Renovations to Hammond Stadium and the Minnesota Twins spring training complex began yesterday, as crews broke ground on a new player-development center.
The $48.5 million project, to be performed this offseason and next, will include improvements to Hammond Stadium as well as construction of the new player-development center and academy. The center will include 58 rooms (54 for players, four for coaches), a theater and dining area. The existing minor-league clubhouse will be expanded with a new treatment room, new training room and more offices. Also to be added this offseason: a new practice field that will serve as home of the Gulf Coast League Twins.
For fans, the biggest changes will come during Twins spring training in 2015, when upgrades to the ballpark are completed. The second part of the project, involving Hammond Stadium upgrades, will begin in April 2014 once Twins spring training ends and should be completed in plenty of time for Twins spring training in 2015. From the News-Press:
The biggest change for fans will be the view upon arriving to the ballpark. Instead of being greeted by the current gift shop when climbing the stairs, that area will be blasted out and will open to a full view of the field.
The existing bleachers will be replaced with green hard-back chairs like those already in place in the lower portion of the stadium.
The clubhouse for the Twins and the visiting team will be renovated, and a new clubhouse for the umpires will be built as well as a training room and a press dining room.
Of the $48.5 million, Lee County is paying $42.5 million and the Twins are paying $6 million, all toward the new player academy.
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