The Atlanta Braves broke ground on its new $100 million spring training facility in North Port, Florida on Monday.
Braves officials, including vice chairman John Schuerholz, and members of the North Port government grabbed shovels and started the construction on the 80 acres of land that will feature a new 8,000-seat baseball stadium and six full-sized baseball fields. It also will also have a few multi-purpose fields.
“We look forward to being a fantastic neighbor and enjoying many many years of baseball, 30 of them at least, together with you, our great new partners, our great new friends and our great new neighbors,” Schuerholz told the crowd.
The Braves' first spring training at the new facility will be in 2019. They will complete the 2018 spring training at Champion Stadium at ESPN's Wide World of Sports, the team's current spring training facility.
Last month, the city voted to approve spending $4.7 million in taxpayer money to help build the facility. The funds will come from the city's penny sales tax. It was the final step for the Braves in getting the facility approved. With funds coming from the Florida state budget, Sarasota County budget and now city budget, there is an estimated $40 million in taxpayer money going towards the facility, according to the city clerk.
Read more about the Braves' new spring training facility: