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MLB Says Rays Stadium, Not Braves Site, Is Top Priority

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Tampa Bay Rays

News that the Atlanta Braves may want to move its spring training facility to Pinellas County has caught the attention of Major League Baseball.

The Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune report that league officials released a statement suggesting the Tampa Bay Rays’ quest for a new stadium is a more important project.

The most pressing need, however, is the construction of a Major League-quality facility for the Rays, league officials said.

“Major League Baseball is committed to working with the Rays to secure a new ballpark in cooperation with the Tampa Bay region.  This can only happen with the support of local political and business leaders,” read the statement.

Tampa native Gary Sheffield and St. Petersburg developer Darryl LeClair are teaming up with the Braves to create a $662 million amateur and pro sports destination that would include a spring training home for the Braves.

The complex is one three projects proposed at the former Toytown landfill, just south of the Howard Frankland Bridge on Interstate 275. The Pinellas County Commission is expected to consider the proposals at a meeting on October 6.

The Braves' 20-year agreement with at Disney's ESPN Wild World of Sports Complex near Kissimmee expires in 2017.