|Owner||City of Sarasota|
|Broke ground||October 18, 1923|
|Opened||February 1, 1924|
|Construction cost||$18,000 (1923)|
|New York Giants (spring training) (1924–1927)
Sarasota Gulls (FSL) (1926)
Sarasota Tarpons (FSL) (1927)
Indianapolis Indians (spring training) (1929–1932)
Boston Red Sox (spring training) (1933–1942 and 1946–1958)
Chicago White Sox (spring training) (1960–1988)
Sarasota Sun Sox (FSL) (1961–1965)
Payne Park refers both to a baseball field that stood from 1924 to 1990 and to the public park in the same location which replaced it, in Sarasota, Florida. Payne Park, the original stadium for the city of Sarasota, was built on a portion of 60 acres (240,000 m2) of land donated by Calvin Payne and his wife, Martha. Payne Park today refers to the 29-acre (120,000 m2) public park – the location of the ballpark – used for recreational and high school sporting events.
The ballpark was erected in 1924 and was a long time spring training and minor league site for baseball clubs such as the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and the New York Giants. The park ceased its association with professional baseball in 1989 with the construction of Ed Smith Stadium and the ballpark was demolished. Until 1963, the ballpark's dimensions were 375 feet (114 m) down the foul-lines and 500 feet (150 m) to center-field.
The ballpark was refurbished on multiple occasions. Prior to Spring Training 1951, the City of Sarasota added 600 permanent bleachers increasing capacity to just over 4,000. The size of the press-box was doubled as well.
The White Sox moved their spring training games from Tampa to Sarasota in 1960. Prior to spring training 1963, The City of Sarasota changed the ballpark's dimensions to 352 feet (107 m) down the foul-lines and 415 feet (126 m) to center field to match the White Sox' Comiskey Park dimensions.
The Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers played the last major league spring training game at Payne Park on March 30, 1988.
Payne Park Today
The City of Sarasota reopened the former ballpark-site as Payne Park on October 6, 2007 as a 29-acre (120,000 m2) public park space. The public park was built at a cost of $8.8 million, funded by a county-wide penny surtax.
It features Public Skateboard Park, Frisbee Golf Course, tracks for walking and riding bikes, lakes and a Cafe serving lunches and refreshments. In 2012 the city opened the "circus Playground, featuring a small waterpark Public Restrooms on site
- "Chisox To Find Comiskey-Sized Diamond Feb. 21". Sarasota Journal. 1963-01-17. p. 32.
- "Sarasota Baseball". Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- "Chisox to Find Comiskey-Sized Diamond Feb. 21". Sarasota Journal. 1963-01-28. p. 32.
- "Bosox Greeted By A Shiny Payne Park". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1951-02-28. p. 1.
- "Sox Here For Sixth Spring". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1965-02-28. p. 2.
- "City Celebrates Payne Park Grand Opening". City of Sarasota. 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2010-07-03.[dead link]
- Mark D. Smith (1997-01-29). "Sarasota has rich baseball history". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. 2B.