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Nationals, Astros play last home games in Central Florida

Braves, Tigers remain as only MLB teams in region

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros have played their last Spring Training home games in Central Florida.

The Nationals, which played in Viera, last game was Sunday, and the Astros, which played in Kissimmee, last game was scheduled for Saturday but was rained out.

The remainder of both teams’ Spring Training games are away.

The Nationals complex in Viera will become home to USSSA -- the U.S. Special Sports Association -- and will be a youth sports complex. Brevard County and USSSA signed a 20-year lease for the complex. The county agreed to pay USSSA up to $10 million for improvements to the stadium complex, including 10 new artificial turf fields and adding lighting to fields outside the main stadium. USSSA promises 175 days per year of use of the complex for youth tournaments, and guarantees 75,000 room nights of hotel rentals in the first year and up to 100,000 room nights by their third year.

Ironically, USSSA currently calls Osceola County Stadium its home. That’s the same complex that housed the Astros Spring Training complex. USSSA will move, as will the Astros. There have been no announced plans for what happens to the Kissimmee complex, which the Astros called home for 32 years.

The Astros and Nationals are both moving to the same $144 million complex, which is being built in West Palm Beach and will open in 2017. 

Only the Atlanta Braves, which play at Disney World, and the Detroit Tigers, which play in Lakeland, remain as Major League Baseball teams with Spring Training homes in Central Florida.