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Devil Rays Break Ground on New Spring Training Facility PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 21 August 2007 15:58
Charlotte DRays GroundbreakingOfficials from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Charlotte County, HOK Sport and Hunt Construction Group held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Rays new Spring Training complex at Charlotte Sports Park on Monday, Aug. 20.

The Rays also introduced new renderings of the facility as it will look when completed.

Renovations will begin this week and will be completed in time for spring training in 2009. The plans call for a thorough overhaul of the complex, including the replacement of all seats, two new berm areas along the left-field and right-field lines, improved access for disabled patrons, new landscaped entry plazas, a new "Kids Zone" along the right-field line, renovated suites and press areas, a new 40,000 square-foot clubhouse and administrative office building, rehabilitated practice fields and training facilities, and a new 20,000 square-foot outfield boardwalk that will provide 360 degree circulation around the ballpark.

Rays officials in attendance included Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg, President Matt Silverman, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, Senior Vice President of Development and Business Affairs Michael Kalt, Manager Joe Maddon and pitcher James Shields. Charlotte County commissioners, County administrators and other community leaders also participated.

"We are grateful to the officials from Charlotte County for their partnership in shepherding this project over the past 12 months," said the Rays Senior Vice President of Development and Business Affairs Michael Kalt. "We're confident that the facility will be a source of great pride for our players, our fans, and the entire Charlotte County community for many years to come."

Hunt Construction Group, Inc., teamed with Mathews Taylor Construction, LLC, and HOK Sport, has been retained as the Design-Builder. Hunt is the nation's #1 sports builder and HOK Sport is the #1 sports design firm ranked by Engineering News-Record. Hunt and HOK Sport have worked together on other Florida sports projects including Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Dolphin Stadium in Miami, and Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville.

The Charlotte County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously (4-0) last year to approve an agreement to add a fifth cent to the county's tourism tax which will be used along with funding from the Rays and the State to cover the cost of the $27.2 million project. Last January, Charlotte County was also awarded $15 million in grant funding for the project from the Florida Sports Foundation and the State's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development.

"What you're looking at today will be completely different in a year and a half," said  Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg.

As reported by MLB.com :

Renovations will begin this week. The plans call for a thorough overhaul of the complex, including the replacement of all seats, two new berm areas along the left- and right-field lines, improved access for disabled patrons, new landscaped entry plazas, a new "Kids Zone" along the right-field line, renovated suites and press areas, a new 40,000 square-foot clubhouse and administrative office building, rehabilitated practice fields and training facilities, and a new 20,000 square-foot outfield boardwalk that will provide 360-degree circulation around the ballpark.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
 
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