The Washington Nationals plan to move their spring-training operations out of Viera, possibly after the 2015 season, according to Brevard County Commission Chairman Andy Anderson, who has been working to keep the team on the Space Coast.
Local 6 news partner Florida Today reports Anderson said he has received word that the Nationals are in talks with another county interested in using a combination of state funds and county tourism tax money to build a new stadium for the Nationals, and that the Nationals will not be renewing their lease at Space Coast Stadium in Viera.
The state money could come from a pool of funds recently approved by the Florida Legislature to help communities keep spring-training operations in the state, rather than more teams moving spring training to Arizona.
An official announcement with further details is expected within weeks, Anderson said.
Anderson said it is unfortunate that state money is being used by one Florida community to lure a major league spring-training operation from another Florida community.
Anderson said Brevard County now will have to decide what to do with Space Coast Stadium, which is also used by the Brevard County Manatees, the Milwaukee Brewers Class A minor league team.
Anderson said the options include finding another major league team to replace the Nationals, trying to get a second minor league team to play there, using the stadium complex for amateur baseball tournaments, or scheduling concerts and other special events there.