These aren’t the most glamorous investments for teams, but they’re increasingly essential to the player-development process, as the Oakland Athletics and Pittsburgh Pirates unveil new training facilities at their spring homes.
In Mesa, we have the A’s working out at Lew Wolff Training Complex, the former Fitch Park. Lew Wolff, of course, is co-owner and managing partner of the Athletics. More importantly, he’s the man who put together the deal to bring the A’s to Mesa in 2015, to a renovated Hohokam Stadium and upgraded Lew Wolff Training Complex. The total cost of the project: $26.9 million.
Lew Wolff Training Complex will serve as the year-round home for the Oakland Athletics minor league training and player development operations, as well as the team’s rookie-level Arizona League franchise.
More than 25,000 square feet were added to its main building, bringing the total square footage of the building to 55,433. The exterior and interior were updated to reflect the character and identity of the Oakland Athletics, and other renovations include expanded player therapy and strength training areas and a complete rebuild of the baseball fields, batting cages, pitching mounds and overall grounds.
In addition to the renovations at Fitch Park, Hohokam Stadium saw significant upgrades as well. The A’s spring training ballpark now features a 55′ x 28′ high-definition LED videoboard, which is the largest in the Cactus League. The home clubhouse, kitchen, and weight room were all expanded to complete the state-of-the-art project, which included more than 70,000 square feet of renovation space at Hohokam Stadium alone.
The A’s formerly played spring training games at Phoenix Municipal Stadium and trained at a Papago Park complex.
In Bradenton, Pirates players are working out at an expanded Pirate City performance center. The new two-story facility, which was constructed adjacent to the existing dining facility, combines leading-edge technology with coaching, training and recovery support. It is designed to support the club’s year-round athletic performance and rehabilitation programs in Bradenton.
The center includes coaches’ offices, conference room, storage room, server room, restrooms, and an open exercise area for equipment and group fitness programs. It is equipped with state of the art equipment from Sorinex, Keiser, Iron Grip, Intek, Hammer Strength, TRX, and PLAE Sports Flooring. The equipment companies were chosen by the Pirates due to their commitment to providing the most innovative training solutions for elite athletes.
This is the first of two finished capital improvement projects to the Pirates Bradenton-based facilities that the team will unveil this spring. Today, the Pirates plan to unveil the club’s new 22,500-square-foot home clubhouse at McKechnie Field.
The construction of both buildings was fully funded by the Pirates as a part of the club’s long standing commitment to the City of Bradenton and Manatee County. Both projects were completed by Fawley Bryant as the Architect of Record and NDC Construction as the Design Build firm — the same team that successfully completed the recent renovations to McKechnie Field in 2013, a job that earned a Ballpark Digest Award for the Pirates and the Florida ops team.