THE BALLPARK OF THE PALM BEACHES
|Dimensions||325L, 405C, 325R|
|Local Airport||Palm Beach International|
|Ticket Prices||To be announced|
|Tickets on Sale||To be announced|
|Ticket Web Site||astros.com/spring|
|Address||To be announced|
|Directions||To be announced|
Houston Astros Spring Training 2017: If You Go …
When The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches opens in 2017, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals fans will be exposed to the latest in high-end fan experiences — with definite nods to the state’s spring-training and architectural traditions.
The goal, according to the project’s design team, has The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches offering an immersive spring-training experience, one that takes fans through training fields and workout facilities before they even set foot in the ballpark. This is a definite design trend in recent years at spring-training facilities. A visit to Salt River Fields is immersive; you are very likely to be exposed to players and training fields on your way to your seat, building expectations for game action. The same goes for Camelback Ranch-Glendale or Sloan Park. In Florida, some training facilities push the total experience — like the experience at Hammond Stadium and the CenturyLink Sports Complex unveiled in the past two years. But at an older facility, like Disney World’s Champion Stadium or even Joker Marchant Stadium at Tiger Town, the practice fields may be physically close but not within the fan experience.
That heightened spring-training experience is the goal at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, set to open in 2017 as spring home of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. We talked about the ballpark’s design with Mo Stein, Principal and Senior Vice President, HKS; Fred Ortiz, HKS Principal Designer; and Tom McNicholas, President of McNicholas & Associates, whose public-affairs firm has been working with Palm Beach County on the ballpark project.
“We are introducing a plan that allows the most experiential layout possible,” Ortiz said. “In most spring-training facilities, you have parking on the sides and training fields to the rear. That creates a sense of disengagement.”
To that end, Stein and Ortiz created a ballpark designed to present the essential Florida experience – or experiences, whether it be memories of old golf resorts or lazy spring-break days spent at the beach. And they’re also focusing on the essential spring-training experience — not just the games.
“We went through an intense research process on South Florida, its architecture, when we began design,” Ortiz said. “We ended up with a design that plays up the notion of shading, the feel of old golf resorts with undulating landscapes, and plantings at different scales. The combination just jelled for us.
“We were working under a tight construction budget, but our ultimate goal was to make it feel as if it belongs,” he added.
Flying In: The closest airport is Palm Beach International Airport.