Back in 2006, the Nationals locked themselves into a pretty difficult situation with their Spring Training venue. They inherited a lease to Space Coast Stadium in Viera that ran through 2017, even though that venue is over an hour away from their nearest Grapefruit League counterpart.
But despite the lease, there are reports that the Nationals are trying to go somewhere else. There is a report in the Florida Today that Nationals president Stan Kasten sent a letter to an Osceola County official expressing interest in moving the team's Spring Training to Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee.
Kasten sent the letter to Osceola County Manager Don Fisher. In the correspondence dated July 26, Kasten wrote to Fisher: "It was nice speaking to you last Thursday and it was very interesting hearing about the potential for a new spring training complex in Osceola County.
"I would certainly be interested in meeting with you and hearing more about your plans in greater detail, as we consider our own future spring training plans. In the event Osceola County is interested in moving forward, please let me know."
Kasten declined to comment in the story, but this isn't anything new. Last year, team president Mark Lerner was among those who toured the Red Sox's facility in Fort Meyers, one they're leaving at the end of next year. The goal is ostensibly to get closer to other teams in the Grapefruit League, and moving to Kissimmee does that.
At the same time, the cost of moving isn't cheap. According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the Nationals will have to pay Brevard County $765,000 a year if they leave. Maybe that'll be chump change when Stephen Strasburg is dominating, Nats Park is filled and the team is winning, but for now, that seems like a lot. I guess we'll see though.
(HT: Mark Zuckerman).