Good morning. This is Leadoff, the early buzz in Atlanta sports.
The Braves will find out this afternoon what Sarasota County commissioners think of a 27-page term sheet that outlines many key elements of a proposed deal for a new spring-training complex in the southwest Florida county.
The commissioners are scheduled to review the term sheet and possibly vote on whether to approve it.
The same board discussed the possibility of a partly publicly funded Braves spring-training facility in the county at a January meeting. No vote was needed or taken at that time. The sentiment was generally favorable, but there were cautions expressed to Braves officials about the need to deal with impact on roads and the need for transparency with the public.
Since then, negotiations have led to the term sheet that outlines many financial and operational details of a proposed deal.
If the commissioners approve the term sheet, as recommended by county staff, a series of more definitive final contracts will still need to be negotiated.
The term sheet describes a $75.4 million complex to be built in the city of North Port and funded by Sarasota County, the state of Florida, North Port, the Braves and a private developer. See this story for details on the funding breakdown and other terms.
The facility would be part of a master-planned community in the West Villages district in North Port. The Braves hope to hold spring training there starting in 2019.
Aside from the important financial details, the term sheet includes this notation: The spring-training stadium’s playing-field dimensions would mirror SunTrust Park’s in terms of outfield distances, wall heights and amount of foul territory.
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Also look today for Braves owner Liberty Media to disclose the team’s financial results for the fourth quarter of 2016 and, by extension, the full year.
Because stock in the Braves is publicly traded, they are one of the few U.S. sports teams required to release quarterly financial figures.
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Chris Vivlamore reports that the Hawks won 114-98 last night at Boston, where the crowd was eager to remind Atlanta that the Falcons blew a 25-point lead against the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
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Former Falcons defensive end Dwight Freeney is set to become a free agent again, D. Orlando Ledbetter writes.
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