Braves moving on from Toytown
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 SportsPark Partners, LLC, a consortium that included St. Petersburg developer Darryl LeClair and former baseball star Gary Sheffield.
Sheffield and LeClair want to build an amateur sports complex that could rival Bradenton's IMG Academy.
Today, 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.
“I don’t know if I’d say ‘fell apart’ (to describe the St. Petersburg possibility), but it’s been stopped because Major League Baseball took the position they took,” Schuerholz told the Atlanta newspaper.