Houston Astros owner visits Digital Domain Park, stadium open to additional team

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Baseball along the Treasure Coast and in South Florida is dwindling. Only four teams remain on the east part of Florida, causing some to wonder if the area will lose baseball all together.

A recent visit to Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie from Houston Astros owner Jim Crane is creating buzz among the baseball community over the possibility of the team moving to the area.

"I mean he liked what he saw and again it's just a general tour of the facility. He's keeping his options open," said Paul Taglieri of Digital Domain Park in reference to Crane's visit.

Taglieri said the stadium is open to the concept of having a second team join the Mets. He said the Astros would provide a huge boost to the local economy and baseball on the east coast of Florida, which has slowly moved out over the last few years.

"There's definitely concern. There's definitely concern of teams moving off the east coast because you need to have a competitive balance of teams to make your schedule work," said Taglieri.

If the Astros were interested in calling Digital Domain home, the team is still tied to a stadium in Kissimmee through 2016. But the owner, Jim Crane, also owns the Floridian National Golf Club in St. Lucie County.

The possibility of an additional team is already getting many fans excited.

"That would be awesome to have another team. We'd have more games to come out to," said Christy Johnson, a Sebastian resident.

While some fans see more baseball to attend, others see the economic impact of having more fans and interest.

"We'll see what happens. I'm sure it could bring some good money to our local area," said Nick Wilson, a Port St. Lucie resident.

Taglieri said no other teams aside from the Houston Astros have expressed interest in moving to Digital Domain Park. Facility managers said the park has the room for an extra team, all it needs is one to make the switch.

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