Finding for a new Atlanta Braves spring-training complex is close to complete, as local officials and the team await word on an application for $20 million from a state fund designated for communities seeking to keep teams training in Florida.
The complex is expected to cost between $75 million and $80 million and is slated to open in time for 2019 spring training. It’s located in the Sarasota County community of North Port as part of a planned community, West Villages. Because of the southern location, the complex would actually be closer to Port Charlotte and the spring-training home of the Tampa Bay Rays, Charlotte Sports Park, than to the northern Sarasota County spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota. It also makes for a nice four-team cluster on the Gulf Coast that includes the Rays, the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox.
For the complex to open in February 2019, however, design and construction work will need to commence shortly. And while there’s no deadline for the state to respond to the West Villages application for $20 million in funding, officials usually respond in a timely manner.
The Braves will train in 2018 at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Disney World and play games at Champion Stadium for one last season.
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