McKechnie renovation may include new parking opportunities

McKechnie renovation may include new parking opportunities

nwilliams@bradenton.comFebruary 5, 2013 

BRADENTON -- The $10 million renovation to McKechnie Field may include new parking opportunities.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are expected to release information regarding parking at the ballpark within the week, said Trevor Gooby, the Pirates' director for Florida operations.

A recreational area located between the ballpark and the Boys & Girls Club of Manatee on Ninth Street, which has been previously used for extra parking, is currently under construction.

The soil being hauled has not disrupted operations at the youth operation, Bradenton officials say.

Employees at the center can park in a designated parking lot for the club, said Jim McLellan, engineering section manager for Bradenton Public Works. McLellan said the soil will be removed and cleaned up in time for the start of spring training.

Completion of the $10 million renovation of the ballpark is nearly complete. About two weeks ago, new seats, though reflective of an older era of baseball, were installed inside the 90-year-old facility.

McKechnie Field has been the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates since 1969.

The infield seats have all been removed. Additional seating in the outfield will swell the stadium's capacity from 6,500 to 8,500.

Completion of the renovation project is slated for mid-February, in time for the Pirates' intrasquad game on Feb. 22.

Upgrades at the facility, also the home stadium for the Bradenton Marauders, the Pirates' high-Single A affiliate, include a 19,000-square-foot wooden boardwalk with tiki bar, covered bleacher seats, a building in centerfield that includes a concession stand, and a luxury, two-level party deck in left field that accommodates up to 80 people.

The scoreboard has been moved to a new location on the field and the pitchers' bullpens, which used to run along the first and third-base lines, will be repositioned along the outfield walls in right and left fields.

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