Pirates, fans try out bigger, fresher McKechnie Field at first home game of spring training

Pirates, fans try out bigger, fresher McKechnie Field

jlembo@bradenton.comFebruary 25, 2013 

BRADENTON -- As fans filed into the newest version of McKechnie Field on Sunday, there was little surprise what they were hoping to see: The 360-degree, 19,000-square foot boardwalk that now wraps around the venerable ballpark's outfield.

The structure was packed from noon all throughout the Pittsburgh Pirates' 9-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. It was the Pirates' first home game of the Grapefruit League season, their 45th in Bradenton.

Walkways in right and left field were packed as fans made their way to the boardwalk, which includes a tiki bar, tables, concessions and restrooms. Others decided to take in the game from a new set of bleachers in left field, and of course, most sat in the bleachers or inside the brand-new field-level seats.

And there were plenty of seats to be had. The official attendance was 5,626 at McKechnie Field, which now has a capacity of about 8,000, making it the fourth-largest park in the Grapefruit League.

But with 15 games remaining on the schedule, fans will have plenty of chances to check out McKechnie for themselves.

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