NORTH PORT (WWSB) - The $100 million Atlanta Braves spring training complex being built in West Villages is just a few months away from opening.
ABC7 was invited to check out the facility in North Port on Tuesday morning.
"This is not just about Spring Training. This is about creating a new destination that transform the area. It will be a catalyst for growth here because this will be a 365 day a year operation,” Mike Plant, the President & CEO of the Atlanta Braves Development Company, said.
That’s why this new spring training facility got a new name today – CoolToday Park. “It’s not going to be a park that’s here in February and March, and then goes dark in April,” Jamie DiDomenico, the President & Owner of CoolToday companies, explained.
With this new 20-year-agreement between the Atlanta Braves, CoolToday, Sarasota County and West Villages, the stadium’s board of directors say there will be events planned all year round.
"We have fans all over the country, and this is again part of that impact that we will make here. People will come here. This is a great part of Florida with a lot of things to do. There's great weather obviously, and they'll be able to come and enjoy this new modern facility," said Plant.
Plus, It’s not just for baseball fans. They plan on hosting all type of activities that would bring the whole community under one roof.
“They want to do things, and they don’t necessarily want to go up to Sarasota or to Bradenton. It would be nice to have more things to do in the Venice, North Port and the South Sarasota County area, and this is going to be the focal point,” said DiDomenico.
Once completed, CoolToday Park will have more than 7-thousand seats, two luxury suites, six full and two half practice fields, an outfield patio and bar area, a clubhouse, batting cages and press box.
“We’ve got a whole laundry list of things, but we’ll be ready. We’re ready to introduce the Suncoast to Atlanta Braves baseball. That’s what we’re looking forward to… championship baseball,” said Mike Dunn, the Vice President of Atlanta Braves’ Florida Operations.
The stadium is scheduled to open in March. The Atlanta Braves will play its last 2019 spring training game there on Sunday, March 24th against the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2020, the Braves will be there for the entire spring training.