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Peoria (Az.) mapping $21 million in ballpark improvements

Not waiting to have its spring-training tenants complain about the state of facilities, the city of Peoria is planning some $21 million in improvements to Peoria Stadium and its training facilities.

Peoria Stadium opened in 1994. For many years it was the state of the art in the Cactus League, at least until the latest wave of new facilities opened in recent years. And it’s still a great facility; it’s been well-maintained and upgraded over the years.

But the leases with Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres expire after Spring Training 2013, and as we all know negotiations over a new lease usually means requests for upgrades. The attitude in Peoria: instead of waiting for those negotiations, we’re going to spend $21 million on complex upgrades.

The teams are working with the city on a wish list of upgrades. It sounds like most are the behind-the-scenes improvements clubs love but fans won’t see: more office space, larger clubhouses, better training facilities larger media room, upgraded video facilities. On that level, Peoria Stadium does lag behind the new complexes in Glendale and Goodyear — but those facilities can be built out at Peoria Stadium.

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