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Sarasota Wednesday, Sep. 13, 2017 2 months ago

County approves agreements for Braves training facility

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Now that all parties have approved the agreements, the project can get started after more than a year of planning.
by: Cassidy Alexander Staff Writer

The Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the agreements necessary for the Atlanta Braves Spring Training Complex, after the state of Florida agreed to contribute $20 million in funding for the project.

The North Port City Commission to approved the agreement Sept. 20, which was the last thing needed before the project could finally get started.

“This has been a long time coming,” Commissioner Al Maio said. “This is a great day for our county.”

The Commission originally gave the county administrator permission to pursue the training complex in March 2016, and more than a year later, it’s come to fruition.

On Wednesday, commissioners approved the development agreement between the county, the state, the city of North Port, the West Villages Improvement District, the developer and the Atlanta Braves, which outlines what responsibilities and funding each party has committed to.

Commissioners also approved an interlocal agreement that outlines rights and responsibilities between the county and the West Villages Improvement District. Essentially, the West Villages Improvement District will be responsible for the design and construction of the training facility.  Upon completion, ownership will be transferred to the county.  

Sarasota County committed $21 million in funding form its tourist development tax.

“I think this is going to be a huge economic stimulator,” Commissioner Mike Moran said.

The current cost estimate for the stadium is $100 million, up from the previously expected $80 million. The increase in price has no impact on the county's contribution. 

The stadium is projected to open in January 2019 in time for the Grapefruit League spring training season.

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