Houston, we have a problem: Baseball park subcontractors stiffed

Subcontractors say they haven't been paid for work on a spring-training baseball park in West Palm Beach for the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals

Ballpark of the Palm Beaches (Source: Houston Chronicle)
Ballpark of the Palm Beaches (Source: Houston Chronicle)

The Houston Astros just won their first World Series championship, but the professional baseball team has won few fans among construction subcontractors in South Florida. Many subcontractors complain they haven’t been paid for helping to build the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, a new spring-training facility in West Palm Beach shared by the Astros and the Washington Nationals. The Astros and the Nationals got $113 million of tourist tax revenue from Palm Beach County and $50 million from the state to fund about a third of the cost of building the baseball park, which opened earlier this year.

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But the teams found shoddy construction at the baseball park, including poorly installed windows and clubhouse showers, and withheld some payments to Hunt Straticon Messam and Cooper (HSMC), a joint venture of four general contractors that oversaw construction of the baseball park, led by Hunt Construction Group. Among the unhappy subcontractors caught in the middle of the dispute between the teams and the general contractors, Davco Electrical claims $6 million of unpaid work, Mancils Tractor Service claims $4 million, and MIK Construction claims $500,000. [Palm Beach Post] — Mike Seemuth