Florida is the Sunshine State, and springtime draws Major League Baseball (MLB) teams to train in the sunny Florida ballparks. It’s a great opportunity to get away, enjoy baseball and even lie on the beach and soak up some Florida sunshine. Begin planning now and book a bus for friends, co-workers or family so you can take in some of your favorite baseball teams.
Florida Facilities for the Grapefruit League
Florida has 13 Grapefruit League facilities where you can see MLB professionals honing their skills in the pre-game season:
Bill Hammond Stadium. Visit Bill Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida, the home of the Minnesota Twins since 1991. The Twins play their exhibition games in this 7,500-seat stadium and also train there.
Bright House Networks Field. Located in Clearwater, FL, Bright House Networks Field is a recent ballpark, opening in 2004. The Philadelphia Phillies have made Clearwater their training location since 1948.
Champion Stadium. Champion Stadium is located in the ESPN Wild World of Sports Complex in the Walt Disney World Resort in Kissmmee, FL. Since 1997, it has been the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves. It seats 9,500 people and has two party suites and four luxury boxes.
Charlotte Sports Park. Originally built in 1988 in Port Charlotte, Florida, the Charlotte Sport Park underwent $27 million in renovations to bring the stadium up to other stadium standards. The Tampa Bay Rays made it their training home in 2009.
Ed Smith Stadium. Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, FL opened in 1989 and is now the home of the Baltimore Orioles. The stadium seats 7,500 guests.
Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Located in Dunedin, FL, (north of Clearwater) the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium for many years was known as Dunedin Stadium. The Toronto Blue Jays have established their spring training home here since 1977. The stadium seats 5,000 people. Sports Illustrated ranked the stadium as one of the top five stadiums to watch a MLB Spring Training game.
JetBlue Park. JetBlue Park is in Fort Myers, FL and has already earned the name of “Fenway Park of the South.” It will feature the scoreboard that was at Fenway Park for three decades. The Red Sox have done spring training at JetBlue Park since 2011.
Joker Merchant Stadium. Joker Merchant Stadium claims the longest relationship between a MLB team and a spring training stadium. The Detroit Tigers have done spring training in Lakeland, FL since 1934 and moved to Joker Merchant Stadium in 1966.
Lecom Park. Lecom Park in Bradenton, FL first opened in 1923, which makes it the oldest Grapefruit League stadium. The Pittsburg Pirates made it their Spring Training home in 1969. The seating capacity increased to more than 6,600 in the early 1990’s when the park was rebuilt.
Roger Dean Stadium. In Jupiter, Florida, the Roger Dean Stadium was one of the first built to house two Spring Training MLB teams. It’s home to the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins.
Steinbrenner Field. Originally called Legends Field, this stadium is the Yankee’s home Spring Training stadium. It seats more than 10,000 guests and has 12 luxury suites.
The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. This new West Palm Beach ballpark is opening in 2017 for Spring Training and is the home for the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros. It has a 6,500 seating, six luxury suites, two party decks and an outfield berm.
Tradition Field. The New York Mets have made this stadium their Spring Training Home and they’ve been here since 1988. The stadium holds over 7,300 guests.
Florida Spring Training Games Schedule
The pre-season Spring Training games begin the last week in February and wind up the end of March. For tickets and schedule information, visit springtrainingconnection.com.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game!
Beautiful spring weather is coming to Florida and you don’t want to miss the spring training games. Bring your group and blend in with the fans as you cheer for your favorite players. You can enjoy the stadium tradition of tasty hot dogs, peanuts and cracker jacks.
You’re smart to avoid traffic and parking hassles. Chartering a bus is the best way to go. You can let a professional driver deal with directions and driving while you enjoy the ride. Bus charters are the safest form of ground transportation in the country and also the most eco-friendly.
At Western Motorcoach, we have the perfect vehicle for your group, whether large or small. Our fleet of motorcoaches offer exceptional visibility and air ride suspensions for the ultimate smooth and comfortable ride. Avoid the traffic, directions and parking hassles by putting a professional at the wheel and travel safely.