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Details Emerge on New Braves Training Camp

New Braves Training Camp

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.

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