Braves have a naming-rights deal for new spring stadium; Rays still don’t

The Braves will play a sneak preview game against the Rays this March, then move fully into the North Port facility for the 2020 spring.
The logo for the Braves new spring facility in North Port. [Photo | ATLANTA BRAVES]
The logo for the Braves new spring facility in North Port. [Photo | ATLANTA BRAVES]
Published Dec. 4, 2018|Updated Dec. 5, 2018

The Rays are soon to open their 11th spring training in Port Charlotte without a naming-rights partner for their stadium.

The Braves are set to move to a new spring training base in neighboring North Port and today announced a 20-year naming-rights deal with the CoolToday home services company.

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The Braves will move fully into the new facility in 2020 but are slated to play a grand opening game at the end of this spring, on March 24 against the Rays, after holding camp at Disney for the final time.

Financial terms of the deal with CoolToday were not disclosed; the deal will include signage on the scoreboard, dugout and outside the stadium, plus "promotional opportunities" for additional events at the stadium.

CoolToday owner/president Jaime DiDomenico said in a statement:  "As part of our commitment to maintain a lifelong relationship with our community, this partnership with the Braves organization, City of North Port, and Sarasota County will cement our presence and strategy for southern Sarasota County. The Braves have a proven track record of building strong ties to the community they operate in and we look forward to enhancing those ties going forward.  I'm very excited about what the future holds."

The Rays moved their spring base from St. Petersburg to Port Charlotte for the 2009 season.

They briefly had a naming-rights deal, announcing in February 2010 a 15-year agreement with the Mosaic Co., but less than two weeks later dropped it due to public opposition.

The deal was subject to approval by Charlotte County commissioners, and there were lingering issues from previous legal battles in which the county spent a reported $12 million on litigation battling  with Mosaic, which produces and markets phosphate, over mining permits.

The Rays declined to comment.