Written: May 24, 2017

Sarasota, Fla., OK’s deal committing Braves to spring training facility through 2048

The Atlanta Braves would be committed to spring training in Sarasota County, Fla., through at least 2048 under final agreements unanimously approved this week by the county.

The facilities and non-relocation agreements receiving unanimous approval this week also commit the Braves for paying for any cost overruns for the $75 million to $80 million complex in North Port, Fla., and set an October funding deadline. A key piece of funding still pending is a $20 million state grant; the agreements pave the way for that grant application, according to a story Tuesday in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Sarasota County’s vote Tuesday was perhaps the most important to date to finalize the team’s move that has been more than two years in the making.

“We’re now the dead center of Major League Baseball,” Commissioner Charles Hines said. “Even if you don’t go to those games or don’t like them, it adds another feather to our cap, our community … we’ve got it all; what a great opportunity.”

Plans for the complex include a roughly 8,000-seat stadium, practice facilities and public multi-use fields. It will be located just south of the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota campus near U.S. 41 and River Road in the West Villages commercial and residential district.

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