The Atlanta Braves have had discussions about moving their Spring Training home.
There were rumors last week that the Braves were in deep discussions with Sarasota about a potential move for Spring Training. It seems now that after several years of negotiations, they are close to calling Sarasota their new home.
According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the deal between the Braves and Sarasota is close to being done. This comes after a 21-year stay in Orlando at ESPN Wide World of Sports. This proposed move should be in time for the 2019 season. This new lease will run 30 years.
The 75-acre complex will be funded by 5 local communities around the area. Plans are for the Braves to play in a 9,000-capacity stadium. There will be about 6,500 fixed seats, along with a grassy berm that can hold around 2,500 people. If this project is approved by the city of Sarasota, the Braves will be the second team to call Sarasota their Spring Training home.
The Baltimore Orioles have been in Sarasota since their move 7 years ago from Fort Lauderdale. Also, John Schuerholz told Sarasota County officials that Braves will be operating the facilities year-round. Reports also indicate that there might be a youth baseball academy held there as well.
While Disney has been great for the Braves, location was a major issue. Most of the teams in the Grapefruit League are now located closer to the west side of Florida, making those day trips longer for the Braves and their players. This presents a great opportunity to cut down on some of that travel time.
Disney has been a great location. I have really enjoyed going to games there. It is an awesome experience with all the parks around. The stadium and facilities are great and make for a great fan experience. Only a couple of more weeks till Braves baseball will be back!