Last year the MLB’s Atlanta Braves broke the bad news, they were building their own spring training training facility and leaving ESPN Wide World of Sports and we had a big sad. It meant the end of a fun tradition for many families who would make a point of planning a Walt Disney World vacation at the same time as a pre-season game held in Champion Stadium . Those folks will be happy to know they can still see the Braves at Disney for a while longer.
The professional baseball team has announced they will extend their Spring Training agreement with ESPN Wide World of Sports complex through April 2019. The Braves have held their Spring Training at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL since 1998.
The move was made to ensure there is enough time to complete their new facility in West Villages in the City of North Port, Sarasota County. The Braves will play their final 2019 Spring Training game in the new ballpark. The complex will officially open in April, 2019 with the team’s Florida operations moving in at that time.
“We are thankful for our good friends at Walt Disney World Resort and are excited for this extension,” said John Schuerholz, Atlanta Braves Vice Chairman Emeritus. “We also appreciate the foresight and thoughtfulness of our partners in North Port, Sarasota County and West Villages in recognizing such an extension will be of benefit as we continue to make progress on our new facility. When complete, our new, state-of-the-art facility will secure our long-term goal of creating a perfectly positioned and operational Spring Training facility for the next 30 years.”
We’re sad to see the Atlanta Braves leave ESPN Wide World of Sports. We don’t know if Disney is trying to attract a different team, but hope they are. Until they do, fans who want to get their MLB Spring Training on can visit the other grapefruit league training facilities like the Detroit Tigers’ training grounds in Lakeland, FL or the Yankees’ in Tampa, FL once the Braves are gone.
Have you ever seen a spring training game at ESPN Wide World of Sports?