in limbo," the team is "'absolutely' going to again look into a move to Arizona," according to Evan Drellich of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Kibbe: "I've been over there several times. Before we started serious discussions with Palm Beach Gardens, I had been looking at sites in Arizona, and talking to a lot of different people there. It's time to renew those discussions." Drellich noted the Astros have "long hoped to be able to move to a new stadium in Palm Beach Gardens." They would "share that proposed stadium with the Blue Jays, but the plan has been met with local opposition." Kibbe: "I'm kind of waiting to hear from Palm Beach County as to what other sites they would like for us to look at. I would expect that it's going to happen sometime in the next three weeks, but I don't know that." A Palm Beach Gardens city council meeting is scheduled for tomorrow night, but there is a "time limit for the Astros to be able to move to a new stadium" for spring of '17. Kibbe said that the Astros by the end of '14 "need to have a plan finalized ... ideally sooner." Kibbe: "Just knowing the construction schedule on this project -- we need to know something by the end of this calendar year" (CHRON.com, 1/6). In West Palm Beach, Tony Doris notes Palm Beach County will "'cast a wide net' in its search for a spring training site" for the Astros and Blue Jays -- including asking St. Lucie County if it "might have room for two more baseball teams." Palm Beach County Commissioner Hal Valeche said that he "hoped to meet with St. Lucie officials within the next week" (PALM BEACH POST, 1/8).
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