Astros owner Jim Crane was at a meeting in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, last night, and it sure looks like this whole new shared Spring Training complex thing is progressing. It’s still just in the proposal stage, technically, and the Jays have been saying the right things in terms of their agreement with Dunedin, which expires after the 2017 season. But they also, according to Crane late last month, “have committed and signed a letter of intent” to be a part of the project. And… well… look at those mock ups!
Crane, as you can hear him say in a video clip from the Palm Beach Post (which you can see at the bottom of this post), has been told the land in the image above is available– or at least can be made available– and explicitly states that it’s a two-team facility, which would presumably have one team using the west practice fields, and the other using the south-east.
“It’s a long-term commitment, for at least twenty years,” he also says of the project, while also adding that the Cardinals and the Marlins are behind the project, as they’re two teams who also have their facilities in the area, want more teams close by, and– according to Crane– could even opt out of their leases if more teams don’t come. So… y’know… if you ever wondered why there seems to be a lot of rubber stamping from local authorities going on in this process, that would probably be your answer.
You can see where the site is via Google Maps, and adjust your future vacation plans accordingly (hope you like golf and old people!). And you can see here how this would be a whole lot more convenient for everybody involved compared to the current setup, where the minor league complex is a ten minute drive (in clear traffic) from Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
So… yeah. As I say every time I post on this subject, it’s going to be disappointing to see the club leave the oddly charming Dunedin behind after so many years, but… uh… with precisely zero inside knowledge on this whatsoever, I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s pretty much totally going to happen.
As promised, here’s the clip:
Image and interview clip via @joecapmarlins.