3/12/2013 5:36 P.M. ET
Crane speaks about Astros' spring future in Florida
By Christina De Nicola / Special to MLB.com
JUPITER, Fla. -- Astros owner Jim Crane envisions a Spring Training home where his organization shares the facility with another team, limiting travel and building a fan base in a densely populated area.
While he doesn't yet have a city in mind, Crane likes the Interstate 95 corridor as far south as Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and as far north as Stuart, Fla.
The Mets train in Port St. Lucie, Fla., while the Cardinals and Marlins share Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.
"If you get two more teams in the area and the Mets can get someone else, it would really solidify baseball on the East Coast and make the travel schedules easier," Crane said on Tuesday as the Astros beat the Marlins, 9-4. "That's the idea and everyone's supporting that."
The Astros have called Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla., their Spring Training home since 1984. That lease expires in 2016.
"I think we're looking for alternatives to where we're at," Crane said. "We still have a contract with Kissimmee for a couple more years, and they're treating us great and it's a nice location."
Crane and other members of the organization have visited Spring Training facilities in Arizona and Florida and like the feasibility of a shared facility.
"The economics are a lot better for the areas that build the facilities and the teams because they leverage the resources," said Crane, whose ownership group had a meeting in Stuart on Monday.
Crane owns Palm City's Floridian National Golf Club, which is located about 115 miles from Osceola County Stadium on the Florida Turnpike or 125 miles off Interstate 95. It is just 29 miles from Roger Dean Stadium, where Crane spoke with the media on Tuesday.
Crane said he began exploring the possibility of various Spring Training locations when he bought the team in 2011. A time frame for when additional developments will occur has not been determined.
"You're probably not looking at next year, and if you can get the following year it would be great if not the year right after," Crane said. "It's going to take time to get the money and build it."
Christina De Nicola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.