Toronto, Houston reach deal to join Cardinals in southeast Florida for spring training

Posted by Scott Wuerz on April 23, 2013 

The Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays have apparently reached an agreement to move their spring training headquarters to a new ballpark to be built in Palm Beach County.

The agreement, if it becomes reality, would save Cardinals spring training in Jupiter, Fla. The Redbirds and the Miami Marlins both have a clause in their contracts to play at Roger Dean Stadium that allow them to opt out if the number of teams training on Florida's east coast fell below the total of four (STL, MIA, NYM and WAS) currently there. The Nationals are currently working on plans to move. In recent years the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers relocated their spring camps away from the area making travel for road games unreasonable.

The Astros and Blue Jays would play in a new ballpark in Palm Beach Gardens, which is so close to Jupiter that it's where the Cardinals' team hotel is located. It would give veteran players who don't like to travel on all-day road trips to Tampa Bay more chances to play. And it will be a lot more convenient for spring training fans to travel to road games, getting more for their vacation dollar.

According to the Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV, State Rep. Ritch Workman, a Republican from Melbourne, said the agreement is a done deal. He said local officials stepped up to keep spring training on the east coast of Florida because they appreciate the financial impact it has on the region. Proponents of the agreement said it was estimated spring training pumps $130 million a year into the area economy.

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