spring training

Flickr

The city of Dunedin and the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a 25-year contract to keep the Major League Baseball team in town for spring training.

Dunedin Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski said the agreement is significant because the city could not apply for state money until the commission approved the project.

Atlanta Braves

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.

Cathy Carter / WUSF

MLB spring training is well underway, and there's a lot of talk about multimillion dollar renovations at Tampa Bay area stadiums. They're supported in part by local tax dollars.

The Detroit Tigers have unveiled a revamped facility in Lakeland. The New York Yankees have done the same in Tampa, and Dunedin is planning upgrades for the Toronto Blue Jays. Sarasota County is opting to start from ground zero, potentially investing in a new $75 million facility for the Atlanta Braves.

Cathy Carter/WUSF News

For baseball fans, spring training means winter is almost over and pennant dreams can be renewed.  But in Florida, baseball’s six week warm-up means big business.

Braves, Sarasota County Detail Spring Training Plans

Jan 24, 2017
Atlanta Braves

The Sarasota County Commission and representatives of the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday discussed the team's proposal to build a new Spring Training stadium in North Port.

Provided to WUSF News

The Atlanta Braves could soon spend a few months of the year in southern Sarasota County if officials have their way.

Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer sent an email to Sarasota County Commissioners Monday informing them about a proposal to bring the team to North Port for spring training. The West Village Improvement District made the bid for the team.

Pinellas County

The Atlanta Braves are talking about moving their spring training home out of Orlando, and Pinellas County is one of the contenders.

Dalia Colón / WUSF

The Winter Olympics get underway today in Sochi, Russia, and more than a few Olympians trained in Florida. But how do Disney World and the beach help athletes prepare for ice and snow?

Strange as it sounds, there actually is a connection.

Milwaukee Brewers

If the Toronto Blue Jays decide to no longer use Dunedin as their spring training home, a replacement team may already be waiting in the wings.

The Phoenix Business Journal reports the Milwaukee Brewers can opt out of their lease in Arizona after the 2015 season.

Polk County commissioners approved Tuesday almost $14.6 million in tourist tax funds to renovate and expand the Detroit Tigers' spring training complex.

The Detroit Tigers have made Lakeland their spring training home for 77 years. That relationship is the longest of its kind in Major League Baseball.

To keep that relationship going past the agreement end date of 2016, Polk County commissioners approved the money to renovate and expand the Tigertown complex.

7 Spring Training Teams Set Attendance Records

Apr 15, 2013

We've apparently got a passion for America's Pasttime - seven spring training teams set attendance records this year, with several of those in the Tampa Bay area.

Roadside America

Baseball history was made in Tampa on April 4, 1919, when Babe Ruth hit what many consider to be his longest home run ever.

Ruth was still with the Boston Red Sox at the time.  The team was in town for spring training at Plant Field, which was located on the current site of the University of Tampa.

Ruth led off the bottom of the second inning, facing pitcher George Smith of the New York Giants.