The scene at ground-breaking of the Braves’ new spring-training facility in North Port, Fla., on Oct. 16, 2017.
Photo: MATT HOUSTON / Herald-Tribune
Photo: MATT HOUSTON / Herald-Tribune

Cost of Braves’ new spring-training facility jumps to $125 million

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The projected cost of the Braves’ new spring-training facility in southwest Florida has gone up again. 

Team owner Liberty Media put a $125 million price tag on the project in a financial filing Thursday – a jump from a recent projection of $110 million.

History of the Braves’ spring training homes

A preliminary estimate early last year pegged the facility’s cost in the $75 million to $80 million range, which had increased to $100 million by September. 

But on Thursday, Liberty Media disclosed: “The total cost of construction for the spring training facility is estimated to be approximately $125 million, of which the Braves are contributing approximately $55 million using debt and cash on hand, and the remaining funding is coming from municipal and private entities.” 

The Braves broke ground on the facility in the Sarasota County city of North Port in October and originally planned to open it in February 2019, which would have made this year’s spring training the team’s last at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex near Orlando. But the Braves said in January they will extend their lease with Disney through April 2019 “to ensure there is enough time to complete” the new facility. The Braves will hold 2019 spring training at Disney, with the exception of playing the final home game that spring in the new stadium. 

Braves’ revenue increase ‘astounding’

The latest increase in cost doesn’t change the amount of taxpayer money going into the project. The state of Florida, Sarasota County and North Port have committed approximately $45 million combined. A private developer will contribute $4.7 million plus land and infrastructure.

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