clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Sarasota County approves Braves new Spring Training home

Sarasota County approved $22 million in funding for the new Braves Spring Training facility in North Port, but a laundry list of approvals remains.

This took place in Sarasota County, near the Braves’ planned Spring Training home for 2019 and beyond.
Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The plan for the Braves to move into a new Spring Training home for the 2019 season proceeded further along its track yesterday, as the Sarasota County Commission approved the $22 million funding tranche that constitutes one of the many financing pieces for the new complex.

Sarasota County will borrow $22 million and pay it back using its existing tourism-based tax levies, which currently apply to hotel stays and short-term rentals within the area. The commissioners indicated smooth sailing for this portion of the financing because it involves reallocation of existing tax-based revenues, rather than the raising of additional funds through new taxes or fees.

According to Ballpark Digest, there are still a number of procedural and financing hurdles that need to be cleared before the complex, planned to be built in North Port, Florida, can become a reality. These include:

  • A stadium operating agreement;
  • A project development agreement;
  • A formal application for Spring Training funding from the State of Florida, and presumably receipt of said funding;
  • A funding pledge from North Port itself; and
  • Various agreements between Sarasota County, North Port, and the private developer associated with the project.

Overall, the cost of the stadium and complex is expected to be $75.4 million. This bit of financing takes care of $22 million, or just under 30 percent of the total. The State of Florida is expected to contribute an additional $20 million from a grant, while North Port is expected to contribute $4 to $5 million over a 30-year period. The remainder is to be covered by private developer West Villages ($15 million) and the Braves themselves, who will put in $7.5 million upfront as well as a lease valued at $2.0 to $2.5 million annually.

If all goes according to plan, with no delays, the complex should be ready for Grapefruit League action in 2019, meaning that 2018 would be the last season the Braves inhabit the Disney Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando.

For more information: