Pittsburgh Pirates Caffeine: McKechnie Field Gets $9 Million, Jarek Cunningham Homers Twice
By Tom Smith
is now tied for the homerun lead in the Arizona Fall League. Jarek Cunningham belted two bombs and is one behind the homerun leaders. Yeh, it was a great day for the young Bucs offensive talent playing for the Mesa Solar Sox.
It still needs a few more votes, but wow, talk about a sweet deal for Bob Nutting–McKechnie Field will receive $9 million dollars in improvements by the spring of 2013. Seats will be added, a Pirates Cove, a Walk of Fame, skyboxes, new scoreboard, and an expanded grandstand.
The Pirates are going to chip in with some advertising for Bradenton. The Fan 93.7 will be burning up next year to promote the city of Bradenton. It seems like from what I read that an in-kind $400,0000 will get it done and that the federal grant that was thought to be the trigger is now out the window. I don’t quite understand the details in this ‘deal’ as some work was done to McKechnie in 2008, I will look for some more information on the topic.
UPDATE: The comments on this article show the taxpayers don’t seemed too excited about this idea for McKechnie…here is a comment we saw that appeared to come from a press release from 2008.
"After more than 80 years of day baseball, McKechnie Field hosted its first nightgame in 2008. The installation of lights was made possible after the city ofBradenton received a $15 million grant from the state of Florida to upgrade thePirates’ Spring Training facilities. Besides the lights, the grant money paidfor a new visitors’ clubhouse and an expanded home clubhouse.Because of the improvements, the Pirates signed a new 30-year lease that wentinto effect on February 1, 2008. “We never ever considered going anywhere else,”said Trevor Gooby, director of Florida operations for the Pirates. “Bradenton iswhere we wanted to stay.”Now the team is guaranteed to play at McKechnie Field through 2037, and afterscheduling two night games in Bradenton in 2008 the Pirates will have many moreopportunities to play under the lights over the next few decades"
McKechnie desperately needs these renovations. The stadium has the appearance that it is about to collapse and channeling some money back into the 88-year old park only seems to make sense. It’s hard to believe it took this long.
We didn’t read about anything for the players in this article, so we presume the talented young Bucs will keep working out inside and around the concrete block building. Thankfully, Pirates City is close by.
One of the most exciting aspects to the addition are the expanded seats for the Bucs, but a tiki bar a la Port Charlotte is the vision I get when I read about the renovations.
If you’ve never been to Port Charlotte, it’s a great park with all the amenitites that some baseball fans love, if only the team were supported by die hard baseball fans it would be perfect.
We went last year and although the park was phenomenal, a couple assholes ruined our fun.
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