SBD/March 7, 2011/Facilities

Red Sox Break Ground On New Spring Training Complex In Ft. Myers

Liverpool could have a presence at Red Sox' new Spring Training Complex

The Red Sox broke ground Friday on their new Spring Training facility in Ft. Myers. The complex, scheduled to open in time for Spring Training next year, will include an 11,000-seat ballpark, six practice fields, a rehabilitation center and other adjoining facilities that will house both major and minor league operations. The site will include grass parking lots that will hold approximately 3,325 cars. That area will double as public soccer fields when Red Sox games are not being played. There also will be 500 paved parking spaces, in addition to parking planned for the adjacent development. The new complex is being designed by Florida-based Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects, Populous and Boston-based D'Agostino Izzo & Quirk (Red Sox). In Ft. Myers, Glenn Miller reported Liverpool, the EPL club owned by Red Sox Owner John Henry, "could have a presence" at the Red Sox' new complex. Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino at the groundbreaking ceremony said, "We've had some talks about it. We'll have some more talks." He added that Liverpool "could come here for training or to open an academy for young players." Lucchino noted that the Red Sox have a lease with Lee County that "goes through 2041." Two options in the deal "could keep the team" at the complex until 2061 (Ft. Myers NEWS-PRESS, 3/5). MLB.com's Ian Browne noted the new ballpark will be a "replica of Fenway Park." What the Red Sox are "most excited about is that their entire Spring Training facility will at last be at one venue." Since moving to Ft. Myers in '93, the Red Sox "spend the first couple of weeks of camp at the Player Development Complex, and then move a few miles" to City of Palms Park once the exhibition season begins. Lucchino said, "It's going to be great and I think our fans are going to love it. It will be one place, and there won't be the parking and transportation issues our fans currently have" (MLB.com, 3/4).   

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