Construction starts on $80 million Toronto Blue Jays spring training, player development site in Dunedin

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dunedin stadium
The existing stadium will be enhanced and expanded by 3,000 seats

The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team is preparing to start a $80 million renovation of the team’s Dunedin spring training and player development site.

Kansas City-based Populous Inc. earlier won a $5.41 million bid for architectural services.

The complex’s nucleus, an approximately 95,000 sq. ft. training and administrative building, will be nearly three times the size of the current one, Sportsnet reports. “It will house everything from expansive clubhouses to sports technology labs to a yoga studio. A 10,000 sq. ft.  weight room will feature a cardio loft and nutrition-focused “fuel bar.” It will open up through roll-out doors to a covered, outdoor turf area.”

The building includes a pair of large classrooms — one can seat as many as 300 people — along with several smaller, breakout rooms for informal meetings between players, coaches, and staff.

“The major-league clubhouse will be vast and features a private entrance, large dining room, sauna, and even a dedicated room for a barber,” the published report says. “There will also be small ‘phone booth’ rooms where players or staff can have private cell phone conversations.”

training and admin building
The new administrative and training building

Meanwhile, the existing three-decade-old Dunedin stadium, about 10 minutes drive away, will receive an extensive facelift including a seating increase from 5,500 to 8,500.

There will be family-focused areas, new bars in each of the outfield corners, and an “Autograph Alley”.

“Different types of fans want different experiences,” Andrew Miller, the Blue Jays executive vice president of business operations, was quoted as saying. “And this will allow us to cater better to each of those types of fans.”

The project will be completed in time for spring training in 2020.

Pinella’s county will pay the largest share of the project’s costs, dipping into tourist development tax funds to contribute more than $40-million. The Blue Jays are contributing $20-million, the state of Florida is adding close to $13-million, and the city of Dunedin is providing around $6-million plus land, Sportsnet reported.

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