Renovations to Vero Beach’s Holman Stadium are taking shape, reflecting Major League Baseball‘s push to upgrade the ballpark and the Jackie Robinson Training Complex.
MLB has taken over management of the former Historic Dodgertown–which was renamed the Jackie Robinson Training Complex earlier this year–facilitating an effort that includes upgrades to the complex and a focus on hosting youth-development programs and other events. The slate of upgrades includes renovations to the complex’s Holman Stadium, the ballpark that was previously used for Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers spring training and High-A Florida State League action (an image from its spring-training days is shown above).
Work at Holman Stadium has been unfolding ahead of next month’s RBI World Series, addressing both playing conditions and fan amenities within the ballpark. New outfield sod has been laid, while a left-field berm has been replaced by a new bullpen. In addition, the ballpark has received new seating. While other upgrades around the complex–including plans for a new indoor training facility–are part of MLB’s strategy, Holman Stadium plays a important part of the league’s plans for the complex, as it will be positioned as a venue for key events. More from TCPalm:
Bench-type seating will be placed in the outfield part of the stands and the stadium will still be able to hold about 6,500 people, said [Rachelle] Madrigal, who came to the training center earlier this year after 13 years working for the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton.
The berm in left field is gone, breached to make room for the home bullpen, formerly just south of the third-base line. To get inside, you’ve got to open a new, higher, eventually padded, fence that runs around the warning track.
Most of the work should be completed in time for the RBI World Series, said Madrigal, a Massachusetts native whose last job for the Pirates was general manager of the Bradenton Marauders.
“We’re prioritizing the different ways to make this an elite facility again,” Madrigal said.
Leading up to MLB’s agreement to take over management of the complex, it had undergone an interesting evolution from spring-training facility to a complex for youth sports and other events. After the Dodgers moved spring-training operations to Arizona, Dodgertown first was leased to Minor League Baseball, followed by an investment group comprised of the O’Malley family and former MLB players until the league finalized its lease with Indian River County.
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