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Doubleheader at ballpark could tie up traffic

The big draw of the New York Yankees could combine with the allure of the St. Louis Cardinals to make the first doubleheader at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches a rush-hour traffic nightmare.

The Yankees take on the Washington Nationals at 1:05 Monday afternoon at the new ballpark south of 45th Street between Military Trail and Haverhill Road. Five hours later, the Cardinals play the Houston Astros in the nightcap, starting at 6:05 p.m.

More coverage of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches

Typically, a spring game takes about three hours, giving the Yankees’ fans a full hour to depart before the gates open no sooner than 5 p.m. for the Cardinals-Astros matchup. If the first game goes long, the gates for the nightcap will remain closed until one hour after the final out in the opening game.

The $150 million complex, built with a combination of state, local and team money, is on a 160-acre former landfill that had been owned by the city of West Palm Beach and had been vacant and unused for decades. Now it has six practice fields each for the Nationals and Astros and a stadium that seats 6,500 with room for another 1,500 fans on grassy berms in the outfield.

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