Our sister site, Ballpark Digest, has an exclusive preview of the new Houston Astros and Washington Nationals spring home, The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, set to open in 2017.
A sneak peak:
Speaking of the plaza: It certainly is a signature item in the ballpark design, a place for fans to gather and meet both before and after the game. It’s some 34,000 square feet on all levels, offering an inviting entrance to the ballpark on the third-base side. And, in this age of the selfie, we predict two other signature items off the plaza (as seen in the above site rendering) will prove to be immensely popular: 20-foot-tall logos in front of each team’s entry area.
Once inside, fans will see a seating bowl, a 360-degree concourse 20 feet wide and both team clubhouses. It will not be a huge ballpark, with 6,400 fixed seats and room for 1,000 more on the outfield berm. Nor is it a ballpark with an undue emphasis on premium seating: there will be six suites (three on each side of press box) as well as covered party decks down each line. The suites are not traditional suites: the windows will open to the playing field, giving them a more Florida feel.
Many fan will judge this ballpark by its shade. With third base running due north, the sun will be at the back to fans behind home plate. By the time a game is a third over the vast majority of the seats will be in the shade thanks to a large canopy installed over the grandstand. The design is light and airy.
Speaking of the canopy: the cantilevers will not appear as heavy as other ballparks. The ballpark features minimally structured stucco, accented with wood panels. The whole site is part of Palm Beach County’s Art in Public Places, and the plan is for local artists to create rectangular planes to create shading, graphics, team history and highlights and more on the fan’s journey from parking to entrance.