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Changes afoot at Pensacola ballpark

Pensacola Bayfront Stadium

Some changes at the home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Class AA; Southern League): the ballpark is now officially Blue Wahoos Stadium, the playing surface Fetterman Field and the left-field fence will be moved out 17 feet to accommodate NCAA football.

All of these changes were approved yesterday by the Community Maritime Park Associates (CMPA), which oversees the ballpark.

The name from Pensacola Bayfront Stadium to Blue Wahoos Stadium isn’t surprising or dramatic: the branding never pushed Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, and as it’s best known for hosting the Blue Wahoos. The CMPA had been shopping naming rights since before the ballpark opened, to no avail; the deal basically has the Blue Wahoo buying naming rights for $112,500 for seven years. But the CMPA will continue to shop those naming rights.

The naming of the field is in honor of the late Admiral Jack Fetterman, who worked behind the scenes for the rehabilitation of the waterfront, culminating in the bayfront ballpark.

Finally, the left-field fence and foul pole will be moved out 17 feet in order to install a full football field for the University of West Florida Argos, who agreed to a two-year lease for the ballpark. From

Pensacola mayor Ashton Hayward spoke to the CMPA board, expressing his support to help with some of the costs as well as making the stadium work for football. His support seemed to speed the debate process at the meeting.

“I’m here to offer helping out moving the fence,” Hayward said. “Whatever I can do that can help the solution we hope to be part of that solution. Anything we can do to move the community forward — we have so much momentum — I hope we can do that.”

For baseball next season, the outfield dimensions will now be 342 feet down the left field line, along with an adjustment in the left-center power alley. The straightaway center dimension remains at 400 and 335 feet down the right field line.

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