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Nationals, Astros to break ground on new spring home

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Astros are expected to hold a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony at their new $135 million Spring Training facility next Monday in West Palm Beach, Fla. The 160-acre site sits between Haverhill Road and Military Trail, about two miles west of I-95.

Mark D. Lerner -- vice chairman and one of the principal owners of the Nationals -- and general manager Mike Rizzo, as well as Astros owner Jim Crane and general manager Jeff Luhnow, will attend the groundbreaking, and Commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to be present as well. The two teams hope to move into their new Spring Training home in 2018.

"Work is underway at the site in West Palm Beach, and we are very excited," Lerner said in a statement issued by the Nationals. "We look forward to celebrating with local and state officials at the ceremonial groundbreaking next Monday."

Houston's current Spring Training facility is in Kissimmee, Fla. -- its spring home since 1985. Washington's Spring Training home has been in Viera, Fla., since 2003, when the team was still the Montreal Expos. The new facility will be in much closer proximity to the spring homes of the Cardinals and Marlins -- who share Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. -- and the Mets (Port St. Lucie).

The Nats' lease at Space Coast Stadium in Viera expires at the end of 2017.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All theTime. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.
Read More: Washington Nationals, Houston Astros