The Washington Nationals and the Brevard County Manatees (High Class A; Florida State League) will see some improvements to Space Coast Stadium in 2013, but they won’t be as extensive as the Nats requested.
The $325,000 in improvements from Brevard County will address some very basic infrastructure needs, mostly relating to water damage, leaks and waterproofing. The Nats had requested more than $500,000 in improvements, but there’s not enough in the capital budget to cover them all.
The next six months should go a long ways to determining the future of Space Coast Stadium and baseball in general in the Treasure Coast. It’s no secret the Nationals want out: the team is being heavily wooed by Lee County on a 2014 move to City of Palms Park, but with no money in the county coffers, the offer may not be enough.
Plus, we’ve got to believe another community won’t step up at some point to pitch the Nats and the Astros on a new complex. There’s a domino effet here: if the Nats leave, the Cardinals can void their lease. While we don’t see the Marlins moving from Jupiter — Roger Dean Stadium is an easy drive for Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria — we could also see the Mets picking up stakes as well. (No, we don’t see another team sharing the Mets’ complex: there’s probably not enough land to add the five fields and cliubhouses needed for a second team.)
The Nats have a contract to train at Space Coast Stadium through 2017, but that lease can be broken once ballpark debt is paid off — which is scheduled to happen in 2013.
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