|FIRST DATA FIELD|
|Dimensions||338L, 410C, 338R|
|Local Airport||Palm Beach|
|Tickets on Sale||Saturday, January 12, 10 a.m.|
|Ticket Web Site||mets.com|
|Address||525 NW Peacock Boulevard, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986|
|Directions||From 1-95, take Exit 121 (St. Lucie West Blvd.), east to Peacock Blvd, north to stadium. From U.S.# l: Take Prima Vista Blvd., west to Peacock Blvd., north to stadium.|
New York Mets Spring Training: Calm on the Treasure Coast
The trend in spring-training facilities is to locate new ballparks in the midst of megadevelopments that could be located anywhere. While these new ballparks have the amenities fans expect, they’re generic in nature. Maybe we’re a little too nostalgic, but we want the spring-training experience when we head to Florida: we want the palm trees, the alligators, the quaint ballparks located in out-of-the-way neighborhoods.
That’s why First Data Field in Port St. Lucie is a breath of old school in the Grapefruit League. There are no developments within walking distance of the ballpark, just some municipal buildings next door, commercial buildings and warehouses nearby, and an RV resort up the street. No sports bars, no hotels, no entertainment complex, no trendy shops. Park on the right-field side of the ballpark and you’ll wander across a sign warning you to stay away from the swampland because of the presence of alligators.
While we wouldn’t exactly call the First Data Field location bucolic – commercial development in Florida tends to sprawl, and there’s definitely a lot of sprawl near the ballpark – you know you’re in Florida when you attend a Mets spring-training game.
First Data Field went from one of the dumpiest spring-training venues to one of the better ones in 2004, when the former Thomas J. White Stadium/Digital Domain Park underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation that added more seating and clubhouse space, as well as some decorative elements that spiffed up the place. In 2012 there were additional changes to the ballpark, including the installation of a new high-def scoreboard and a new picnic area/party deck down the right-field line. Further changes could be on tap in coming seasons, as the Mets and St. Lucie County have explored more expansion to the ballpark and the training complex that could accommodate a second spring-training team.
There are further plans to renovate the ballpark before 2020 spring training.
Spring Training History
The New York Mets have had only two spring-training venues in team history: St. Petersburg’s Al Lang Field (1962-1987) and Port St. Lucie (1988-present).
The New York Mets have trained at First Data Field since it opened in 1988.
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