Atlanta Braves Morning Chop: News Round-up, Maitan
Braves Moving On From Toytown
CHARLIE FRAGO / TAMPA BAY TIMES
What appeared to be the case is now almost certainly true when it comes to the Atlanta Braves’ interest in Toytown, the former landfill that the major league team had proposed turning into a spring-training facility.
The affair is over.
Earlier this month, Braves representatives were no shows at the initial meeting between Pinellas County officials and SportsParka Partners, LLC, a consortium that included St. Petersburg developer Darryl LeClair and former baseball star Gary Sheffield.
Today [FEB 18], the Atlanta Journal- Constitution reported that the team is now looking in Palm Beach County where the Braves trained from 1962 until 1997. The story quoted Braves president John Schuerholz saying that Toytown, the 245-acre mid-county site, was off the table because of MLB’s opposition.
Shortly after the Braves proposal for Toytown broke in September, MLB sent out a sharply worded statement basically telling the team to back off until the Tampa Bay Rays resolved their long-standing stadium stalemate.
Ed. Note: In previous updates, I held off on wording of this strength, as I believed that the Braves were still trying to keep their (dwindling) options open, but this writer leaves little doubt: The Braves will not be making a new Spring home near St. Petersburg under the current proposal. Schuerholz’ comments basically indicated that MLB forced the Braves’ hand away from the Toytown site, which now would seem to be the odds-on favorite for a new Rays stadium location.
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