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Atlanta Braves' Spring Training yields positive growth in North Port

Six-week stint helps local economy and drives tourism
Atlanta Braves at CoolToday Park
Posted at 2:13 PM, Feb 26, 2024

NORTH PORT, Fla. — Every year, the Atlanta Braves call CoolToday Park in North Port home for six weeks.

"We have over 400 players and personnel on sight," Mike Dunn, Vice President of Florida Operations for the Atlanta Braves, said. "We employ over 400 stadium workers. We have about 1,000 people who are here for our work."

The local workers are in mid-season form even as the players get ready to start their season.

"There's one goal - that's to win the World Series," Dunn said. "The day-to-day goal is to get ready and prepare ourselves physically and mentally for the season, leave here with a good roster, compete in the playoffs, and win the World Series."

It's a win-win for the Braves and the City of North Port.

"Sarasota County was very aggressive in finding our needs, which was land, infrastructure, and proximity to other teams," Dunn said. "It was just a win-win for all the parties."

Braves officials report more than 100,000 fans come to CoolToday Park every year for spring training. That, in turn, helps stimulate the local economy.

Manager of Economic Development for the City of North Port Vinnie Mascarenhas touted the Braves' positive impact on the community.

"It gives us attention and additional tourism that we value and we welcome every spring training," Mascarenhas said.

An influx in tourism means an increase in restaurants and hotels in the area.

"It's going to mean more dining, more hotels, for folks who come to this western part of our city in Wellen park in North Port."