The Braves are hot garbage, and if former Braves outfielder Gary Sheffield gets his way they’ll be playing on top of garbage every February and March.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that an investment group, a part of which includes the Gary Sheffield Sports Foundation, has made a proposal to build a new spring training facility for the Braves in Pinellas County on a site that served as a garbage dump from the 1960s through the 1980s. Back in April the Times said this about the site, then not attached to any development plans:
. . .lurking beneath the grassy surface is a construction engineer’s nightmare: a layer of garbage, perhaps as thick as 60 feet in some places, emitting methane gas and creating an unstable building surface. Though the location of the former Toytown landfill is prime, the roughly 25 years worth of buried household trash, construction debris, yard waste and sludge takes the sheen off a site the county has been trying for years to sell or lease.
Which sounds perfect for the Braves, really. And for many other sporting events and facilities, according to the article.
The Braves are under lease at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex for another year, but that is quickly losing its appeal as a spring training location given the Astros’ impending move to Palm Beach, leaving only the Braves and Tigers in central Florida. A St. Pete site for the Braves would put them much closer to the many teams in the Bay Area — the Phillies, Blue Jays, Yankees, Pirates and Orioles are all very close — and would make for more manageable drives down the Gulf Coast to where the Rays, Red Sox and Twins are.
Very desirable indeed! At least if you ignore the 60 feet of garbage underneath home plate.