BALTIMORE - In an effort to stem the tide of Major League Baseball teams leaving Florida for spring training sites in Arizona, the Florida State Legislature has approved measures that will include additional spending for the renovation and construction of ball parks throughout the state.
Part of the proposal is aimed at providing funding for a new complex in Palm Beach Gardens which the Blue Jays and Houston Astros are expected to call their spring homes.
The Blue Jays are committed to Dunedin through 2016 but would probably try to buy out the last year of the deal if the collaboration with the Astros is finalized. It’s believed the team president Paul Beeston and GM Alex Anthopoulos were in Palm Beach last week to inspect the site.
Should the move become a reality, it will take at least two years to complete the new two-team complex. Jim Crane, the owner of the Astros is spearheading the move. He already owns a golf course in Palm Beach Gardens.
In recent years, a half-dozen teams — the White Sox, Royals, Rangers, Dodgers, Reds and Indians — have left Florida for new facilities in Arizona.