The New York Mets and St. Lucie County officials continue their push to complete First Data Field renovations, in hopes of having the work substantially complete by spring training in February.
First Data Field is in the midst of a $57-million renovation, with the scope of the project including upgrades to the ballpark itself and the adjacent training complex. The goal has been to meet a substantial completion date of February 10, coinciding with when Mets pitchers and catchers report for spring training, with the last round of construction wrapping up by June 3, 2020. However, an October monthly progress report from the county showed that only 42 percent of the project had been completed, with a few aspects behind schedule.
A November report has not released, but the Mets and county officials sound as though they believe the project can reach its substantial completion deadline. More from TCPalm:
County spokesman Erick Gill referred questions about the construction deadline to the Mets.
Mets officials could not be reached for comment, but issued a statement.
“Feb. 10 is our substantial completion date,” the statement said. “Pitchers and catchers along with staff will be reporting to camp to begin training on that date. Barton Malow (the contractor) is working extremely hard to complete this project and we are looking forward to opening day on Feb. 22.”
Gill said the county is “confident” it will meet the Feb. 10 deadline. “Some delays were expected” in renovating a 31-year-old stadium, he said.
The scope of the renovation project has evolved during its planning process. Originally, the Mets and St. Lucie County had mapped out a $55-million project that would be more elaborate in scope, with a new 360-degree concourse among the additions slated for First Data Field. However, when those plans came in over budget, the Mets and county hammered out a modified agreement approved in February that omitted a few features from the original concept, including the 360-degree concourse. The renovations that are now slated for First Data Field include a phased seating replacement, an expanded main entrance, ticket office, and merchandise store; concourse upgrades; new clubhouses; and more.
In completing this deal, the two sides continue a relationship that has seen the Mets conduct spring training in Port St. Lucie since 1988, as the organization commits to remaining there through 2042.