FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches

From BR Bullpen

The FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches complex in North Port, FL, hosts spring training for the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals as well as their rookie-Florida Complex League teams. Its stated capacity is 6,400. The state-of-the-art facility is surrounded by a number of practice fields, including one each reproducing the exact dimensions of Nationals Park and Minute Maid Park.

Its official inauguration took place on February 28, 2017, for a Grapefruit League game between the Astros and Nationals in the presence of Commissioner Rob Manfred and the owners of both parent clubs, Ted Lerner for the Nationals and Jim Crane for the Astros.

It was simply named the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches its first season, but the fitness firm bought naming rights in February 2018. It is Florida's second shared facility; Arizona, where the concept originated, has four.

Its main stadium and Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, FL, co-hosted the 2020 Americas Olympics Qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (both delayed into 2021) that the Coronavirus pandemic dislodged from Arizona in March 2020, with eventual silver medal winner Team USA going unbeaten to qualify.

Although never the regular home of a full-season minor league club, it hosted the level in June 2019 as the Florida State League's Palm Beach Cardinals and Jupiter Hammerheads moved five games against each other there while their shared playpen readied for the FSL All-Star Game. However, three of the games were rained out.

The Astros and Nats met in the 2019 World Series, becoming the first teams sharing a spring facility to do so.

The complex includes two infield-only and 12 other full diamonds.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Alyson Footer: "New Nats, Astros park opens to much fanfare: Commissioner praises state-of-the-art facility", mlb.com, February 28, 2017. [1]
  • Brian McTaggart: "Dazzling spring facility set to welcome Astros: Pitchers and catchers to report for duty Tuesday", February 13, 2017. [2]

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