Nationals, Astros clear another hurdle in search for new spring home

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Feb 24, 2014; Viera, FL, USA; A general view of Washington Nationals spring training action at space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

While the Washington Nationals are just a couple of weeks away from reporting to Viera, Fla. for Spring Training, the team has been actively searching for a new Spring Training home in Palm Beach County. In recent weeks, that search has seen a lot of progress.

Earlier this week, the Palm Beach County Commission approved with a 6-1 vote a land swap that brought the Nationals closer to a new spring home in the county. The approval was certainly a step in the right direction, but it did not guarantee anything as there were still several steps remaining in the process.

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Today, the sides made even more progress. According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, the land swap was approved by a legislative delegation, which ensures that the swap will head to the Florida State Legislature for a final ruling.

Of course, today’s news does not mean that the swap is guaranteed to pass the legislature, but according to Capozzi, there’s a good chance that it will:

If the Nationals were to move to a new facility in Palm Beach County, they would move there with the Houston Astros, who have also been searching for a new Spring Training home after nearly 30 years in Kissimmee, Fla. The Nationals have been in Viera since 2005 and their lease at Space Coast Stadium ends after the 2017 season.

A move to a new Spring Training site would be hugely beneficial for both teams as it would allow the Astros to finally move to a new facility and it would allow the Nationals to move closer to many of the teams it plays in the Grapefruit League, such as the Mets, Cardinals and Marlins.

Hopefully for both teams, a decision will be made by the Florida State Legislature sometime in the near future.

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