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County opens baseball academy

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  • | 10:54 a.m. May 30, 2014
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FORT MYERS — Lee County opened a professional player-development facility for the Minnesota Twins baseball team at Hammond Stadium that is nearly the size of a football field.

The 57,000-square-foot facility is part of the $48.5 million upgrades to the stadium, most of it funded by Lee County. “The Twins new player-development academy is truly state-of-the-art and will help us create a strong competitive advantage in developing players throughout our minor and major league system,” says Bill Smith, Twins general manager, in a statement.

The three-story academy features a first-floor common space, full-service dining, a hall that can seat 220 people, classrooms and a game room for players. The facility also includes two floors of residential space with 58 rooms for players and staff who will visit to train year-round. It is the third of its kind in major league baseball.

The first phase of the renovations at Hammond Stadium included renovations to the minor league clubhouse and administrative areas, an agility field, an expanded seating capacity to 9,300 seats, a new parking lot and the completion of a 360-degree boardwalk and concourse. Those improvements were completed four months ago.

The second phase of renovations, scheduled for completion in February, will include upgraded and expanded concourses, improved concessions, renovations to the restrooms, premium seating improvements, the expansion of the clubhouse, a new retail store, new spaces for group seating and renovations to the administrative offices and the media facilities. These facilities also will be used by the Twins' minor-league affiliate Fort Myers Miracle.

Manhattan Twins Joint Venture, a partnership between Manhattan Construction Company, Chris-Tel Construction and Casey Construction manages the construction designed by Populous.


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