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S&P gives 'AA+' rating to bonds for stadium funding

S&P gives 'AA+' rating to bonds issued for Braves spring stadium funding

Post Date:11/07/2017 10:00 AM

SARASOTA COUNTY - S&P Global Ratings has given an "AA+" rating to the approximate $21.5 million capital improvement revenue bonds Sarasota County will issue later this month to finance its portion of the Atlanta Braves spring training stadium.

The positive rating comes just days after Fitch Ratings, a global leader in credit ratings and research, also gave the bonds an "AA+" rating.
 
"This rating continues to recognize the strategic emphasis that the Board of County Commissioners and administration place on strong financial management," said County Administrator Tom Harmer.
 
In its rationale, S&P said the rating reflects its opinion of the county's growing, strong and diverse local economy and very strong debt service coverage on existing debt, among other factors.
 
"One of Sarasota County's goals is to ensure fiscal sustainability, and that's a responsibility we take seriously," said Deputy County Administrator Steve Botelho, who serves as the county's chief financial management officer. "Ratings like these reinforce that responsibility and our commitment to Sarasota County taxpayers." 
 
Sarasota County has committed to a contribution of the bonded proceeds of $21.2 million to be repaid with Tourist Development Tax (TDT), or hotel bed tax, toward the construction of the Braves' new spring training complex in North Port. The county, the team, West Villages, the city of North Port and the state of Florida have partnered to relocate the team to Sarasota County. The stadium is expected to be completed in time for spring training 2019.

For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.

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