North Port Preparing For Start of Spring Training Season at CoolToday Park
NORTH PORT, Fla. (WWSB) - We’re getting closer to the day many have been waiting for where major league baseball players and thousands of fans will all be under one roof on the Suncoast. CoolToday Park in North Port will host the first official spring training season of the Atlanta Braves.
As promised, this stadium has been 365 day a year operation with events and festivals happening here since last year. However, this consistent schedule which will start in February, will be a whole different ball game for the area.
“We’re excited to see how it impacts North Port. With more people coming, visiting, looking around,” Josh Taylor, the Public Information Officer for the City Of North Port, said.
Fans will be coming not only to CoolToday Park to watch the games, but they’ll also be eating at our restaurants, shopping in our stores and even possibly deciding to call the city their new home - just like the Atlanta Braves did.
“Any time you bring great programming and the quality of that facility to the city, you’re always going to see an uptick because people want interesting and compelling things to do,” Rick Severance, the President of West Villages, explained.
“So, we’re looking at everything to see how we can highlight North Port,” said Taylor.
Like hosting a big rally on February 15th to kick off the first spring season here. However, with all this excitement, also comes preparation. The city and West Villages have been working hard to make sure everything is set to go before that first pitch.
“We’ve ensured that all of our roadways and access points are open and accessible. This time last year, we had a major road way that was not available. This year Preto and Playmore provide access all the way out to U.S. 41 as well,” Severance told us.
Plus, the city is strengthening safety inside the stadium, as well.
“We’ll have EMS Personnel and law enforcement there during the spring training games throughout the complex, but this allows their employees to at least get the compressions going until if someone needs CPR before an EMS personnel can arrive,” Division Chief Karl Bennett, of the North Port Fire Department, explained,It definitely makes a difference, and it will save a life.”
The events held at the park this last year have been practice runs with hopes to ease this transition.
“Always evolving. Some lessons learned as far as getting people in and out, and we’re hoping everything goes smoothly… but there will definitely be some impacts. During those game times, 41 – there’s going to be impacts there, so you might want to know the schedules of when the games are and go out accordingly,” said Taylor.
The first spring training game at CoolToday Park will be on February 22nd at 1:05 p.m.
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