WEST PALM BEACH, FL - A groundbreaking ceremony for The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the future, state-of-the-art Spring Training home of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, was held this morning in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred took part in the ceremony along with Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane, Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow, Nationals Owner Mark Lerner and Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo. Mayor Shelly Vana (Palm Beach County) and Mayor Jeri Muoio (West Palm Beach) also were a part of the ceremony.
Representatives from the Astros and Nationals joined government officials in the ceremonial groundbreaking by digging shovels into sand on a miniature baseball diamond.
The new facility, which will be located at 5398 Haverhill Road and will feature separate, modern training complexes for the Astros and Nationals, is scheduled to be completed by January of 2017. Each complex on the 160-acre site will include several baseball diamonds, clubhouses, weight-training facilities and offices for front office personnel. The main ballpark, which will be shared by the two clubs, will include several fan-friendly amenities.
"Getting a new Spring Training facility was high on our list of priorities," Crane said. "A lot of hard work went into getting this done. We appreciate the great support we've received from the County and the Governor. We will have a first-class facility that will be great for our players and will have a great impact on this neighborhood."
"This project was crucial," Manfred said. "I give Jim Crane and Mark Lerner a ton of credit for finding a location, getting the project done and ensuring the future of Spring Training baseball in Southeast Florida."
The seating area of The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches will hold over 6,400 fans while the berm area will hold an additional 1,250.