Ballpark re-figure: $57M upgrade under way

The $57 million renovation of First Data Field in St. Lucie West is expected to be mostly completed in time for spring training next February.

Demolition and construction work started last week on the third base side of the stadium where the concourse will be extended out to left field, said county spokesman Erick Gill.

The work will switch to the first base side of the stadium after the minor league St. Lucie Mets complete the summer season in September, Gill said.

β€œThe goal is to complete renovations within 12-15 months,” Gill said. β€œ(We) anticipate substantial completion for 2020 spring training.”

All public access to the stadium will be through the right field side of the stadium, Gill said. Fans will be able to sit in the first base line stands, the right field party deck and on the berm.

Fencing was put up to keep players and fans out of the construction areas, Gill said. After the renovations are completed, a wide set of centrally located stairs will lead fans to the concourse and a panoramic view of the playing field, Gill said. The elevators will be renovated and a new elevator will be installed to make it easier for people with mobility issues to get to their seats, Gill said.

Other improvements include a new fan shop, new restrooms and new concessions, Gill said. There will also be new locker rooms for the major league players. The field itself is in excellent condition and does not need a major upgrade, Gill said.

The county owns the 7,000-seat stadium and surrounding baseball facilities and leases them to the New York Mets. The complex opened in March 1988 in the St. Lucie West section of Port St. Lucie. The Mets agreed to stay at First Data Field through 2042 as part of the renovation agreement signed in November 2016. St. Lucie County is paying $35 million, Florida is paying $20 million and the Mets are paying $2 million.

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