Baseball. One word that has the power to take someone back to their childhood and bring up a library of stories, life changing memories, and long lived traditions. When we think baseball, we think tradition. There are no other spring training stadiums that capture the raw history and tradition of America’s favorite past time like LECOM Park does. Bradenton’s very own hidden charm takes home Best of the Ballparks in the Grapefruit League for the second year in a row. Now that’s a tradition we like to see.
When it came to redesigning such a prominent part of our city, our focus turned to what makes baseball so great: the fans. We knew we had to highlight all of its treasures while creating an intimate atmosphere for every type of baseball fan – the young and the old, the die hard and the casual supporter.
Every renovated inch focused on enhancing the overall experience, so we master planned a way to saturate every single fan in the world of spring training. A beautifully designed 360° boardwalk loops around the entire stadium giving a panoramic view of not only the outfield, but of the batting tunnels, the VIP Clubhouse, the bullpens and every training component onsite.
Strategically located in center field is a lively tiki bar with reserved four top tables along the rail and casual high tops with umbrellas to block the sun. It’s a destination of its own allowing space to stretch your legs, take a stroll, or catch a buzz and that home run fly ball. Another addition to the outfield section is a high quality, electronic scoreboard sitting in left field. Before, fans were unable to see the line-up, but now they can even catch the speed of the pitch.
This baseball powerhouse provides an entirely unique way to relish your time at the game. For the young families, renovated bathrooms and nursing rooms create a safe place for comfort and privacy. Catch a shady break, a locally brewed beer, and a juicy burger in the fan-enhanced plazas right behind the main stadium along right field. They truly take their concession stands to another level by providing comfortable lounging, all you can eat buffets, premium ballpark foods, a classic game of bean bags, and so much more that you will have to see for yourself.
While we celebrate with LECOM Park for winning such an admired title two years in a row, we are reminded that what we do as architects, designers, and master planners is not to create the next best thing, but to listen to the fans, to celebrate the history and to enhance the traditions.