Top Menu

Brevard County: We’ll make another run at keeping Nats

Space Coast Stadium

With the Washington Nationals stymied in an effort to procure a new Kissimmee spring-training complex, Brevard County officials could offer a $29 million renovation of the team’s current home, Space Coast Stadium.

Of course, all the money in the world can’t move Viera closer to the majority of Grapefruit League teams; you’re still talking over an hour drive to Champion Stadium in Disney World or Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie. You’re talking about an adequate facility in Space Coast Stadium, but not one in a community where fans will spend a lot of time: Viera is a retirement community whose residents don’t give a darn about professional baseball; neither, apparently, do residents of Melbourne or Cocoa Beach, either.

Still, there are some Brevard County officials who want to see the Nats stay; they’ve already presented Nationals officials with a conceptual plan for Space Coast Stadium renovations that basically calls for a refinancing of ballpark debt to fund upgrades, as well as state funds designated for communities to keep spring training. Right now Brevard County isn’t offering any specific improvements, just a funding mechanism:

• The county would refinance the stadium for $13 million. It would pay that debt using $986,900 a year from a portion of the county’s 5 percent tax on hotel room rentals. That’s the same stream of money the county used to finance the stadium’s construction in 1993. The county made the last payments on the construction bonds earlier this year.

• The county would receive a $13 million match from a new state incentive program designed to keep major league teams’ spring training in Florida, rather than moving their operations to Arizona. The money would come to the county in 20 annual installments, beginning the first year of the new lease agreement.

• The county would use $3 million already accumulated from a share of the room tax.

Whether this would be enough to retain the Nationals should be decided quickly: Brevard County officials want to present a funding plan by Sept. 12.

RELATED STORIES: Lee County to pitch Nat again on City of Palms Park; Osceola County rejects new Washington Nationals spring-training complex; Osceola County delays vote on new Nats spring facility; Tourism Board approves new Nats spring-training facility; New spring complex pitched for Osceola County; Nats petition to end Viera spring lease; Osceola County solicits bids for new spring complex; End of the line for Space Coast Stadium?; Nats, Osceola County talking new spring-training facility; Nationals in talks for new spring-training site; will leave Viera; Early setback in attempt to keep Nationals in Brevard County; Prepping for spring training; Lee County commissioner: Nats unlikely to move to Fort Myers; Kissimmee pitching two-team complex for spring training; Nats, Lee County to keep continue discussions on spring training; Nats: We’re still interested in Fort Myers — if spring complex is upgradedPro baseball an endangered species in Viera?Twins, Lee County negotiating over player dorms, naming rights at spring-training complexTwins sign 30-year spring-training lease extensionLee County: Twins spring-training improvements hinge on state grantTwins present spring-training wish list to Lee County; Lee County to Nats: We really, really love youIf Nats leave Viera, will other teams follow?Lee County commissioner: “50-50” chance Nats will move spring ops to Fort MyersLee County, Nats to meet about spring training; Lee County applying for state ballpark-improvement grantLerner: Fort Myers is tops on our spring-training wish listGammons: Nats present spring-training wish list to Lee CountyIs Nats, Brevard County marriage over?Nats go public with desire for new spring-training facilityNats, Astros eying new Osceola County spring-training complexCould Cards, Marlins leave Treasure Coast?Kasten: Nats definitely looking for new spring home


Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at

Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.

Join Ballpark Digest on Facebook and on Twitter!

Follow Ballpark Digest on Google + and add us to your circles!

, , , , , , ,