• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

Phillies hatch $300 million plan to overhaul and advance Clearwater practice complex

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Oct 13, 2022

The Philadelphia Phillies are drawing up plans for a major $300 million overhaul of their Clearwater Training Complexincluding BayCare Ballpark Upgrades and at the cutting edge of technology player development technologies to Carpenter training complex.

Team officials have not made any details public, a very tentative price will likely end up being reduced once some specific costs have been determined and a funding/funding plan has not been released. Still, as far as earlier plans go, this one is pretty bold in scope and potential impact.

We know some details because the team met with Clearwater officials and presented an outline of the plan. Clearwater owns BayCare Ballpark and the Carpenter Training Complex, and the Pinellas County bed tax would be an important part of any fundraising plan. (The bed tax used for spring training isn’t unusual: $41.7 million from the bed tax was used to fund renovations at TD Baseball Stadium and an overhaul of the sports complex. training for the Toronto Blue Jays. The budget for this project: $108 million. The bed tax was also mentioned as a possible source of funding if the Tampa Bay Rays end up with a new ballpark in St. Petersburg.) The team’s lease at BayCare Ballpark and Carpenter Training Complex ends in 2023, but as of now the team is focused on improving those facilities.

The renovations would see the Phillies move all staff and player development facilities to Clearwater, expanding the facilities while possibly adding a player dormitory to the mix. (It would be similar to what the Minnesota Twins did in Lee County in establishment of a year-round training complex, but in this case, the team paid for the new player dorm.) We’ve also seen other teams hire year-round training complexes amid spring camp upgrades. From the Tampa Bay Times:

John Timberlake, Florida operations manager at the Phillies, did not respond to an emailed question regarding the $300 million estimate. However, he said the Phillies ownership “considered the possibility of building a state-of-the-art training facility which could also include major upgrades to the Carpenter Complex as well as the BayCare Ballpark.”

“There have been several iterations of these proposed concepts over the past two years in an ongoing effort to meet the needs of the Florida organization, both now and for many years to come,” Timberlake said. “To say we have anything other than plans of a concept nature would be an overstatement.”

The Phillies have sought to improve the BayCare Ballpark several times in recent years, including a 2019 plan that also included county bed taxes:

The Phillies and the city of Clearwater outline a $79.9 million plan to upgrade spring training facilities, including Spectrum Field and the adjacent Carpenter Complex. While a $10 million contribution from the Phillies and $16 million from the City Factor in the project’s funding plan, a major component of the current framework is a proposed $40 million in City Council funds. Pinellas County Tourism Development (TDC). Rounding out the funding plan is $13.7 million from a state fund to keep Grapefruit League teams in Florida.

RELATED STORIES: Clearwater Gets Deal to Seek $40 Million for Spectrum Field Upgrades; Clearwater Approves Funding for Spectrum Field; Clearwater Moves Forward With Spectrum Field Upgrades; Phillies, Clearwater Pitch Spectrum Field Upgrades

About Kevin Reichard

Kevin Reichard is the founder and publisher of Ballpark Digest.