The chances of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals landing a new spring-training site in Palm Beach County increased last week when the Florida Legislature passed a new funding bill for pro sports facilities.
HB 7095, which passed both the House and the Senate and is likely to be signed by Gov. Rick Scott, would expand the state’s funding of sports facilities via sales-tax rebates, but it also overhauls how this funding is awarded. Last year saw the expansion of spring-training facilities, but many third-party observers opined that it would not be enough to close a spring-training deal for the Nats and the Astros in Palm Beach County. The Astros want to see a plan for a new facility in place by the end of the year.
The bill would accelerate sales-tax payments from the state and implement a cost-benefit analysis for any projects. Existing MLS stadium projects in Orlando and Miami, as well as the Daytona International Speedway, would receive accelerated payments. From CBS Miami:
More broadly, the bill allows projects that cost more than $200 million to apply for up to $3 million a year in funding for 30 years. Projects worth between $100 million and $200 million could apply for up to $2 million a year, and those between $30 million and $100 million would be eligible for up to $1 million a year.
Money for the stadium projects would come from an annual pool of $13 million, with $6 million set aside for the Legislative Budget Commission to potentially allocate later this year. That commission is made up by House and Senate members.
It won’t be hard to see any Palm Beach County two-team complex cost $100 million.
By the way, it appears that John Prince Park is back in the running for hosting a two-team complex in Palm Beach County.
RELATED STORIES: Could Blue Jays bail on Astros spring-training plans?; New ‘Stros/Jays spring complex has wider impact; Brevard County: We’ll make another run at keeping Nats; 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
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.