Brevard Co. approves stadium repairs in hopes of keeping Washington Nationals on the Space Coast

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

The County Commission made a move that some hope will keep the Washington Nationals on the Space Coast.

County leaders approved hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs to Space Coast Stadium, the team's spring training home.

But there are still questions about whether the Nationals will stay there.

The Nationals asked for $237,000 alone just to waterproof different parts of the stadium. The team asked for about a half a million dollars and got money for a majority of the problems.
The Brevard County Manatees took on the Braves in a scrimmage inside the Space Coast Stadium while just about half-mile away, county commissioners were approving more than $300,000 in improvements for the stadium.

In a unanimous vote without any discussion, the commission signed off on the expenditure.

For some baseball fans, it's money well spent.

"Brevard County needs to keep a team here and I support the Nationals, I support the stadium. I hope they can work something out," said Viera resident Derrick Shirley.

The Nationals' owner has been looking at other locations around the state. The team's biggest concern is the cost and travel time to play other teams during spring training, since most have moved away from Florida's east coast. The Nationals are committed to keeping their spring training in Brevard County through the next season.

The county manager plans to meet with Nationals' management after the Major League playoffs are over with.

Fans hope they renew their commitment.

"I hope they'd stay so we can continue move forward with the stadium because it's a great family environment to take your kids to and enjoy a baseball game," said Shirley.

Regardless of whether the Nationals stay, county officials said the stadium still has to be maintained and the money being spent comes from hotel taxes, not property taxes. The county has commissioned a study on the economic impact of spring training, which is expected to be finished next month.