Saturday, April 18, 2015

John Prince Park: back on the table for Spring Training Baseball?

Joe Capozzi at The Palm Beach Post has this article today titled, "Return of tomahawk chop? Atlanta Braves flirt with Palm Beach County". Mr. Capozzi writes about the hard feelings from 20 years ago when the Braves walked away from a deal and Shelley Vana is quoted a lot in the article. Twenty years is a long time and people are still angry about what happened back then. For those of us in the City of Lake Worth and our neighboring communities this is the part that should get you excited (again):
     “We’ve always said it’s great now that we have these two other teams but let’s get another one. The more, the merrier for us,” said Roger Dean Stadium general manager Mike Bauer.
     The Braves “still have a nice fan base here. Whether the county has the money, that’s a question for them,” Bauer said.
     Although there’s probably no county money available for another spring training facility, the Braves could tap $25 million in state money for single-team facilities [emphasis added]. That would not be enough for a new single-team facility – the most recent one, for the Chicago Cubs in Arizona, cost $99 million.
     If the Braves are serious about moving to Palm Beach County, they could look at John Prince Park in suburban Lake Worth, which was studied by the Astros and Nationals but ultimately rejected because it was too small.
     “We’d still love to have them,’’ Marcus [Karen Marcus, former county commissioner] said of the Braves. “In baseball, anything is possible.’’
John Prince Park was the ideal location for the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros in every way but one: they needed more space. It was possible to create more land by filling in parts of Lake Osborne (the lake was created using fill) or possibly acquiring land from the nearby college.

Ultimately the city of West Palm and the Palm Beach County Commission set aside their differences for the time being and made the deal for a stadium in West Palm Beach. Oh well.

Keep the hope alive folks!