The Atlanta Braves announced on Wednesday that they have extended their spring training agreement with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex through April, 2019. This means that the Braves won’t move into their new spring training home at North Port in Sarasota, Florida until the spring training in 2020.
“We are thankful for our good friends at Walt Disney World Resort and are excited for this extension,” Braves vice chairman John Schuerholz said. “We also appreciate the foresight and thoughtfulness of our partners in North Port, Sarasota County and West Villages [Fla.] in recognizing such an extension will be of benefit as we continue to make progress on our new facility. When complete, our new state-of-the-art facility will secure our long-term goal of creating a perfectly positioned and operational Spring Training facility for the next 30 years.”
MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports that the Braves were hopeful that their new home at North Port would be ready for the start of spring training in 2019 but the completion of all necessary governmental procedures took longer than expected. That set the construction timetable back far enough that there was concern that the facility might not be ready which necessitated extending their current deal.
The Braves are planning to close out spring training in 2019 with an exhibition game at the end of spring training before moving to the facility full time in 2020.