It looks like the last hurdle has been cleared to build a new spring training home for the Atlanta Braves in Sarasota County.
The state has approved spending $20 million for the spring training complex, which will be built in the West Villages neighborhood of North Port in time for the 2019 season. Sarasota County will own the stadium, and chip in $22 million in tourist taxes. The city of North Port has already pledged $4.7 million in sales taxes for the 6,500-seat stadium.
The entire complex will cost around $80 million. The stadium is envisioned to become the heart of a planned “town center” commercial and residential district bordering the State College of Florida's branch campus.
According to a statement from West Villages, a housing development company based in Sarasota, the proposed stadium blends into its master plan for the area.
"It will become an anchor for our future entertainment district and complement our planned new downtown Main Street development," the statement read.
The Braves will pay $7.5 million for construction, and pay more than $2 million a year for a lease. They've played spring ball at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex near Disney World the past decade.