Atlanta Braves will play their final season at Champion Stadium in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., in 2019.
Photo: Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com
Photo: Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com

Braves’ spring training homes through the years

The 2019 spring season marks Atlanta’s 22nd and final spring training at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. 

The Braves will host the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday, March 24, at their new spring training facility in North Port, Fla., before moving full time next season.

Since 1901, the Braves organization has held spring training at numerous locations from Virginia to Texas to Georgia. Here's a look back at their most reason homes in Florida:

Feb. 1, 1948-April 1, 1962: The Boston Braves moved to Bradenton from Fort Lauderdale in 1948. The Braves would play in Bradenton’s Braves Field until 1962, making some history. The Braves won three National League pennants and the 1957 World Series while training here.

Feb 1, 1963-April 1, 1997: The Milwaukee Braves moved to West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium, aka Municipal Stadium. In 1963 there was nothing on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard except the $1 million Municipal Stadium, which was not quite finished when the Braves arrived. There were snakes and construction-site sand, and no lights or roof on the stadium.
The Braves became the Atlanta Braves in 1966. They were joined for spring training at Municipal Stadium by the Montreal Expos from 1968 to 1972.
Atlanta’s run of 14 straight Division titles began in 1991, while the team trained in West Palm. The Braves would win the World Series in 1995.
The stadium site is now occupied by a Home Depot store.

Feb. 1, 1998-March 23, 2019: The Atlanta Braves moved their spring-training games to what was then known as Disney’s Wide World of Sports in 1998, shortly after the ballpark opened.
Champion Stadium, formerly Cracker Jack Stadium, was one of the largest spring training venues with 9,500 seats. It was the spring home to Hall of Famers Bobby Cox, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Chipper Jones.
Atlanta had originally intended to move from the Lake Buena Vista area by 2018. The team delayed the move to allow enough time for the new facilities in North Port, Fla., to be built.
In August 2018, the team announced it would play its final game at Disney on March 23, 2019.

March 24, 2019: The Braves will conclude the Florida portion of their 2019 exhibition season with the opening of their new spring training facility against the Tampa Bay Rays at CoolToday Park in North Port, Fla.

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