McKechnie Field in Bradenton, the Spring Training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates is no more.
The stadium has been renamed LECOM Park.
LECOM, or Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, is the nation’s largest medical college, with campuses in Lakewood Ranch, Erie, Penn., and Greensburg, Penn., making it and the team “natural partners,” according to a Pirates news release announcing the name change.
As part of the move, the recently constructed home clubhouse will be renamed the Bill McKechnie Home Clubhouse to honor the Pittsburgh-area native, former Bradenton resident and Hall of Fame manager.
“LECOM Park is our organization’s southern home and we are proud to announce this agreement with a respected and established brand that has roots in western Pennsylvania and has quickly become a leader in education in the Bradenton area,” said Pirates President Frank Coonelly. “LECOM shares our mission to help develop young people into highly trained professionals so that they can pursue their dreams. LECOM also shares our commitment to community and we look forward to partnering with LECOM to continue to invest in improving the lives of others in our Bradenton community.”
The naming-rights agreement between the Pirates and LECOM is for 15 years.
Bradenton has hosted the Pirates’ Spring Training since 1969. Only the Detroit Tigers, in Lakeland, have been at their current Spring Training facility longer.
LECOM Park is also home to the Pirates’ Single-A affiliate, the Bradenton Marauders of the Florida State League.
The Pirates’ home spring game this year is Feb. 25, against the Baltimore Orioles.