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Naples site strikes out for Braves’ spring training

The Braves' lease at Disney World's Wide World of Sports complex expires after next year.
The Braves' lease at Disney World's Wide World of Sports complex expires after next year.

A proposal to build a spring-training stadium for the Braves on a site near Naples, Fla., struck out Tuesday morning with county commissioners there.

The proposed site drew no support at the Collier County Commission meeting because of nearby residences, but the commissioners voted unanimously to have county staff discuss other options with the Braves if the team becomes interested in alternative locations in the county.

“It appears the public is not opposed to having the Braves build a stadium, but it seems that the thought of building a stadium in a residential area is not something that I think any residential community is going to take kindly,” Commissioner Georgia Hiller said.

The Collier County commissioners were told that the Braves’ “current position” is that they aren’t interested in building a stadium at another site in the southwest Florida county.

The proposal, for a site near I-75 along Collier Boulevard, had been put together by a private group interested in luring a Major League Baseball team to the county for spring training. After the proposal was presented to the county commission Tuesday, five residents spoke about it, all opposed to the location.

The Braves, whose spring-training lease at Disney World expires after next year, are seeking public funding for a new facility in Florida for 2018 and beyond. The team’s most advanced discussions are with officials in Sarasota County on Florida’s southwest coast and Palm Beach County on the state’s southeast coast.

ExploreClick here for a recent AJC interview in which Braves chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk discussed the search for a new spring-training home and the options in Sarasota and Palm Beach counties.