Osceola County has done their best to bring baseball back to the city of Kissimmee, and we now know what the future holds for Osceola County Stadium.
Instead of seeing baseball every March like most fans are accustomed to at the stadium, they’ll see it starting in April when the Milwaukee Brewers advanced team debuts next spring in the Florida State League.
If you’re wondering why the Brewers high-A team would choose to move to Kissimmee, it’s because USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association) is moving to Viera in Space Coast Stadium, a league that holds yearly tournaments for various sports.
Osceola County Stadium and Space Coast Stadium were the former homes of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, respectively, but have decided to share a stadium in West Palm Beach for Spring Training starting in 2017.
This decision left Osceola County Stadium without a tenant until now, when they signed a three-year deal with the Brevard County Manatees to play in their stadium.
This will be the first time Osceola County Stadium has a minor league baseball team in sixteen years, when they had the Osceola Astros from 1985-2000, as well as the Houston Astros for the past three decades.
Don Miers, Osceola County’s director of events and facilities, is excited for the return of professional baseball at Osceola County Stadium.
“It’s good for our locals for pro baseball to be here, and it’s something different and inexpensive for our tourists to do at night,” he said. “And it keeps our foot in the door for attracting another major-league franchise for spring training. The minor team’s major-league personnel will be coming through here to look at prospects, and other teams’ scouts and personnel will be here, too.”
It’ll be interesting to see if Kissimmee can get another major-league team for spring training. The Braves, who are the last remaining MLB team in Central Florida, will see their contract expire after 2017. There are some talks about them having a new spring complex in Cobb County, but no updates have been given or if they intend to talk with Disney about a new lease. For now, baseball fans in Kissimmee can enjoy the Milwaukee Brewers high-A team until Osceola County officials can find a new tenant from the major leagues.
Right now, they are holding a contest for fans to name the new team that runs until July 13th. The six best submissions will go into a vote starting July 18th, and the winner will receive a pair of free season tickets for 2017, a personalized home jersey, and the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch to a home game next year.