Ballpark Enhancements Provide Unmatched Fan Experiences in Spring Training Facilities
February 26, 2020
Every spring, thousands of fans from all over travel to experience warmer weather and the chance to get a first look at their favorite MLB players and teams ahead of the regular season at Spring Training. Spring Training facilities serve as the offseason home for Major League Baseball training and recovery to position teams for the 162-game regular season. Additionally, these facilities are designed to draw in communities, a destination where fans of all ages come together to create unforgettable experiences.
As Spring Training officially kicked off over the weekend, Populous debuted new improvements to two ballparks with longtime ties to their respective communities. TD Ballpark, Spring Training home to the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida, and Scottsdale Stadium, Spring Training home to the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale, Arizona, underwent extensive renovations in the offseason aiding to a newly enhanced player and fan experience. Read on to learn more about each.
TD Ballpark, the newly renovated Spring Training home of the Toronto Blue Jays, officially opened when the team faced the Atlanta Braves on February 24. The City of Dunedin and the Toronto Blue Jays are proud of the community they’ve built around their Spring Training home since 1977. Since 2014, the two have worked together to renovate the ballpark and Player Development Complex to enhance the player and fan experience, continuing to build on their relationship and history of excellence.
“It was a pleasure to work with the Blue Jays to incorporate the latest innovations in fan experience, performance, player nutrition, physical and mental development, labs and technology,” said Mike Sabatini, lead designer. “We want TD Ballpark and the Player Development Complex to be spaces where fans come together for great experiences and players leave feeling confident in their training and are well-prepared for the regular season.”
The $102-million renovation expands the ballpark’s capacity from about 5,550 to a total of 8,500, including 6,500 theater-style fixed seats and several open social seating options throughout. Inspiration for TD Ballpark’s improvements was creating accessible spaces with something for everyone to enjoy.
In addition to upgraded concessions, washroom areas and a team store, new social spaces were added in the outfield and along both foul lines. Fans can now enjoy field views from shaded areas, including a new 360-degree outfield boardwalk, WestJet Flight Deck in center field and Eddie’s Bar near third base, which can also be used year-round for community and non-gameday events. A special section near first base allows fans the chance to meet with their favorite players before and after each game.
The ballpark’s new exterior responds to Canadian design elements and the local coastal architecture in the community, including the use of materials like lap siding, stucco, light colors and louvers for shading. Also included, a baseball player weathervane that sits atop the new elevator tower. As Canada’s MLB team, it was essential that TD Ballpark pay homage to the country as well as the City of Dunedin.
The team’s Player Development Complex, which will debut in summer 2020, will feature a new state-of-the-art training facility allowing both Major and Minor League players to train in one location for the first time. The complex includes a covered agility field, a speed hill, covered batting cages and new fields, with the training facility serving as the center, allowing players quick access to all activities and to make the most of their training and recovery time.
The addition of a new weight room, nutrition labs, pitching and hitting labs, hydrotherapy spaces, training areas, large meeting spaces, classrooms and dining areas, ensure the athletes have everything they need to be successful. Even the new locker rooms for both Major and Minor League players consider the importance of daylight for an athlete’s well-being, positioning player lockers along the perimeter walls.
Scottsdale Stadium, newly renovated Spring Training home to the San Francisco Giants, is located in the center of the scenic Scottsdale downtown and just a short walk from a wide selection of restaurants, clubs and galleries. The ballpark debuted improvements on Saturday, February 22, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. These improvements included a redesigned and upgraded new main entrance behind home plate, a new multi-story clubhouse with locker rooms, state-of-the-art athletic training, strength and conditioning facilities, hydrotherapy spaces, new administrative offices, enhanced dining service and a large team meeting and banquet facility.
As phase one of planned improvements, the new clubhouse is integrated into the right-field line, providing views into the ballpark and the adjacent practice field. The multi-use team meeting and banquet facility can be utilized 365 days a year for community events, wedding receptions, dinners and meetings of all types. The San Francisco Giants will occupy a majority of the facility during Spring Training each year and partially use it during the remainder of the year. Additionally, the infamous Charros Lodge in right-field underwent a significant redesign and now includes new shade covered terraced seating for approximately 700 fans and food and beverage amenities for better fan comfort and use during games and events throughout the season. The new player amenities allow players to perform, train and recover in an elite facility, the enhancements also provide fans and community members a place to gather and continue to create unforgettable memories.
Populous’ experience in Spring Training facility design spans the entire country and represents more than 23 facilities, including CenturyLink Sports Complex, Sloan Park, Goodyear Spring Training Facility and JetBlue Park. For more information visit our website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.