Lee County is home to two Major League Baseball World Series Champion teams, the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins. As the 2014 Spring Training season begins, fans and players arrive to find new stadium upgrades meant to enhance their game experience.

Throughout the past few years, the addition of the Boston Red Sox Spring Training facility, JetBlue Park, and the more recent renovations at the Minnesota Twins Spring Training Facility, Hammond Stadium, has provided exciting improvements for the overall fan experience. These changes create a sense of optimism and anticipation of drawing many more visitors to our area and consequently helping to fuel our local economy.

Johnson Engineering is the lead civil engineering consultant for both sports complexes and our planning, development, surveying, water resources, and utility team members have been highly involved in the survey, design and permitting of the roadways, parking, utilities, and other site infrastructure throughout both complexes.

During design and construction of JetBlue Park our water resources and utilities team worked to overcome conflicts between the irrigation lines, large drainage systems, and the deep gravity sewer since all seven fields are consistently being watered and drained to maintain perfectly manicured surfaces. The schedule was also a significant challenge for these projects as “the games must go on” and ball players were arriving for Spring training. It was imperative that all permitting and construction was completed by that time.

JetBlue Park is now successfully hosting its third Spring Training season, and the Hammond Stadium Sports Complex just kicked off its 23rd Spring Training season with the grand reveal of their recent renovations that include a new 360-degree boardwalk and concourse, increased seating, extra parking, additional practice fields, and a new player development academy. The academy provides a residential living space for players and staff to stay and train year-round, just another added benefit to entice more frequent visits to our area.

These are just the first phase of improvements. Plans are currently underway to begin the second phase of improvements once the 2014 Spring Training season has ended and is expected to be completed before the 2015 Spring Training season. These improvements will include additional upgrades and expansions of the concourses, clubhouse, premium seating, group seating, improved concession services, restroom renovations, and a new retail store.

Both the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins have signed 30 year agreements to stay in Fort Myers. These improvements demonstrate Lee County’s long-term commitment to keeping both teams happy and comfortable staying in Southwest Florida. Both parks not only host Spring Training, but they also provide a home for minor league baseball teams, and also serve as a venue for high school baseball championship tournaments, local festivals, circuses, conferences, and many other events.

Being a local company based in Fort Myers for the last 68 years, it’s exciting to be a part of this significant transformation of our area. Our team has been fortunate to have been involved in these momentous projects.

For more information on Johnson Engineering’s involvement in these projects, please contact Kevin Winter, P.E. at [email protected].