Collier commissioners to hear ballpark proposal

Posted at 7:15 AM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 07:15:05-04

NAPLES, Fla. -- We'll be learning new details on a plan to bring the Atlanta Braves baseball team to Collier County for spring training Tuesday, when a private firm hopes to get the ball rolling with a proposal for Collier County commissioners.

The plan the firm will be presenting at city hall is to help build a stadium on Collier Boulevard just south of I -75.  But the land must first be rezoned from residential to commercial.

Residents are split up over the idea. Some are thrilled at the thought of having the Atlanta Braves in Naples for spring training. Others living near the proposed site, which is  surrounded by several gated neighborhoods, worry that it will bring noise and traffic to the area.

The Braves have looked at a couple of potential locations, including Sarasota and Palm Beach counties. The team is favoring the Collier Boulevard site, and proponents think with the stadium will come shops, restaurants, and condos.

"As much as the will to do this is there,  I 'm not sure that it's a viable plan at this point," says commissioner Penny Taylor.  "Folks spent maybe their life savings in their homes, expect it to be residential."

The proposed stadium can also bring an economic boost during the spring training season.  In Lee County, a spokesperson for the Red Sox says all the out-of-state fans help the local economy, and that Red Sox spring training alone brings in about $25 million.

The private firm will makes its proposal to commissioners Tuesday morning at 9 AM.