New facility to make spring a breeze for Braves

August 19th, 2019

ATLANTA -- Along with taking advantage of the comforts of their new Spring Training facility in North Port, Fla., the Braves will enjoy not having to spend nearly as much time on the road during next year’s Grapefruit League season.

The Braves will open their 2020 Spring Training schedule on Feb. 22, when they host the Orioles at CoolToday Park. This will be the second game ever played at this new stadium. Atlanta closed the Florida portion of its 2019 spring slate with a game against the Rays.

Once the Nationals and Astros moved to their shared West Palm Beach facility in 2017, the Tigers were the only team located within an hour travel of the Braves’ previous Spring Training home in Lake Buena Vista.

Consequently, the Braves spent the past two years making frequent two-plus hour trips down Florida’s Turnpike to play teams located on Florida’s east coast. Their returns from trips to play teams located in the Tampa area often lasted at least two hours because of heavy traffic on Interstate 4.

The Braves will now be located within an hour ride of the Rays, Orioles, Pirates, Red Sox and Twins. They are also within a 90-minute trip of the Yankees, Blue Jays and Phillies, the three teams that train in the Tampa area.

So the Braves’ Spring Training schedule looks much different than it did in the past. Along with less travel time, there will not be nearly as many games against fellow National League East teams. Atlanta played eight games against division foes this year. They will play just three such games -- two against the Phillies, including a split squad and one against the Mets -- during the 2020 spring schedule.

The Braves will play 17 home games, and 10 of their 16 road games will be located within an hour of North Port. They will make a three-hour trip to Florida’s east coast to play the Cardinals on March 19 and the Astros on March 20.

Instead of concluding Spring Training with a couple games back in Atlanta at SunTrust Park, the Braves will play the Red Sox in Fort Myers on March 24 and then travel to Arizona for their March 26 season opener against the D-backs.