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Monday, Sep 01st

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Digital Domain Park / New York Mets / St. Lucie Mets

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The trend in spring-training facilities is to locate new ballparks in the midst of megadevelopments that could be located anywhere. While these new ballparks have the amenities fans expect, they’re generic in nature. Maybe we’re a little too nostalgic, but we want the spring-training experience when we head to Florida: we want the palm trees, the alligators, the quaint ballparks located in out-of-the-way neighborhoods. That’s why Digital Domain Park is a breath of old school in the Grapefruit League.

Digital Domain Park

FAST FACTS

Capacity: 7,800
Year Opened: 1988
Dimensions: 338L, 410C, 338R
Home Dugout Location: Third-base side
Phone: 561/871-2115; 718/507-TIXX (in New York)
Former Names: Thomas J. White Stadium (1988-2004), Tradition Field (2004-2010)
Local Airport: Palm Beach
Address/Directions: 525 N.W. Peacock Boulevard, Port St. Lucie, FL. From 1-95, take Exit 63-C (St. Lucie West Blvd.), east to Peacock Blvd, north to stadium. From U.S.# l: Take Prima Vista Blvd., west to Peacock Blvd., north to ballpark.


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There are no developments within walking distance of the ballpark, just some municipal buildings next door, commercial buildings and warehouses nearby, and an RV resort up the street. No sports bars, no hotels, no entertainment complex, no trendy shops. Park on the right-field side of the ballpark and you’ll wander across a sign warning you to stay away from the swampland because of the presence of alligators.

While we wouldn’t exactly call the Digital Domain Park location bucolic — commercial development in Florida tends to sprawl, and there’s definitely a lot of sprawl near the ballpark — you definitely know you’re in Florida when you attend a Mets spring-training game.

Digital Domain Park went from one of the dumpiest spring-training to one of the better ones in 2004, when the former Thomas J. White Stadium underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation that added more seating and clubhouse space, as well as some decorative elements that spiffed up the place.