Astros Owner Jim Crane yesterday said that the team and the Nationals are "moving along in their effort to build a shared spring training site" in West Palm Beach. In Houston, Evan Drellich noted approval from local and state officials is "still needed and the hope is the stadium could open" in '17. Astros General Counsel Giles Kibbe said that he was "hopeful the matter could be voted on in the next couple months." The franchise's lease at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla., "runs out" in '16. Crane said that it looked like the financing for the site was "starting to come together while indicating there was still considerable work to get done" (CHRON.com, 7/7).
CHAMPAIGN SUPERNOVA: In Illinois, Matt Daniels reports the Univ. of Illinois men’s basketball team will "play five home games away from State Farm Center" during the '15-16 season because a "phase of construction will not be finished" until Dec. 1, 2015. Illinois Exec Senior Associate AD Jason Lener yesterday said that the team will "play one exhibition game and four nonconference games away from Champaign." Lener: “It’s really construction-driven. We don’t have a location finalized, but we are working on some options. We will have something finalized in the next couple of months” (Champaign NEWS-GAZETTE, 7/8).
NOT CLOSE ENOUGH: In Ontario, Scott Radley reports Tim Hortons Field "won't be ready" for the CFL Tiger-Cats games on July 26 and 31. Instead, those two games will be "played at McMaster's Ron Joyce Stadium." There has "definitely been some progress made over the past few days," but with just "seven days to go until the building department was going to be asked to begin its inspection toward granting an occupancy permit, there's still more than a little to do" (HAMILTON SPECTATOR, 7/8).