Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the New York Mets will commit its future to First Data Field after a $57m (£43.7m/€50.3m) renovation of its long-time spring training home was approved.
Located in Port St. Lucie, Florida, the 7,100-seat stadium has hosted Mets spring training since opening in 1988. The renovation project received unanimous approval from St. Lucie County Commissioners yesterday (Tuesday) meaning that the Mets are now committed to the venue for the next 25 years.
The revamp will include a new interior concourse, new seating, team store, and a new main entrance that puts fans over home plate. County Administrator Howard Tipton told the TCPalm website that work will commence immediately following the end of this year’s spring training on March 24 and is due to be completed by 2021.
TCPalm noted the final agreement was approved after a week in which arguments had developed over financing and how the original plan would be affected by rising construction costs. This could have resulted in the Mets looking for a new Florida spring training home from the 2024 season.
Under the terms of the deal, the county will be responsible for $55m of the cost, with the Mets chipping in the remaining $2m as it was obliged to do if the figure exceeded this mark.
“We’re pleased with today’s outcome,” the Mets said in a statement. “Thanks to the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners and the county legal team that worked with our team over the holiday. We are thankful for the continued support of our fans and the local businesses.”
Image: New York Mets