New address gives MLB staff Time of its Life
After 20 years on Park Avenue, Major League Baseball has moved its headquarters a few blocks west to midtown Manhattan and found a new lease on life at the old Time & Life Building.
The iconic, 48-story skyscraper in Rockefeller Center opened in 1959 and served as the home of Time Inc., the publishing powerhouse that produced magazines such as Time, Life, Fortune, People and Sports Illustrated. The media company departed in 2015, and MLB signed a lease the following year.
After an extensive renovation, Opening Day for the shiny new digs at 1271 Avenue of the Americas was Jan. 6. All MLB staff — approximately 1,400 employees from the league’s 245 Park Ave. offices and its MLBAM offices in Chelsea Market — were finally brought together under one roof. It is the culmination of the “One Baseball” initiative that was one of Commissioner Rob Manfred’s top priorities upon taking the job in 2015.
“The vision of what we had for this space turned out even better than what we had expected,” said Tony Petitti, MLB’s deputy commissioner, business and media.
That vision first started to take shape three years ago with the goal of improving teamwork and increasing the organization’s efficiency. “It was more than just physical location,” Manfred told SBJ last year. “It was about becoming a single, integrated business and making decisions based on research and analytics.”
MLB will have 330,000 square feet of space and occupy floors five through nine. MLB worked with Studios Architecture for the overall renovation and DSI for the design of the sixth floor television studio; ESI handled graphics throughout the space. Display cases celebrate various aspects of the game, such as the London Series that debuted last year.
“We stuck true to the goals that we wanted,” Petitti said. “Let people feel like it’s a space where great innovation is happening, where we are thinking about our fans and content and also respecting the history of the game.”
New year, new digs