SBD/March 27, 2014/Facilities

Osceola County Willing To Upgrade Ballpark To Keep Astros For Spring Training

Astros execs and the county have resumed talks about the club staying in Kissimmee
Osceola County (Fla.) Stadium Sports Facility Manager Don Miers yesterday said that the county would be "open to making improvements to keep the Astros from moving their Spring Training operations to another location when their lease expires" in '16, according to Brian McTaggert of MLB.com. Miers said that the Astros and the county have "resumed talks about the possibility of the club staying in Kissimmee," but Astros Owner Jim Crane has "made it clear he wants to move to Palm Beach County in southeast Florida and build a two-team facility with another team." Astros General Counsel Giles Kibbe, who is leading the Astros' spring relocation efforts, in an e-mail wrote that the team's "priority remains Palm Beach County." The Astros' "biggest issue with Osceola County Stadium is that it isn't located close to any major hotels, which makes for a long commute to and from the park for some players, coaches and staff." Miers said that the county would be "willing to renovate the stadium or do any other upgrades the team wants." Miers also said that adding a second team could "help keep Spring Training baseball in the area." The Braves are a "short drive from Osceola County," while the Nationals are "less than an hour away in Viera" (MLB.com, 3/26).
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