Report: Braves looking at new spring home

Report: Braves looking at new spring home

NEW YORK -- The Braves search for a new Spring Training home has led them to propose developing a site near St. Petersburg, Fla.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Braves recently submitted a proposal to the Pinellas County Commission to develop a 240-acre landfill into a multi-use facility that would serve as their Spring Training complex and provide top-notch playing fields for amateur and professional clubs to use once the Major League regular season begins.

Braves officials did not comment on this report.

Former Braves outfielder and Tampa native Gary Sheffield is among the potential investors in this project that would include the construction of a 10,000-seat baseball stadium, athletic fields, a hotel and entertainment venues. The projected development cost has been estimated at $660 million.

The Braves have spent the past couple years looking at potential sites within Florida to build a new Spring Training site. Their contract with their current site, Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, expires after the 2017 season.

With the Astros and Nationals moving their Spring Training complexes from central Florida to Palm Beach County in 2017, the Braves have been given more reason to begin looking for a more appealing Spring Training home from a geographical perspective.

Once the Astros and Nationals move south, the Tigers would be the only other Major League team located within 30 minutes of the Braves' current Spring Training home.

If the Braves end up in the St. Petersburg area, they would be located within 30 minutes of the Spring Training homes of the Yankees, Phillies and Blue Jays. The Pirates, Orioles, Tigers and Rays would all be within an hour away.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.