The ongoing saga to ensure Major League spring training baseball remains in Southeast Florida took a small step forward Tuesday night. The Palm Beach County Commission voted to pursue a deal for a $100 million complex to house the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, several major challenges remain, however – money and location. What else could it be?
While $50 million in state funds have been earmarked for the project, the timing of the scheduled disbursement is longer than desired. A change requires negotiations in Tallahassee during an election year.
The teams may be asked to foot 5-10 percent of the cost, which they may or may not want to do.
The local share of the expense would require a new tax on hotel stays and/or special property taxes, again requiring state approval.
Then there is the location. A list of 10 sites still remain on the prospect list in at least five different municipalities – Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth and Royal Palm Beach.
The teams reportedly want a deal in place by the end of the year, with the new complex to open in 2017.
Obviously, considerable more work remains ahead.
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