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Nats, Astros move step closer to new spring site

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Astros received good news on Tuesday. In a 6-1 vote, the Palm Beach County Commission approved a land swap that brings the two teams a step closer to sharing a new Spring Training home at the southeast corner of Haverhill Road and 45th Street in Palm Beach County, Fla.

Houston would like to leave Kissimmee, Fla. -- where its spring complex has been since 1985 -- after the 2016 season. And Washington would like to move its facility closer to other teams in Florida, such as the Cardinals, Mets and Marlins.

The Nats' lease at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla., expires at the end of 2017. The club has played its spring games there since 2005.

"We are pleased that the Board of Commissioners for both West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County have approved the agreement to trade land, allowing future construction of a joint Spring Training facility for the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros," Nationals vice chairman and principal owner Mark Lerner and Astros owner Jim Crane said in a joint statement.

"We would like to thank both the city and county commissioners, the Tourist Development Council, city and county staff, the Palm Beach Sports Commission and the Economic Development Council for all of their hard work," the statement continued. "The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros look forward to calling West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County home for the next 30 years."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.
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