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  • Lloyd Brown

BayCare Ballpark – Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training


Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

BayCare Ballpark

601 Old Coachman Rd

Clearwater, FL 33765


Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training website

BayCare Ballpark website


Year Opened: 2004

Capacity: 8,500

 

Phanatics in Clearwater


The Philadelphia Phillies have called Clearwater their home for spring training since 1947. They originally played at Jack Russell Stadium, before moving to their present home in 2004. The present site has gone through several names in its history, including Bright House Network Field and Spectrum Field. Just before the 2023 preseason, it became BayCare Ballpark. BayCare Ballpark has a capacity of 7,300 seats, plus 1,500 spaces on its two berms.


Food and Beverage 5

While BayCare Ballpark still carries the traditional ballpark items, it has a food and beverage program geared towards its most loyal fans from the City of Brotherly Love. Fan favorite Philly Cheesesteaks are available at the Delco stand, while Westshore Pizza is also sold at the park. Pete and Shorty’s sliders are on the grill as are Tony Luke’s roasted pork sandwiches. Brooklyn Knish and Boar’s Head sandwiches are also on the menu and are popular with the Phillies fans.


Many regional favorites are available to meet the needs of a fan’s sweet tooth. These include Herr’s potato chips, Kandy Kakes from Philadelphia baker Tastykakes, and Thurston’s strawberry shortcake.


On the adult beverage front, it’s hard to beat the Beers of the World concession stand along the third baseline. It sells more than 100 brands of bottled beer and has eight beers on tap on a rotating basis. Bud, Bud Light, and Yuengling can be found at stands throughout BayCare Ballpark.


Bay Care Ballpark thoughtfully has picnic tables around the park, so you don’t have to balance your food in your lap. Cupholders are found on every seat in the stadium as well.


Atmosphere 4

The Phillies spring training home was a pioneer in several design elements when it opened in 2004. It was the first ballpark in the Grapefruit League to have a 360-degree concourse and a restaurant/bar along its outfield wall. BayCare Ballpark was also the first ballpark to angle all the seats toward the field. It also was the first park to expand its concession offerings beyond the usual baseball fare.


The dimensions of the field at BayCare Ballpark are 329L, 408C, and 330R.


One of the favorite places in the park to enjoy the game, and have a few drinks is Frenchy’s Tiki Pavilion in the left-field corner. Seats are available in the Tiki Pavilion on a first-come, first-served basis. However, fans who want to spend the entire game in this area can buy specific seats in the adjoining Tiki Terrace section of the stadium.


One of the most interesting elements of Bay Care Ballpark is the bi-level bullpens, which are stacked up in the third base corner of the stadium.


Neighborhood 3

Lenny’s Restaurant is a popular hangout for Phillies fans both before and after a game. The restaurant is filled with Phillies memorabilia and serves Pennsylvania favorites like Scrapple. It is less than a mile from BayCare Ballpark. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a popular attraction located nearby. Clearwater Beach is just down the street from the park, and it offers miles of beach along the Gulf of Mexico.


Fans 4

Philadelphia fans have always turned out well for the Phillies' preseason camp in Clearwater. It is a popular spring break destination for kids, as the beach is nearby, and mom-and-pop needs very little convincing to escape the brutal winter weather in Pennsylvania. Clearwater is a known entity to the fans since they have set up preseason camp here for more than six decades. They typically make their reservations at the same hotels at the end of one year’s camp for the next season. The Phillies go all out for their fans, as they are one of the few teams that offer travel packages, including tickets and hotels at group prices.


The 2023 crowds have been even bigger, thanks to the enthusiasm surrounding the Phillies' first return to the World Series in many years at the end of the 2022 season. They hope to go a step further in 2023 and bring home the World Series title.


Access 4

From St. Petersburg: Take Highway 41 North to Drew Street. Turn left on Drew Street. At Greenwood turn right. At West Coachman turn right. BayCare Ballpark will be on your right.


From Tampa: Take the Campbell Causeway (Highway 60) West. Cross over Highway 19 and go to the next stoplight. Turn right onto Old Coachman Road. The stadium will be on your right.


Another option to get to BayCare Ballpark is the Jolley Trolley Phillies Shuttle. It circulates between Downtown Clearwater, Dunedin, and Safety Harbor, and the ballpark. The cost is $2.25 each way.


Tampa International Airport is 12 miles from the ballpark.


There are two main parking lots at BayCare Ballpark. Parking costs $15.


Gates open two hours before the first pitch.


Return on Investment 4

BayCare Park offers tickets at several price levels. The cheapest seats are $17.00 and are on the berms located beyond the outfield walls. The areas along the baselines beyond the first and third base cost $33. Seats behind the plate on the lower level are $35.00. The club seating areas on the upper level of BayCare Ballpark are the most expensive seats, as they cost $39.00. Phillies games sell out quite frequently, so we advise you to purchase your seats well in advance of gameday.


The food prices at BayCare Park are quite reasonable compared with most of the Grapefruit League ballparks.

Parking at BayCare Ballpark is $15.


Extras 4

The Single A Clearwater Threshers use the BayCare Ballpark as their home field during the regular season.

BayCare Ballpark is only 5 miles from the Toronto Blue Jays spring training home in Dunedin and is also close to the training facilities for the Yankees in Tampa and the Pirates in Bradenton. This makes it possible to get a day/night combination of games if you are trying to visit all the Grapefruit League ballparks.

There is a kid’s playground down the third baseline of the park. It also offers kid-sized meals at family-friendly prices.


The left, west entrance into the park brings you through a Spanish Mediterranean courtyard with a fountain and a baseball statue called “The Ace”.


Final Thoughts

BayCare Ballpark may no longer be the best ballpark in the Grapefruit League, but it was the best-planned ballpark. The Phillies' spring training home was a trendsetter for the spring training stadiums that followed it. The ballpark pioneered the use of 360-degree concourses, using berms in the outfield area as a new seating feature, and developed a concessions program that ventured far beyond the typical stadium standards. At nearly 20 years old, BayCare Ballpark is still a great place to enjoy baseball on a spring day.

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