Will Atlanta Braves come to Palm Beach County?

Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-05 18:40:08-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Palm Beach County commissioners are considering whether to build another spring training baseball stadium in the area. They're looking at whether to bring the Atlanta Braves to a park west of Lake Worth.

Commissioners are waiting for a formal proposal from the Braves detailing what they want and the cost, which could come any day now. Meanwhile, two different groups wearing different colors packed commission chambers.

There was a sea of blue before Palm Beach County comissioners.

"I hope you will all consider bringing the Braves to Palm Beach County," said Scott Maxwell, the vice mayor of Lake Worth. "This is their home. They've been sorely missed."

Beside opponents wearing white fighting to keep the team from coming to John Prince Park.

"The team has conned you just like the others but this is even worse," said a Lake Worth resident at the dais. "Taking any acreage from John Prince Park is an abominable idea."

At issue is whether to build a stadium for the Braves in time for the 2018 season. The biggest question is the cost, which is estimated to be up to $100 million.

"We moved next to a quiet park," said Katie McGiveron, the president of Residents of Lake Osborne (ROLO).

McGiveron isn't so thrilled. She's worried about a spring training facility coming up feet from her home.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I might be living in the shadow of a baseball stadium," explained McGiveron.

Lake Worth resident Michael Witherwax disagrees, "It would be an exciting thing," he said.

An opportunity he says would boost the Lake Worth economy.

"You're going to be bringing lots of business to the area that are going to be able to move in right away with the economy build up and make a living," says Witherwax.

If commissioners accept the Braves proposal, they'd have to work out a way to pay for it. The commission is paying $113 million in hotel bed tax money toward the Ballpark, the complex the Nationals and Astros will share.