The Braves' lease at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports expires in 2017.
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Braves explore spring training move to St. Petersburg

A group led by the Atlanta Braves has proposed developing a 240-acre former landfill near St. Petersburg, Fla., into the team's new spring training home, a report in the Tampa Bay Times states.

The Braves have been considering options for a spring-training home for when their lease at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex expires in 2017. The Braves have trained in Lake Buena Vista since 1988.

The new facility in Pinellas County would include athletic fields, a hotel, office space and a sports medicine facility, according to the request for proposal submitted in August to the county.

The group — comprised of the real estate development firm Echelon; the Gary Sheffield Sports Foundation; and the Atlanta Braves — estimated the development would cost about $660 million.

Included in the plan is a 10,000-seat baseball stadium with berm seating for an additional 1,000 fans. The proposal suggests more than one team major league team could be housed in the complex.

Braves president John Schuerholz writes in the 258-page proposal, the Tampa Bay Times reports, that construction could begin by next year with the facility set for completion by the 2018 season.

The Braves declined to comment when reached by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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