The Greenville Drive (Low A; Sally League) unveiled at least $10 million of renovations to Fluor Field for the 2017 season, including the addition of Green Monster seating, an new club extension on the suite level, enhancements to the Fieldhouse rooftop experience, and more.
The announcement was made today by Drive Owner/President Craig Brown and Greenville Mayor Knox White.
The renovations will focus on upgrades to the fan experience. The team offices will be moved to the office/condo building behind the current Green Monster, with new seating to be constructed between the office building and the scoreboard. The existing office-building elevator will allow ADA access to the new Green Monster seating. The old team offices will be converted to a season-ticket-holder lounge, while the suite level will be expanded down the third-base line as well.
If approved by the City Council, Greenville would put up $5 million of the project cost, with the rest from Brown and the Drive. The ballpark was originally financed by the Drive in 2005 (with the city contributing the land), so this would be the first city money put toward the ballpark itself.
“From the start the Drive has always been focused on becoming part of the fabric of the Upstate community, being a team that was an integral part of its community versus just being a team that was simply located in a community,” Brown said. “The Drive’s mission has been to consistently deliver a top quality fan experience — that ranges from stadium cleanliness, family-affordable entertainment, and strong engagement with the community.”
“There’s no denying the cumulative strength of the City of Greenville and the Drive,” White added. “Fluor Field has been a driving force for the revitalization of Greenville’s award-winning downtown and the rebirth of its Historic West End. You can walk from one end of Main Street to the other on any given day, and get a sense of the excitement and vibrancy of our beautiful downtown. There’s no other downtown in America that compares to what we have in Greenville, and our downtown took a significant step forward when the Drive and Fluor Field arrived on the scene 11 years ago.”
MAIN STREET AND FIELD STREET PLAZAS
Both entry points to Fluor Field will receive a facelift, including backlit naming rights signage fixed atop the gates, as well as all-new brick pavers. Construction of a new Will Call ticket pick-up area will be integrated into the entry, to alleviate congestion around the Box Office windows, while a roll-up door will be installed to the backside of the Team Store, bringing Drive and Red Sox merchandise out to the fans. The Main Street Plaza will also be enhanced with all-new greenery and LED marquee signage, with the existing marquee signage relocated to Field Street.
GREEN MONSTER SEATING
Fluor Field was designed as a replica of Fenway Park, so adding 100 seats atop the iconic Green Monster is a natural.
The area where the Upper Deck open-air suite currently resides will be extended all the way to the light pole, creating more than 3,700 square feet of fully air-conditioned Club Level space. The area will be enclosed with bi-fold doors, for use on both game days and for non-game day events. The Club Level will accommodate up to 200 people for banquet setting, and includes stadium seating overlooking Fluor Field.
TICKET PLAN HOLDER LOUNGE
The current front office space at Fluor Field will be completely transformed into a unique lounge for Drive Ticket Plan Holders. This amenity will provide all Drive Ticket Plan Holders with access to the area, as well as an upgrade opportunity with food and beverage options included for select games.
The 2,500-square-foot space will have entry points from both Field Street and the concourse level inside the ballpark, allowing for use for game days and non-game day events.
Fluor Field meets Wrigley Field as the Drive will enhance the rooftop experience atop the adjacent Fieldhouse building. This area will accommodate up to 75 people, providing picturesque views of the ballpark and downtown Greenville. An awning for weather protection, bathrooms, and food and beverage stations will be added to the rooftop, as well as an express elevator with service from the ground floor to the roof. A distinctive, backlit Greenville Drive sign will also be installed on the rooftop, visible throughout Fluor Field.
While each of the projects above will be completed prior to the 2017 season, significant enhancements began at Fluor Field leading up to this season. A high-definition videoboard was installed, while the old videoboard was donated to Furman athletics. Also, Fluor Field was outfitted with an all-new audio system, with 84 additional directional speakers installed.
And finally, the 500 Club received several upgrades prior to the start of the 2016 season, which included an extension to the existing roof, a louver enclosing system on two of the sides, all-new graphics, lighting, signage, and a new naming rights partner with The Iron Yard.
“Over the past 18 months we have been working diligently with the City of Greenville to secure the future of baseball in Greenville for years to come,” noted Brown. “We knew we already had one of the best stadiums located in one of the best Downtown’s in America. Our goal was to maintain and enhance what we already have versus trying to change it. We wanted to preserve what everyone loves about Fluor Field – the open views through both of its entrances, the open nature of the concourses, its replica nature of Fenway Park and its textile heritage, including its most distinctive antique brick taken from an Upstate mill.”
Brown added, “In short, we have always tried to maintain a Major League look and feel to Fluor Field, while delivering the access and intimacy that makes Minor League Baseball so uniquely appealing.”
The crew who put the upgrades together: architect Bob Carlson from DLR Group, David Glenn from Centennial American Properties, Parks McLeod from McLeod Landscape Architects, and contractor Trehel Corporation.
Renderings courtesy Greenville Drive.