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State Grant Secured for First Data Field Overhaul

New York Mets

St. Lucie County has secured a $20 million state grant for a planned renovation to First Data Field, spring training home of the New York Mets

The Mets and county officials have been working to finalize plans for the renovation, which will lead to an overhaul of both First Data Field and the adjacent complex. As part of the project, the ballpark will receive several new amenities–including a 360-degree concourse–while an overhauled clubhouse will be among the complex’s changes.

One of the key pieces for the funding model was the grant, and the county has been working to secure those funds. Ultimately, the state issued the grant to the county, and the transaction became official on Tuesday. More from TCPalm:

The state Department of Economic Opportunity informed the county on Friday that it would receive the grant, and the St. Lucie County Commission formally accepted it Tuesday morning. The money would be paid in monthly installments of $83,333 for the next 20 years.

“As soon as the vote is taken we will raise our glasses of water or coffee to celebrate,” County Administrator Howard Tipton joked at the meeting.

The $20 million is the maximum the state awards for a single-team spring-training facility. State law allows up to $50 million for a stadium used by more than one team.

The County Commission in May approved borrowing $60 million to renovate the 29-year-old stadium — formerly named Tradition Field — to upgrade the facility and keep Mets spring training through 2042.

The Mets have agreed to a 25-year lease extension, which will become official when the county closes on its loan. Construction is expected to begin later this year and take place over multiple phases so that First Data Field can continue to be used by the Mets as well as the ballpark’s full-season tenant, the St. Lucie Mets (High A; Florida State League).

RELATED STORIES: Grant Could Help First Data Field UpgradesGrant Sought for Tradition Field ProjectTradition Field Upgrades Still on Tap

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