Construction work continues at Dunedin Stadium, where a major renovation project is set to be complete by the Toronto Blue Jays‘ 2020 spring training slate.
Since the conclusion of spring training 2019, Dunedin Stadium has been undergoing a significant overhaul as part of a larger facilities renovation project that includes upgrades to the off-site Blue Jays Player Development Complex. As part of the Dunedin Stadium renovations, capacity will increase from about 5,550 to a total of 8,500. That is expected to include 6,500 fixed seats (all theater-style) with the rest standing room, berm seating, and group spaces. Plans also call for an outfield boardwalk that will effectively give the ballpark a 360-degree concourse, with an outdoor bar in right field.
Other enhancements will include a new videoboard, merchandise store, BBQ tent, and more. The total cost of the project–including Dunedin Stadium renovations and off-site complex upgrades–has jumped from an initial $81 million to nearly $102 million, with the Blue Jays picking up the bulk of the extra cost to expand the scope of the project. (Dunedin is throwing in an extra $530,000 on top of its initial $5.6 million contribution).
While complex renovations are set to extend into the summer in order to finish a new clubhouse building, without interruption to existing operations, work at Dunedin Stadium is on track to be completed by spring training. More from the Tampa Bay Times:
In addition, the team will be playing in a stadium and training facility that have been renovated to the tune of $102 million, a project that has the team’s director of Florida operations “extremely excited” about the team’s future here.
“As I’m looking out my window, I see the boardwalk being constructed, the field is being re-leveled … All in all, we’re extremely excited and our fans will really enjoy the amenities that are starting to take shape right now,” Shelby Nelson, the team’s Florida boss, said in a recent interview.
The project has grown significantly since the city entered into an agreement with the team in November 2017 to keep Toronto’s spring training and minor-league operations in Dunedin for the next 25 years….
“The project is going well,” said Doug Hutchens, deputy city manager and Dunedin’s point man on the baseball project. “The stadium project is on schedule for completion in time for spring training next spring.”
Upgrades to the complex include three new full-sized additional training fields-bringing the total to six-a new two-story clubhouse and administrative building, and more. When complete, this project should bring the Blue Jays’ previously outdated spring-training facilities in line with modern expectations for fan and player amenities.
Dunedin Stadium renovations will also have implications for the Dunedin Blue Jays (High A; Florida State League), who did not play at the ballpark during the 2019 season in order to accommodate construction work. The team instead played most of its home games at a scaled-down Jack Russell Stadium, the former Philadelphia Phillies spring-training home in nearby Clearwater.
Rendering courtesy Toronto Blue Jays.
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