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Palm Beach Gardens to Host Open House About Major-League Baseball Stadium

Palm Beach Gardens city officials are going to try to sell the city tonight on building a $100 million spring training baseball stadium.

The stadium would serve as the spring training facility for the Houston Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays.

An open house is scheduled to go down tonight, when officials from the city and major-league baseball will be answering questions from residents about the proposed stadium.

If approved, the plan is to build the stadium on 117 acres of land owned by Palm Beach County and the city east of Central Boulevard and north of 117th Court North.

According to the city's website, building the stadium would impact the City of Palm Beach, helping to keep jobs in the area, especially if the Marlins and the Cardinals leave the county once their contracts are up in 2017.

Both the Marlins and Cards play spring training ball in Palm Beach County. But should they opt out of their contracts, the county would lose an estimated $56 million in revenues, the website says.

The website also says a new ballpark would generate $80 million to $100 million a year.

The big question, of course, is "who exactly will pay for this stadium?" What with the Miami Marlins screwing Miami-Dade with their park. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross had his wishes to use public money to fix up SunLife Stadium refused with extreme prejudice.

According to the county's website, this proposed stadium could be paid for by the county bed tax. Also, the county's debt for Roger Dean Stadium is supposed to be paid off by 2017, which would free up the tourism development fee, which could also be used to pay for the ballpark.

In addition, the City of Palm Beach will apparently be eligible to receive up to $50 million in state incentive funding "for the development of MLB spring training opportunities."

The open house will run from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the DoubleTree Hotel on PGA Boulevard, just west of I-95.

There, residents will be invited to submit written questions and comments about the proposed stadium.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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