SBD/March 12, 2014/Facilities

Braves Weighing Future Spring Training Options As Disney Lease Ends In '17

Braves execs say they would stay in Florida, but could move to the Gulf Coast
The Braves are "considering options for a spring-training home when their lease at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex expires in three years," according to Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Braves President John Schuerholz emphasized that the team "has not decided to move its spring base from the Disney resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla." But he said that the issue "must be explored with the 20-year lease ending in 2017 and two other teams in talks about moving farther away." Schuerholz yesterday said, "We find ourselves now in a circumstance where teams in the central Florida area have begun migrating out. It would be problematic if we found ourselves in three years with no one in close proximity to play except the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland." He added that if the Braves move their spring home, it "would remain in Florida." Schuerholz: "We wouldn’t be an Arizona team." He would "not say if the Braves are in active talks regarding other sites." Eight of the 15 teams that train in Florida "are based along the state’s west coast." Despite the travel issues, Schuerholz "did not rule out the Braves remaining in their current spring home with a lease extension beyond 2017" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 3/12).

SPRING CLEANING: In Ft. Lauderdale, Andy Reid notes the Palm Beach County Commission yesterday "gave its endorsement to trying to craft a deal" with the Astros and Nationals that "could include building" a $100M Spring Training facility for both teams. The county already has a publicly financed Spring Training ballpark, Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, that houses the Marlins and Cardinals. Supporters of a new venue "contend that landing more teams would help insure that spring training continues in Southeast Florida." Early plans call for the teams to pay 5-10% of construction costs (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 3/12).
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