A resolution supporting the team moving its spring training home to John Prince Park, west of Lake Worth, passed 3-1, with Commissioner Christopher McVoy opposed.
Commissioner Ryan Maier was absent.
“This will have a huge economic and social impact on central Palm Beach County and our city is right in the middle of it,” said Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. “We can use a shot in the arm.”
Calling himself a “baseball Grinch,” McVoy said while he’s not against America’s Pastime, he’s heard many complaints from residents who live in Lake Osborne about traffic, lighting and noise.
“One of my duties is to listen to residents and their concerns,” McVoy said.
The resolution, drafted by City Manager Michael Bornstein on behalf of Maxwell, states the site would have a “tremendous” economic impact and provide additional tourist bed tax revenue.
It also says the site would add another venue for other sporting and cultural activities in Lake Worth and the surrounding communities.
About 25 residents wearing blue “Bring Home The Braves” T-shirts, staged a 30-minute rally outside City Hall before the meeting to support the plan.
Ellie Whittey said the facility would bring more jobs to the city, echoing the sentiment of many residents.
“That’s what it’s all about,” she said.
Whittey also said players would most likely shop in the city and may even want to buy a home in the area.
The Braves trained in West Palm Beach for 34 years before moving to the Orlando area in 1997.
Not everyone, however, supports the stadium.
“What brings people to that area is the park,” said one Lake Osborne resident. “The wildlife there is exceptional and stadium construction will destroy it all.”
Former Commissioner Jo-Anne Golden said she also wasn’t in favor of the facility.
“What are the benefits to our residents?” she asked “This is a public park and we need to keep it that way.”
Check back at mypalmbeachpost.com to read more about what commissioners and residents had to say about the planned facility.