Sarasota County approves term sheet for new Braves spring home


The Braves moved a significant step closer to getting a new spring-training home when the Sarasota County, Fla., board of commissioners Tuesday approved an agreement outlining key terms of a deal to build a $75.4 million complex.

Despite voicing concerns about some aspects of the deal, the commissioners in the southwest Florida county voted 4-1 to approve a 27-page term sheet/letter of intent previously accepted by the Braves.

A series of more definitive final contracts still must be negotiated and approved.

The term sheet calls for the stadium and training complex to be built in the city of North Port and to be funded by Sarasota County, the state of Florida, North Port, the Braves and a private developer. The deal includes more than $40 million in taxpayer money.

North Port’s city commission is expected to vote on the terms next week.

The Braves, who have held spring training at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports near Orlando since 1998, hope to move to the new facility in 2019.

Even though provisions in the term sheet are meant to be binding, several Sarasota County commissioners expressed concerns that they want their negotiators to address in the final contracts.

Commission chairman Paul Caragiulo, who cast the only vote against approving the terms, expressed concern that the deal doesn’t provide enough community access to the practice fields year-round.

Two commissioners, both of whom ultimately voted to approve, objected to a provision that would give the Braves all revenue from stadium naming rights.

As previously reported, the deal calls for about $21.3 million of the cost of the facility to be covered by bonds to be repaid from Sarasota County hotel taxes and $13.1 million by bonds to be repaid with interest from the state of Florida’s spring-training retention fund.

The remaining $41 million in bonds, plus interest, would be repaid from contributions over 30 years from North Port ($300,000 per year), the developer ($300,000 per year) and the Braves ($2 million to $2.5 million per year, the exact amount depending on the annual debt service).

In addition, Sarasota County and the Braves are to share capital maintenance costs, with each contributing a total of $5.6 million over three decades.

Click here for full story on MyAJC.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Who are the 13 international players forfeited by Atlanta Braves
Who are the 13 international players forfeited by Atlanta Braves

As part of baseball’s sanctions on the Atlanta Braves for major infractions committed in the international free-agent market, the team will lose 13 prospects. The following players were ruled free agents and eligible to sign with any of the other 29 franchises: • Infielder Kevin Maitan • Catcher Abrahan Gutierrez • Infielder Yunior...
MLB drops hammer on Braves following lengthy investigation
MLB drops hammer on Braves following lengthy investigation

Major League Baseball dealt unprecedented punishment on the Braves, including a lifetime ban on former general manager John Coppolella, in a lengthy list of sanctions handed down Tuesday for rules violations in the international free-agent market.  The Braves have been the subject of an extensive investigation since it was announced that Coppolella...
Breaking: Coppolella banned for life as part of MLB’s sanctions against Braves
Breaking: Coppolella banned for life as part of MLB’s sanctions against Braves

Former Braves general manager John Coppolella has been banned for life by Major League Baseball as part of discipline handed down by the league Tuesday for major infractions committed in the international free-agent market. In addition, special assistant Gordon Blakeley has been suspended for one year. In handing down the punishment, the league announced...
Braves add two ex-Dodger relievers, reach 40-man limit
Braves add two ex-Dodger relievers, reach 40-man limit

For the second time on Monday night, the Braves scooped up a piece from the Dodgers bullpen. Atlanta acquired right-hander Josh Ravin from the Dodgers for cash considerations, bringing its roster to the 40-man limit. Eligible players needed to be added to the 40-man roster or they could be subject to the Rule 5 draft on Dec. 14. The Braves added former...
Braves claim LHP Grant Dayton from Dodgers
Braves claim LHP Grant Dayton from Dodgers

New Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos’ first addition is one of his former Dodgers. The Braves claimed left-handed reliever Grant Dayton off waivers on Monday. The team also selected the contracts of left-handers Adam McCreery and Ricardo Sanchez, bringing it to 39 players on the 40-man roster at the deadline to protect players from the...
More Stories