The Atlanta Braves have announced that they will be extending their Spring Training agreement with ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort through April 2019.
This decision was made to make sure that there would be enough time for the team to have their new facility completed in West Villages in North Port, Sarasota County. The Braves will play their final 2019 Spring Training game in the new ballpark, which will officially open in April 2019 with their Florida operations moving in at that time, as well.
“We are thankful for our good friends at Walt Disney World Resort and are excited for this extension,” said John Schuerholz, Vice Chairman Emeritus of the Atlanta Braves. “We also appreciate the foresight and thoughtfulness of our partners in North Port, Sarasota County and West Villages 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.”
The Braves have utilized the Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for their Spring Training since 1998. When complete, the new facility in North Port will have 6,500 fixed seats and 2,500 additional general admission, along with berm and concourse.
“We fully support this decision by the Atlanta Braves as the construction administrators for the project,” said Jeff Maultsby, director of Sarasota County’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “The agreements between the project partners always envisioned and addressed the possibility that 2020 could be the Braves’ first full spring in Sarasota County, and we are excited to celebrate their arrival at the 2019 Spring Training finale.”
The facility will also include six and a half practice fields, 55,000 square feet of clubhouse and fitness center space for the Braves, as well as multi-purpose public space and fields that can be used for special events by the County and City. It will operate year-round with extended Spring Training for minor league teams, Fall Instructional League and Gulf Coast League.
For more information, visit espnwwos.com.