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.
Even though provisions in the term sheet are meant to be binding, several Sarasota County commissioners expressed concerns that they want their negotiators to address in the final contracts.
Commission chairman Paul Caragiulo, who cast the only vote against approving the terms, expressed concern that the deal doesn’t provide enough community access to the practice fields year-round.
Two commissioners, both of whom ultimately voted to approve, objected to a provision that would give the Braves all revenue from stadium naming rights.
As previously reported, the deal calls for about $21.3 million of the cost of the facility to be covered by bonds to be repaid from Sarasota County hotel taxes and $13.1 million by bonds to be repaid with interest from the state of Florida’s spring-training retention fund.
The remaining $41 million in bonds, plus interest, would be repaid from contributions over 30 years from North Port ($300,000 per year), the developer ($300,000 per year) and the Braves ($2 million to $2.5 million per year, the exact amount depending on the annual debt service).
In addition, Sarasota County and the Braves are to share capital maintenance costs, with each contributing a total of $5.6 million over three decades.
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