We have some more details about a proposed new Braves training camp in North Port, as Atlanta officials presented information to Sarasota County commissioners about the complex and how it would be funded.
Atlanta Vice Chairman John Schuerholz was joined by a slew of Braves officials to present additional information on the proposed complex. We have the full story on our sister site, Spring Training Online, but here’s some essential information.
Total capacity for the ballpark would be 9,000 (6,500 fixed seats, 2,500 berm/standing room), complete with suites and a 360-degree concourse, with the complex featuring six full and two half practice fields, a player academy, training spaces and major- and minor-league clubhouses. The entire complex is slated to cost between $75 million and $80 million, with $20 million coming from the state, $22.1 million from Sarasota County in the form of hotel bed taxes, between $4 million and $5 million from the city of North Port, and the rest from the Braves and the West Villages developer and development partners, including land and infrastructure. The Braves would commit to a 30-year lease. One additional tidbit of interest: Schuerholz held out the possibility of placing a High-A Florida State League team there as well.
The goal is to be in the new complex by 2019, and the clock is ticking. There are still plenty of negotiations ahead (a city contribution need to be finalized), with the next steps a letter of intent, a lease, implementation of the bed tax and other governmental approvals. During today’s meeting, there was some question about how the new ballpark would fit into a rapidly changing area as well. And state funding is far from assured. St. Lucie County is still waiting for state approval on a proposed $20-million grant for Tradition Field renovations, but the state did pay $50 million toward The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the new spring home of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.
Now, as noted, we are far from a final agreement on a new complex, and some of the funding is outside of the control of the Braves and Sarasota County. Indeed, we’re much closer to the beginning of the process than the end.
RELATED STORIES: Braves To Negotiate New Sarasota County Spring Complex; Braves Continue Spring Training Ballpark Pursuit; Collier County Rejects Atlanta Braves Spring-Training Pitch; Two Teams Training in Sarasota County? Could Happen; Collier County Back in Play for Braves Spring Training Camp; Braves Spring Training Move Pushed Back to 2019; Braves Eliminate Spring-Training Facility Search to Sarasota, Palm Beach Counties; Collier County to Receive Braves Spring-Training Pitch; Braves Pitch 8,000-Seat, $100M PBC Spring Facility; Palm Beach County Pitches Woo at Braves; Palm Beach County back in play for Braves spring home; Braves absent in St. Pete spring-training talks; MLB, Rays push back on Braves spring camp proposal; St. Pete next stop for Atlanta Braves spring training?; Could Palm Beach land new Braves spring training facility? Probably not; Braves launch search for new spring site