Boston Red Sox spring training home
Since 1993, the city of Fort Myers in Lee County, Florida, United States has been the Spring training home of the Boston Red Sox when the club moved from Winter Haven. Boston trains at the JetBlue Park at Fenway South since the ballpark opened in 2012, and the minor-league facility, featuring five full fields, is also within the Fenway South complex.
The Minnesota Twins play their spring training at Hammond Stadium, which is also located in Fort Myers. Each spring the two teams will play five of their preseason games against each other in a series known as the Mayor's Cup.
New spring facility opened in 2012
The Red Sox's spring training lease with Fort Myers runs through 2019, however, the Red Sox began toying with exercising an early out in their contract that allowed them to leave following the 2009 spring season. Chief operating officer Mike Dee met with Sarasota officials on April 25, 2008 to discuss the possibility of the Red Sox moving to Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium once its current spring inhabitants, the Baltimore Orioles, move to their new spring home in Sarasota.
On October 28, 2008, the Lee County commission voted 13-11 to approve an agreement with the Boston Red Sox to build a new spring-training facility for the team in south Lee County. Dee was present in the chambers for the vote, and took the agreement back to Boston to meet with team owner John W. Henry and other team officials. On November 15, 2008, the Red Sox signed an agreement with Lee County that will keep their spring training home in the Fort Myers area for 20 more years.
Wednesday, April 10, 2008, the Lee County commissioners selected the Watermen-Pinnacle site on Daniels Parkway (a little more than a mile east of Interstate 75) as the site for the new facility.
On March 29, 2011, it was announced that the new field would be named JetBlue Park at Fenway South. The park was named JetBlue Park after JetBlue Airlines, which has maintained major operations at Boston's Logan International Airport since 2004.
The new stadium opened in March, 2012. Many characteristics of the stadium were taken from Fenway Park, including a 37-foot (11 m) Green Monster wall in left field, featuring seating on top of and behind the wall. Included in the wall is a restored version of the manual scoreboard that was housed at Fenway for almost 30 years, beginning in the 1970s. The field dimensions at JetBlue Park are identical to those at Fenway.
Previous Boston Red Sox Spring Training Locations
- Charlottesville, Virginia (1901)
- Augusta, Georgia (1902)
- Macon, Georgia (1903-06)
- Little Rock, Arkansas (1907-08)
- Hot Springs, Arkansas: Majestic Park, Whittington Park, (1909-10, 1912-18, 1920-23)
- Redondo Beach, California (1911)
- Tampa, Florida (1919)
- San Antonio, Texas (1924)
- New Orleans, Louisiana (1925-27)
- Bradenton, Florida (1928-29)
- Pensacola, Florida (1930-31)
- Savannah, Georgia (1932)
- Sarasota, Florida (1933-42, 1946-58)
- Medford, Massachusetts (1943-44)
- Atlantic City, New Jersey (1945)
- Scottsdale, Arizona (1959-65)
- Winter Haven, Florida (1966-92)
- Fort Myers, Florida (1993-present)
- "County targets 2012 for Red Sox project by Glenn Miller, Fort Myers News-Press". Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
- "Lee County commissioners approve Red Sox agreement". Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
- "Red Sox to stay in Fort Myers for 30 more springs". Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "JetBlue puts stamp on Red Sox Complex". Retrieved 2011-03-30.[permanent dead link]
- Abraham, Peter (August 31, 2011). "Red Sox announce spring training ticket prices at new JetBlue Park". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-10-07.