DETROIT -- The Astros' attempts to get a two-team Spring Training facility built in Palm Beach County, Fla., received a boost last week when the Florida legislature passed a bill that increases the amount of funding available from the state for the project.
Astros general counsel Giles Kibbe said the bill shortened the time period during which the state would help fund the project. Instead of funding $50 million over 37 years, the state will now fund that amount in 25 years. It increased what was available from the state from about $1.6 million per year to $2 million per year, Kibbe said.
"The additional money, on a yearly basis, helps us on the bond capacity," Kibbe said. "It's an important number that adds a lot to what we can build. It was an important piece of legislation that is just one piece to the whole financing puzzle. We still have a long way to go, but it was an important piece of legislation that we have been working on for years."
The Astros are under contract with Osceola County Stadium through 2016 and are working with the Washington Nationals in exploring the building of a two-team shared complex that would open in 2017. The Astros haven't ruled out staying in Kissimmee, but their preference is to head to Palm Beach County.