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Goodbye landfill, hello Ballpark of The Palm Beaches

The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros begin Spring Training on the site of an old landfill in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The brand-new Ballpark of The Palm Beaches opened this month in West Palm Beach. The 6,500-seat facility will be the Spring Training home to the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. Baseball has never looked so good as it does on this "field of dreams."

The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is conveniently located just off I-95 in the heart of West Palm Beach. The 6,500 seat facility features a fantastic wrap-around concourse, ample parking, inviting sightlines and unique fan areas to enhance the Spring Training experience.

There are 12 ball-fields, open-air party decks to let attendees enjoy a personal bar, as well as an all-you-can-eat menu. For the ultimate Spring Training experience, fans can choose to sit in the field box, which boasts incredibly close field-level views and premium seating.

All built on the site of an old landfill. The 160-acre site’s use as a landfill from 1955 to 2000 is one of the great features of the $150 million facility, which broke ground on Nov. 9, 2015, and was financed in part with millions from a county hotel tax.

“You are turning a trash dump into something pretty spectacular,’’ Astros owner Jim Crane promised Palm Beach County officials more than two years ago about a vision he shared with Mark Lerner, the Nationals’ principal owner.

Also there is some "home cooking" in that one of the Astros’ six practice fields has the exact dimension of the team’s regular-season stadium, Minute Maid Park in Houston. Two of the Nationals’ six fields have the same dimensions as Nationals Park in Washington.

The main stadium will also feature "field seating" that are actually seats on the field.

The complex is just minutes from the beach and is surrounded by nearby golf courses, entertainment complexes and plenty of family-friendly activities. The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is a must-see destination for any West Palm Beach visit.

As far as partnerships for visitors and baseball fans, the Ballpark of The Palm Beaches has teamed up with West Palm Beach Marriott, Courtyard West Palm Beach and Residence Inn West Palm Beach Downtown/CityPlace Area to present visitors with an eclectic, yet premier selection of home bases for their South Florida stay.

Official Spring Training opening day is scheduled for February 28, 2017, as the Nationals and Astros are set to play and break in their new Spring Training home. Travelers who choose to stay at West Palm Beach Marriott can expect an effortless arrival and departure with their complimentary shuttle service to and from Palm Beach International Airport. Guests will love the hotel's brand-new lobby, free Wi-Fi and local fare at Bistro Ten Zero One. Less than 2 miles away from the state-of-the-art ballpark, Courtyard West Palm Beach is the perfect choice for baseball fans looking to get closer to all of the competitive action. Before or after a game, guests can fuel up at The Bistro – Eat. Drink. Connect.®, the hotel's on-site restaurant. For those staying in town for a while, Residence Inn West Palm Beach Downtown/CityPlace Area can make an extended-stay visit feel just like home. The apartment-style suites offer separate sleeping, living, and dining areas, as well as amenities such as free Wi-Fi, flat-panel HDTVs and full-size kitchens. Baseball and culture will come together when Palm Beach Opera performs the stadium's first national anthem on opening day, February 28. Further north in Jupiter, Roger Dean Stadium is home to the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins.Both venues are located near hundreds of cultural institutions where fans can catch musical performances, dance, art, nature trails, glass-blowing, and even one of the world's most important giant sea turtle rescue centers.

Among the experiences that await baseball fans:

"Baseball in The Palm Beaches" at the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, through July 1 in Downtown West Palm Beach Midtown Peace, Love and Wellness Festival (music festival), March 18 in Midtown on PGA Blvd 3rd Annual Bacon and Bourbon Festival, March 24-26 in Downtown Delray Beach Festival of the Arts BOCA, March 2-12 in Boca Raton 4th Annual Plein Air Festival (artists painting for 4 days and nights, March 8-12 at various sites Art Boca Raton Contemporary Art Fair, March 16-19 at International Pavilion of the Palm Beaches at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton The Historical Society of Palm Beach County's "Evening on Antique Row," March 4 in the West Palm Beach antiques district "The Sugar Bean Sisters," Lake Worth Playhouse, March 2-19 in Lake Worth The Jive Aces at Kravis Center, March 14, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in West Palm Beach Sir James Galway, Society of the Four Arts, March 15 in Palm Beach "The Lost Bird Project: Memorials to Extinct Birds" by Todd McGrain, through June 20 at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach Glass-blowing at Benzaiten Center for the Creative Arts in Lake Worth Loggerhead Marinelife Center sea turtle rehabilitation facility in Juno Beach

Maybe the best part of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is ability to get up close to your favorite baseball players. The facilities staff is friendly and helpful and the players seem to enjoy interacting with their loyal fans.

Plan your getaway to Spring Training 2017 in West Palm Beach. It isn't too late.

Play ball!

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