Pitchers and catchers are reporting to camps around Florida and Arizona, signifying the beginning of a new spring-training season. This year’s spring training features renovated complexes in both states, with those facilities on the verge of hosting their first games since the upgrades.
For a closer look at those projects, we present the home opening games at all three renovated spring training ballparks. Those include the spring homes of the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays in Florida, along with the San Francisco Giants’ complex in Arizona.
The Mets and St. Lucie County have undertaken a $57-million renovation that includes upgrades to Clover Park, along with improvements to the surrounding complex. A December quarterly construction report issued by St. Lucie County estimated that the project was behind schedule, but the Mets have said that the major fan amenities added to Clover Park during the renovation will be ready by the time they face the Miami Marlins in their spring-training home opener.
Renovations to Clover Park include a phased seating replacement, an extension of the left-field party area, expanded main entrance, ticket office, and merchandise store; concourse upgrades; new clubhouses; and more. As part of the renovations, the Mets will extend their commitment with St. Lucie County—where they have trained since 1988—through 2042. Clover Park was formerly known as First Data Field, but its name changed this year following the 2019 acquisition of First Data by Fiserv.
This spring sees the initial results of a two-year overhaul to the Giants’ spring-training facilities, as the team debuts the first round of upgrades to Scottsdale Stadium. Those include a new clubhouse and entry area, which are ready for the February 22 contest against the archrival Los Angeles Dodgers.
Year two of the renovation will yield further upgrades to the ballpark, including additional and upgraded seating, berm changes and more second-level shade. Next year is also when the Giants will complete their overhaul to the old Papago Park training complex once used by the Oakland A’s. In that project, the Giants are essentially tearing down much of the old Papago Park complex to make way for a $50-million facility that features six training fields—including one with new Oracle Park dimensions and one with old Candlestick Park dimensions—as well as a new training center with state-of-the-art equipment, clubhouses for both minor- and major-league players, weight and therapy rooms, lounge areas, batting cages, bullpen mounds, meeting spaces and dining facilities.
Work completed to TD Ballpark represents perhaps the most dramatic renovation to a spring-training venue in 2020. The $102-million project expands the ballpark’s capacity from about 5,550 to a total of 8,500, including 6,500 theater-style fixed seats, with the rest standing room, berm seating, and group spaces. A new outfield boardwalk will effectively give the ballpark a 360-degree concourse, with an outdoor bar in right field. In addition to those improvements, TD Ballpark will also feature a new videoboard, merchandise store, air-conditioned bar, and more. The price tag for the project also includes a renovation and expansion of the team’s off-site training complex, which should be completely finished this summer and result in three new full-sized additional training fields—bringing the total to six—as well as a new two-story clubhouse and administrative building, and more.
Along with the renovations, the ballpark will also debut a new name, as an agreement with TD Bank that includes naming rights to the former Dunedin Stadium was announced in November. The Blue Jays will face the Atlanta Braves in their spring-training home opener.
Rendering courtesy Toronto Blue Jays.
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