MLB teams consider central Florida venue changes for spring training


ORLANDO, Fla. - Spring training fans might have fewer options in the next few years if central Florida teams decide to go elsewhere.

Stadium leases for three teams expire in the next two or three years, including the Atlanta Braves at Wide World of Sports.

When Disney opened the Wide World of Sports complex, they launched it with a Braves game in the late '90s, but with the lease set to expire in about three years, fans hope it won't be the last games they'll be seeing.

"We splurged and got front row seats today and we are going to do the outfield on Friday and Saturday," Braves fan Katie Sansaverino told Channel 9 on Wednesday.

The Braves are playing the Nationals, who could also decide to leave their training grounds in Viera.  The Astros are considering leaving central Florida, too.

"I hope they stay here," said Sansaverino. "It's such a great drive from Atlanta. It's easy. And you can get (to) both the parks and this field. It's a great combination."

If the Braves leave, it could be a big loss for Disney. Nearly 135,000 fans passed through the gates last year, nearly triple that of the Astros in Osceola County and about 30,000 less than the Yankees in Tampa and the Red Sox in Fort Meyers.

A Disney spokesperson could only tell say at this point that they enjoy hosting the Braves and they look forward to hosting them in upcoming seasons.

The Braves still have time to make up their mind.  Their lease doesn't expire until 2017.