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Charlotte Sports Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charlotte Sports Park
Charlotte Sports Park in January 2009, nearing completion of renovation
Location2300 El Jobean Road
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Coordinates26°59′57″N 82°10′54″W / 26.99917°N 82.18167°W / 26.99917; -82.18167
OwnerCharlotte County
OperatorCharlotte County
Field sizeLeft Field: 343 ft
Left-Center Field: 384 ft
Center Field: 414 ft
Right-Center Field: 384 ft
Right Field: 343 ft
Broke groundJuly 20, 1986[1]
OpenedMarch 6, 1987
Construction cost$5 million
($11.9 million in 2021 dollars[2])
$27.2 million (renovation)
($34.4 million in 2021 dollars[2])
Structural engineerBliss & Nyitray, Inc (renovation)
General contractorGilbane Building Co.[1]
Tampa Bay Rays (MLB) (Spring Training) (2009–present)
Charlotte Stone Crabs (FSL) (2009–2020)
FCL Rays (FCL) (2009–present)
Texas Rangers (MLB) (Spring Training) (1987–2002)
Charlotte County Redfish (SCL) (2007)
Charlotte Rangers (FSL) (1987-2002)

Charlotte Sports Park (formerly known as Charlotte County Stadium and Ranger Stadium) is a baseball stadium in Port Charlotte, Florida. The stadium is the home field for Tampa Bay Rays spring training operations, as well as its Rookie-class Florida Complex League Rays teams. From 2009 to 2020, it also hosted the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League.[3]

Originally built in 1987, the main stadium underwent a renovation that was completed in January 2009 at a cost of $27 million.[4]

Prior to the Rays, the stadium was home to Texas Rangers spring training exhibition games and the team's minor league affiliate Charlotte Rangers. The ballpark has also hosted college baseball tournaments and the South Coast League Charlotte County Redfish.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Infield practice on Astroturf at Charlotte Sports Park
  • Benson, de los Santos go deep in the fifth inning at Charlotte Sports Park
  • Tampa Bay Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson talks about Monday's minor league start
  • Final play 2013 Florida State League Championship
  • Rays: Wilson Glove Day 2013


Stadium features

Charlotte Sports Park has a variety of amenities including a playground area, a boardwalk from foul pole to foul pole, two grass berms for general seating, and a tiki bar. The stadium features four air conditioned suites on the second floor and team store. The third floor of the stadium houses a 17-seat press box, the media dining center, PA booth, camera well, and four broadcast booths. The stadium sits on a complex that also includes five full practice fields, a half field for infield drills, and indoor batting cages.

In March 2014, Charlotte Sports Park was named the #1 spring training destination by the readers of USA Today and 10Best.[5]


In the spring of 1993, Texas Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan announced his retirement from the clubhouse at the stadium.

During the 1994 Spring Training, the Rangers played host to the Chicago White Sox who featured basketball star Michael Jordan. The game drew a record crowd and was one of only a few sites in Florida to host Jordan.

In 2000, after signing an unprecedented 10-year deal worth $252 million with the Texas Rangers, slugger Alex Rodriguez held a press conference with the sports media at the stadium. The stadium was unable to accommodate the significant number of news reporters. In an effort to allow enough room for reporters to speak to Rodriguez, the press conference was held on the roof of the Rangers' dugout, a clear sign that the Rangers had outgrown the facility. They would leave 2 years later.

The Rays opened Spring Training at the renovated stadium on February 14, 2009. They lost their first Spring Training game to the Cincinnati Reds on February 25, 7–0. Their first Spring Training home win came on February 27, a 12–4 win over the Boston Red Sox.

On February 3, 2010, the Rays announced a naming rights deal with The Mosaic Company. The agreement was reported to last through 2024,[6] however due to a potential conflict-of-interest with Charlotte County—whom ultimately must approve the name change—the Rays asked for more time to study the proposal before giving it to the county commissioners for final approval.[7] On February 17, due to intense opposition by both the Charlotte County Council and local residents, the Rays announced they were abandoning the deal with Mosaic and will potentially look at other companies in the future instead.[8]

The Rays cancelled 2023 spring training at Charlotte Sports Park due to damage from Hurricane Ian, moving exhibition games to Tropicana Field.[9] The team announced that the Rays’ Major League camp would muster at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, then relocate to St. Petersburg at the beginning of March, while Tampa Bay's Minor League camp would remain at the Orlando complex all spring.[10]

The stadium has also been used by the local community for non-baseball events like concerts, festivals, and expos. It has hosted such musicians as Kenny Rogers, The Beach Boys, The Little River Band, and Simple Plan.

Retired Number 405

Sgt. Wilson Jersey
Sgt. Wilson Jersey

Number 405 is "retired" at Charlotte Sports Park which was the radio number that belonged to Sgt. Michael Wilson. Sgt. Wilson was a member of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Department for 21 years and was killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on August 5, 2013.[11] The community rallied around the Wilson family and turned out in thousands holding signs and waving flags as the funeral procession drove by. On August 13, 2014, the Charlotte Stone Crabs retired Sgt. Wilson's 405 during a pre-game ceremony, with the Wilson family unveiling the jersey shaped sign.[12] The number now hangs just inside the Home Plate gate.

The interior of Charlotte County Stadium during warm-up prior to a spring training game, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cincinnati Reds, 2009-02-25


  1. ^ a b Snyder, Jack (July 21, 1986). "Construction". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 16, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  2. ^ a b 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  3. ^ Maffezzoli, Dennis (December 10, 2020). "Stone Crabs no longer part of Florida State League". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  4. ^ "Charlotte Stone Crabs".
  5. ^ "Best Spring Training City Winners (2014) | USA TODAY 10Best".
  6. ^ Topkin, Marc (February 3, 2010). "Spring Fling: Stadium Now Mosaic Field at Charlotte Sports Park". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on February 9, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
  7. ^ Pittman, Craig (February 9, 2010). "Tampa Bay Rays Pull Charlotte Naming Rights Off Meeting Agenda After Objections". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  8. ^ Topkin, Marc (February 17, 2010). "Plan Dropped to Rename Spring Site Mosaic". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
  9. ^ Topkin, Marc (12 February 2023). "Rays excited to say they're going to Disney World". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  10. ^ Berry, Adam. "What to know about Rays Spring Training". MLB.COM. MLB Advanced Media, LP. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  11. ^ "Charlotte Co. deputy, father of 3, fatally shot". Aug 7, 2013.
  12. ^ Kelli Stegeman (Aug 13, 2014). "Sgt. Michael Wilson honored at home plate". Fox 4. Archived from the original on 2014-08-27.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 February 2023, at 20:01
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