A preliminary rendering of a new Braves spring-training complex in North Port, Fla., which is in Sarasota County.
Photo: (Sarasota County government
Photo: (Sarasota County government

North Port approves Braves spring training deal

The Braves’ planned move of their spring training home to southwest Florida cleared another governmental hurdle Tuesday.

City commissioners in North Port – the Sarasota County city where the new Braves complex is to be built — voted 4-0 to approve an agreement outlining the key terms of a deal.

The same term sheet/letter of intent was approved last week by the Sarasota County board of commissioners.

A series of more definitive final contracts still must be negotiated and approved.

In a statement posted on its official social media accounts Tuesday night, North Port said the city commissioners will be “looking for additional details” about a number of items in the subsequent agreements.

Those items include using North Port’s name in advertising for the facility, protecting the city from liability, giving preference to local contractors in construction and allowing more public use of parts of the facility.

“Additional details will be brought back in subsequent agreements, but the City commits to its part to bring Spring Training to North Port,” the statement said.

The agreement calls for the Braves complex to cost $75.4 million and to be funded by Sarasota County, the state of Florida, North Port, the Braves and a private developer. The deal includes more than $40 million in taxpayer money.

North Port’s portion is $300,000 per year over 30 years.

The Braves, who have held spring training at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports near Orlando since 1998, hope to move to the new facility in 2019.

Suggested video:

Braves Freddie Freeman takes his first swings of the season in the batting cage at spring training.

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