While it may be under a different schedule than expected, construction of a new Atlanta Braves spring training complex in Sarasota County continues to unfold.
Last fall, the Braves and local officials broke ground on the complex, which will be located in North Port. It was anticipated at the time that the Braves would arrive at the new complex for the spring of 2019, making spring training 2018 their last at Champion Stadium and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. However, it was announced earlier this year that the time frame for that move has changed–the Braves exercised their option to return to Champion Stadium and ESPN Wide World of Sports in 2019, and will now look conduct their first full spring training in North Port in 2020.
That arrangement still allows for some action next year in North Port, however, as the Braves will close out the Grapefruit League season with one game at their new spring training ballpark. Construction is unfolding at a steady pace for now, leaving club officials to believe that the current project schedule is achievable. More from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The timetable for opening the new facility has been pushed back, and the cost has increased, but the column structures for the stadium have begun to come out of the ground, the slab for the clubhouse has been poured and the faint outline of a baseball field has started to emerge in the dirt. The Braves vow to play their final spring-training game next year in the $125-million facility in the Sarasota County city of North Port.
“Everybody feels quite comfortable that when our players show up there in (late) March of 2019, the ballpark will be done, the clubhouse will be done, the batting cages and mounds will be done on the major-league side, two major-league practice fields will be done,” said Chip Moore, the long-time Braves executive recently named to direct the project.
When it opens, the new spring training ballpark is expected to include 6,200 fixed seats, plus 1,000 berm seats. It will also feature some of the amenities found at many newer spring-training venues, including a 360-degree concourse and an outfield patio and bar area.
RELATED STORIES: Braves Delay North Port Move to 2020; Price Tag for New Braves Spring Training Complex: $110M; Vote Expected for Braves Spring Training Complex; State Approves Grant for Atlanta Braves Spring Training Complex; Braves Await State Grant for New Spring Training Complex; North Port Commits $4.7M Towards New Atlanta Braves Spring-Training Complex; North Port Officials Request Study on Braves Complex; Planning for Braves Spring Training Complex Continues; Braves Spring Training Agreements Approved; Sarasota County to Weigh in on Braves Spring Training Agreement; Braves Spring Training Spending Approved by Sarasota County; North Port Approves Term Sheet for Braves Complex; Sarasota County Approves Braves Spring Training Term Sheet; Braves Sarasota County Spring Complex Moves Forward; 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