|Year Opened||1923; renovated in 1993 and 2012|
|Dimensions||335L, 375LC, 40C, 375RC, 335R|
|Local Airport||Sarasota or Tampa|
|Ticket Prices||To be announced|
|Tickets on Sale||Saturday, January 24, 10 a.m.|
|Ticket Web Site||mlb.com|
|Address||1611 9th Street W. (17th Avenue West & 9th Street West), Bradenton FL 34208|
|Directions||From St. Petersburg, go south on Hwy. 41, make a right turn onto 17th Avenue West and continue to McKechnie Field.|
Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 Spring Training: If You Go …
Bradenton is only 65 miles outside of Tampa-St. Pete and close to Sarasota, so you’re in the midst of spring-training nirvana. Spring-training venues that are within easy driving distance of Bradenton include Lakeland (Detroit Tigers), Tampa (New York Yankees), Clearwater (Philadelphia Phillies), Dunedin (Toronto Blue Jays), and Sarasota (Baltimore Orioles). You can expect your trip to spring training to be filled with lots of baseball in the area.
If you arrive at the ballpark early enough, you’ll want to eat at Popi’s Place, known for its Belgian waffles. Team officials and announcers have been seen at Popi’s before home games. Really, a stop here is mandatory if you’re a serious Bucs fan. Popi’s Place, 818 17th Av. W., Bradenton; 941/746-7078.
Bradenton is still a sleepy citrus town – home to the main Tropicana orange-juice plant – so there are not many attractions near the ballpark. Those looking to soak up some sun should head to Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island, both of which known for their sandy beaches and relaxed atmospheres. Bradenton is also known for its manatees: the South Florida Museum is home to Snooty, a West Indian Manatee that swim and play in the museum’s specially designed 60,000-gallon aquarium. South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton; 941/746-4131; southfloridamuseum.org.
Pirate City is located next to Mixon Fruit Farm, which is the quintessential Florida orange farm, featuring a large orange grove and a wide variety of citrus products. As you know, a day without orange juice is a day without sunshine, and combining a visit to Pirate City with a side trip to Mixon makes for a great morning. Mixon Fruit Farm, 2712 26th Av. E., Bradenton; 941/748-5829, 800/608-2525; mixon.com.
Where to Stay: There are several hotels close to the stadium in Bradenton: the Holiday Inn Riverfront, the Hampton Inn, the Park Inn and Suites, and the Quality Inn. But you could very easily stay in Tampa, Sarasota or St. Pete.
Flying In: Sarasota-Bradenton Airport is obviously the closest airport to Bradenton and the most convenient. It’s a small, regional airport served by Delta, US Airways, and a few smaller regional airlines.
The largest airport closest to Sarasota is Tampa International Airport and the most convenient. It’s not the biggest airport in the world and is easy to navigate. All the major airlines fly into Tampa.
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