With Grapefruit League action a little more than a month away, let’s take a look at some of the changes Yankees fans can expect at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.
It’s been 21-years since the Yankees opened their Tampa, Florida baseball facilities. In that time, George M. Steinbrenner field has played host to countless great players and seen it’s fair share of championship teams. But like all good things, after a while, they too need refurbishment.
Which is why in April of last year, Hillsborough County Commissioners approved $40M worth of renovations to be done to the home of the Florida State League Class-A Tampa Yankees. In return, the Yankees agreed to stay put until 2046.
According to Margie Manning of the Tampa Bay Business Journal:
“County commissioners cited the economic impact of the field when they approved the agreement, including an estimated $96 million in direct spending by people attending games in 2015.”
A wise financial investment, indeed. But with Spring Training rapidly approaching there hasn’t been much news on the current state of construction. While there is some video of the transformation taking place on the Yankees’ official website, if this footage is recent, then there is little chance the stadium will be ready for the first Grapefruit League game against the Phillies on Feb. 24.
With the organization keeping us in the dark on the status of completion, let’s take a look at what fans can hope to expect when taking in a game this spring.
Located down both the first and third base lines, these semi-private open-air boxes feature canopies to shade fans from the harsh Florida sun. Each box features four tickets to that particular Yankees game and allows for access to a premium lounge located on the upper level. Best of all, food and non-premium alcoholic beverages are included.
Grab ten of your closest friends to catch a game in this shaded area near the right field alley. Again, food and non-premium alcoholic beverages are included.
Left field Deck
Groups of 20-100 can enjoy a pre-game buffet and two free drinks before taking in the action from this enclosed, shaded area.
Right Field Pavilion
If you’ve ever wanted to get married at a ballpark, now’s your chance. Able to hold up to 500 guests, the 360-degree right field pavilion features the stadiums best food and drinks — all the while under the canopy of a beachside bar.
Also Coming Soon…
- Full-scale elevated bars, both private and open to all paying guests down both the first and third base lines.
- Brand new seating throughout the stadium.
- A multi-level gift shop with easy access from the main concourse.
If you’re of the designation that feels all of these additions are just superfluous fluff catering to those who don’t necessarily care about the game on the field, keep in mind that attending Spring Training games is often a crap shoot. Most big league stars play a max of five innings before giving way to guys you’ll likely never hear from again. Even the brightest prospects often only last a few weeks in camp before being reassigned to their Minor League affiliates to allow time for them to settle in before the long season starts.
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Besides, when it’s not 85-degrees or so during March in Florida, it’s raining. I know because I live here. So why not stretch your legs while at the ol’ ball park — grab yourself some gourmet food, a specialty cocktail and hang out under a shaded canopy? That way when No. 89 enters the game in the 6th inning, those redundant football wearing number jokes actually sound funny.