Houston Astros, Washington Nationals look to Lake Worth for new potential spring training stadium

City leaders in Lake Worth say they are ready

LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- - Stepping up to the plate, one local community in South Florida might hit a home run and another may regret striking out in the fight to lure major league baseball to the area.

Months after city leaders in Palm Beach Gardens turned away the idea for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Houston Astros to build a new facility in the city, two teams are now looking at Suburban Lake Worth for their new home.

The Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals are both teaming up and considering an area near John Prince Park as a potential new stadium site.

"Well obviously I am a little disappointed because anybody especially right around PGA Boulevard could use the sales from the lunch business," said Phil Zarate, manager at Spoto's Oyster Bar in Palm Beach Gardens.

Zarate calls the decision to turn away from the two teams a "missed opportunity" but understands the concerns from the nearby community.

The "swing and a miss" by Palm Beach Gardens could prove to me a "home run" for Lake Worth.

"Its been a lot of fun. We've been running around singing, 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame!" said Michael Bornstein, the city manager of Lake Worth.

Bornstein said the potential spot is the perfect centralized location. He the area offers a Tri-Rail stop, easy highway access and plenty of roads.

"(It's good) not just for brining people into the city that maybe participate and spend some money in our economics. But also to boost our ego. You know this is a city that has had some hard knocks in the past," said Bornstein.

The attitude around Lake Worth is changing according to Bornstein. He said landing the Nationals and Astros would knock them out of the park.    

Back in Palm Beach Gardens, Zarate said at least it could stay within the county.

"It probably is a missed opportunity but if it goes down to Lake Worth, it goes down to Lake Worth," said Zarate.

With only four teams left on the east coast of Florida, both teams moving to Palm Beach county would ensure baseball stays in the area for the near future.

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