It is hardly a secret that the Braves have been looking for new spring training accommodations for quite some time. The facilities at the Wide World of Sports and the surrounding Disney areas have not exactly gotten high marks and the travel time given the facility’s distance from other spring training areas has long been cited as an issue by team officials and players alike. After the Astros and Nationals moved their spring training locales, there will only be one team within 70 miles of the Braves, so a move to either Florida coast has long been pushed for.
St. Petersburg, Palm Beach County, and Sarasota County have been targeted areas, but for a variety of reasons those moves have either not worked out or have been delayed. The Braves had to even do an extension of their lease at Disney for an extra year while they ironed out where they were going to move to.
It looks like today that there has been significant progress towards a deal that will send the Braves to Sarasota County, Florida in 2019.
#Braves will move spring training to Sarasota Co. as soon as 2019, assuming final deal worked out. In exclusive negotiations w/ them now.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) January 17, 2017
The complex will purportedly be in the city of North Port, although as Tim Tucker mentions in his article on the subject, nothing has been finalized yet. However, both side agree that the announcement of exclusive negotiations is a pretty big step forward. Unfortunately, the Braves hopes earlier this year of getting a new facility by 2018 did not pan out...this is the most promising situation to end their spring training woes to date.
Here are some renderings of the new complex thanks to our good buddy Grant McAuley.