George M. Steinbrenner Field
|George M. Steinbrenner Field|
|Former names||Legends Field (1996–2008)|
|Location||1 Steinbrenner Drive
Tampa, FL 33614
|Broke ground||October 22, 1994|
|Opened||March 1, 1996|
|Owner||Tampa Sports Authority|
|Operator||New York Yankees|
|Construction cost||$30 million
($44.7 million in 2013 dollars)
|Architect||Lescher & Mahoney|
|Structural engineer||MC Engineers, Inc.|
|Services engineer||Colwill Engineering|
|General contractor||Case Contracting Company|
|Field dimensions||Left Field – 318 feet (97 m)
Left-Center – 399 feet (122 m)
Center Field – 408 feet (124 m)
Right-Center – 385 feet (117 m)
Right Field – 314 feet (96 m)
|New York Yankees (spring training) (1996-present)
Tampa Yankees (FSL) (1996–present)
Gulf Coast Yankees (GCL (1996-present)
FC Tampa Bay (NASL) (2010)
George M. Steinbrenner Field (formerly known as Legends Field), is a baseball stadium located in Tampa, Florida across Dale Mabry Highway from Raymond James Stadium, home of the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The ballpark was built in 1996 and holds more than 11,000 people with an addition in right field built in 2007.
Background and stadium history
Tampa was the first spring training site in Florida, beginning in 1913 with the Chicago Cubs. In the ensuing decades, the city hosted several different Major League Baseball teams for spring training and was home to several different minor league squads during the summer, first at Plant Field near downtown and later at Al Lopez Field near West Tampa. This era came to an end in 1988 when, after almost 30 years in Tampa, the Cincinnati Reds moved to new training facilities in Plant City, Florida and transferred operation of the Tampa Tarpons, their local minor league affiliate in the Florida State League, to the Chicago White Sox. In 1989, the Tarpons moved to Sarasota, Florida and Al Lopez Field was razed, leaving the city with no professional baseball teams and no large baseball venue.
In 1993, the Tampa Sports Authority announced a deal to build a new spring training stadium for the New York Yankees, who had been conducting spring training in Fort Lauderdale. The original plan was to build the facility on the former site of Al Lopez Field, just south of old Tampa Stadium. However, due to objections from the Buccaneers, the new ballpark was instead built about a half-mile to the northwest, directly across Dale Mabry Highway from Tampa Stadium, displacing a Hillsborough County correctional facility.
The ballpark and the surrounding training complex cost approximately $30 million to build and was financed entirely with public funds, mostly from Hillsborough County. It hosted its first spring training game on March 1, 1996 when the Yankees opened spring training by hosting the Cleveland Indians.
In 2006, Hillsborough County paid for a $7.5 million expansion to add more seats and amenities behind right field. The addition opened in 2008.
The ballpark was known as Legends Field for the first dozen years of its existence. It was renamed in honor of George Steinbrenner, the Yankees' owner and Tampa resident, on March 27, 2008, when Steinbrenner was in failing health. He died in July 2010, and a life-size bronze statue of the late owner was placed in front of the stadium in January 2011.
The dimensions of the field precisely mimic that of the old Yankee Stadium, and the scalloped grandstand facade is also meant to invoke the old ballpark in the Bronx. When built, it was the first spring training stadium to include luxury suites. Outside of the stadium are plaques commemorating Yankees whose numbers have been retired.
Other tenant and events
- Wilborn, Paul; Mahan, Mike (October 11, 1994). "Celebrate Opening Day Series: Around Town". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- The History of Yankees Spring Training
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2013. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- MC Engineers - Legends Field
- Colwill Engineering - Related Expererience - Recreational
- MLB.com press release
- Stadium profile from At The Yard
- Official Yankees website
- Tampa Sports Authority - Copy of Timeline
- "Yankees reject site south of stadium" - St. Petersburg Times, Jan. 15, 1994
- New York Yankees Legends Field Spring Training Facility, Tampa, FL : Hines Interests
- Troxler, Howard (April 6, 1998). "Survival of the richest drives laws". St. Petersburg Times.
- Wilborn, Paul (March 2, 1996). "New home's opener". St. Petersburg Times.
- Tampa Sports Authority - Timeline
- Tampabay: Yankees to expand Legends Field seating
- New York Yankees Spring Training Ballpark | yankees.com: Spring Training
- Hillsborough: Legends Field gets new name
- Yankees honor Steinbrenner with statue | TBO.com
- Ocala Star-Banner - Google News Archive Search
- Davis, Susan (October 20, 2008). "Tampa Bay Rays Come Out for Obama". The Wall Street Journal.
- Official Website
- Ballpark Digest visit to Legends Field
- George M. Steinbrenner Field Views - Ball Parks of the Minor Leagues
- Baseball Stadium Reviews