Design & Development

Phillies plotting $250m mixed-use development as part of spring training revamp

BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, USA

Featured image credit: Clearwater Parks & Recreation

Clearwater Mayor, Brian Aungst Sr., has said the Philadelphia Phillies are planning a $250m (£198m/€229m) mixed-use development in the Florida city, as part of wider efforts to redevelop the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise’s spring training home.

Aungst told the Tampa Bay Times that the Phillies briefed city officials on their plans for a project entitled Ballpark Village, which would sit on 13 acres of land south of BayCare Ballpark and Carpenter Field Training Complex.

The Village would include residential, dining and shopping facilities, as part of the ongoing plans for a major redevelopment of city-owned BayCare Ballpark, the team’s spring training home from when the stadium opened in 2004.

This in itself is projected as a $320m venture, with a company tied to the Phillies acquiring the land for the Village back in November for $22.5m. Aungst has described the updated concept as a $570m baseball, residential and retail complex that could change how fans and players experience the sport, along with boosting tourism in the county.

“This is the latest and greatest thing in professional sports and would really revitalise that entire corner,” Aungst told the Times. “It’s a high-tech, expansive rebuild that looks really exciting and not just for the avid baseball fan.”

Aungst said he expects the Phillies to submit an application for potential public funding for the project in August. He added that city and county funds would go toward the cost of the stadium and training complex rebuild, not the mixed-use complex next door.

Aungst said part of the stadium and training complex redesign will accommodate high-tech player development in an effort to make BayCare Ballpark a year-round facility, rather than just the Phillies’ spring training base.

The Mayor said the fan experience will be enhanced with 2,000 more seats added to the 8,500-capacity stadium, and a large event space added near centre field. A two-story pool would also be constructed in right field for use during games.

“The latest in all this stuff is making it an event while they are playing and while they are not playing,” Aungst added.

When the Phillies enter their new redevelopment proposal to the City Council, it will form part of an extension of the team’s contract that is currently due to expire at the end of 2023.

The Phillies were last week confirmed for their first international trip as MLB announced that they would face the New York Mets in the League’s third series played in London, with games scheduled for June 8-9 next year.