Ballpark of the Palm Beaches
West Palm Beach, FL
Review by Gary
If you were told that the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches (BOTPB) was once used as a dumping site for Florida storm debris, you may not believe it. Since 2017, the area has been home to a lavish spring training baseball complex that is host to both the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros. Located a short distance from Interstate 95 and Florida’s Turnpike in West Palm Beach, the facility is a totally fan-friendly Spring Training destination, where visitors can check out not only the ballpark, but also the six training fields that fans pass through while heading to the main gate.
The Astros side is to the north of the 6,500-seat ballpark, while the Nationals reside on the south side. The park’s aesthetics are not lavish, but it is very functional and spacious. The wide concourse behind the stands allows natural light to enter from both sides, giving the walkway a bright and cheery feel. The concourses are also not overrun with the usual food kiosks and folding tables that make navigation difficult at other venues.
When the big leaguers are not training here in the spring, the stadium is home to the rookie level Astros and Nationals of the Gulf Coast League. The only thing that was a negative, if you want to call it such, is the stadium name. A mouthful to recite, there is no sponsorship currently, but according to Baseball Pilgrimages, naming rights of this stadium can be sold by the Astros and Nationals, but "of the Palm Beaches" or "at the Palm Beaches" must be a part of any new name.
During Nationals Spring Training games, three former participants from the Washington Nationals Presidents Race in Washington, DC now compete in a similar contest in Florida. Retired Presidents Calvin “Cal” Coolidge, Herbert “Herbie” Hoover, and William Howard “Bill” Taft now campaign against one another before fans at every Nats game at BPOTPB.
The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is a superb place to enjoy a ballgame. With palm trees lining the concourse down the lines and around the outfield, watching a game here felt like what spring training should be in Florida. Sit back and enjoy the piquant Philly cheesesteak nachos or the “really cold soft-serve ice cream.”