JUPITER, Fla. -- With the Astros and Nationals moving forward with plans to construct a Spring Training complex in nearby West Palm Beach, Fla., the Cardinals are preparing to open discussions with city and county officials about making improvements to their Roger Dean Stadium facility.
A fund for facility upgrades was established in 2011, when the Cardinals and Marlins, who share the complex, signed a 16-year lease extension. According to a report in the Palm Beach Post at that time, the agreement included a $5 million allotment for additions to the facility. The county would provide $4 million, with the teams covering the remainder.
The Cardinals delayed addressing the topic of facility upgrades until they knew the Nationals' relocation plans. That's because the Cardinals had an out clause in their lease that would have allowed them to leave if any of the other three teams on Florida's east coast -- the Nationals, Mets or Marlins -- moved away.
Had the Cardinals made any facility improvement and then vacated the area, they would have had to repay the county for those stadium investments.
"Clearly, we're excited that we're going to have two teams join us down here, so purely from a travel standpoint, that's a plus," general manager John Mozeliak said. "I do think we'll get with the county and city during this next month and look at potential things we can do to this facility."
The Cardinals, who moved their Spring Training to Jupiter in 1997, have outgrown several areas of the complex. They don't have adequate locker space to accommodate Minor League Spring Training and lack a kitchen area. As a result, the Cardinals have brought a food truck into camp this year so as to have a food preparation area. There is no players' cafeteria, and the weight room sometimes struggles to accommodate everyone who wants to work out at the same time.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.