BayCare Ballpark – Clearwater Threshers
Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86
BayCare Ballpark 601 Old Coachman Rd Clearwater, FL 33765
Year Opened: 2004 Capacity: 8,500
The Florida MiLB Success Story
Since 2011, the Clearwater Threshers have led the Florida State League in average attendance every single year – a crowd of nearly 10,000 fans set the stadium’s record for attendance in a single game in 2015. The full stands at BayCare Ballpark are no fluke either; a successful minor league team that calls one of the most popular and highly rated beaches in America home needs to be extra special to draw fans away from the water’s edge during the summer months in Florida. A visit to the home of the Threshers is enough to tell you why.
Home to the Philadelphia Phillies’ spring training facilities, Spectrum Field features a simple yet comfortable and enjoyable design for a baseball stadium. It’s rather inconspicuous location and unique design adds to the stadium’s desirability for traveling fans, and a successful team year in and year our brings the locals to the ballpark as well. Finally, an overall fan-friendly attitude helps round out this hidden Florida gem.
In February of 2021, the ballpark was renamed BayCare Ballpark as part of a six-year agreement. In addition, BayCare HealthSystem will be the exclusive healthcare system partner for the Phillies in the Florida market.
Food & Beverage 4
Food options are pretty standard for a sports stadium, and the prices are affordable compared to other professional venues. Hot dogs cost $3.25, Bubba Burgers run $6.25, fries and soft pretzels both cost $3.50, and chicken sandwiches cost $6. The popular chicken tenders basket sits at $7.25 on the menu, while peanuts cost just $3.
There is also a full-service alcohol bar on the left field deck that features numerous cocktails and drinks ranging in price from $4.50 for beer to $18 for the 1800 Margarita Bucket. In addition, various nights throughout the year feature food and drink specials to help make the already affordable dining at the ballpark even cheaper.
BayCare Ballpark is a beautiful facility, looking more like what one would expect a spring training facility to be. There are lower bowl seats along with upper deck seating and suites behind home plate and down the base lines, while the outfield features berm seating on grass and a multi-tiered patio set-up with tables and chairs down the left field line, perfect for sitting and enjoying your food and drinks.
The main concourse resembles that of various pro stadiums, featuring vendors, concessions stands, and signage that displays game lineups and the standings around the league.
Located in the middle of one of the most popular spots for tourists in the summer, it is hard to feel like the home of the Threshers was placed in a bad place. Indeed, the opposite proves to be true – just steps away in the same parking lot sits a Buffalo Wild Wings, while just a few blocks down sits Lenny’s Restaurant, a local establishment known for its breakfast and brunch options.
For lodging, the Magnussen Hotel Clearwater Central, La Quinta Clearwater Central, and Clarion Inn & Suites all sit literally across the street from the stadium, and visitors often frequent Clearwater Beach and the famous Clearwater Marine Aquarium when looking for something to do outside of the game itself.
The fans in Clearwater are among the best in the Florida State League. Often packing in the stands even for regular weeknight games, they have helped the Threshers lead or be near the top of the league in average attendance for the better part of the last decade. The fans know all the players on the field, and the team often gets a lot of Phillies visitors over the summer. Fluctuations in crowd size can vary due to the ever-changing weather of Florida in the summer, but overall the crowd size is respectable for a Florida State League team.
BayCare Ballpark is easy to get to, located next to major roadways while remaining hidden within the surrounding neighborhood. On-site parking is just $3 for regular season games and is plentiful.
Located right off of US-19, Spectrum Field is just a short drive across Tampa Bay on Rte. 60/Gulf to Bay Drive. Once at the stadium, parking lots at the stadium itself and across the street have plenty of spaces to host fans on even the busiest of nights.
Return on Investment 5
Single game tickets for Threshers games start at $6 for berm seating and general admission, while seats rise to $8 for field box and $10 for premium seating behind home plate. Add to that parking costing just $3 and the low price of concessions, it stands to reason that the Threshers are arguably one of the most affordable and enjoyable MiLB shows in Florida.
Diehard fans can enjoy seeing updated standings for the Florida State League on display in the main concourse, as well as the game’s starting lineups. The outfield also features a directional post showing the distance to various locations in and around Philadelphia and the greater Pennsylvania area.
In addition, there are two oversized beach chairs for fans to take photos next to, and the main concourse also now features a Clearwater Hall of Fame wall, with fans voting each year on who to induct each season. Currently the wall features popular MLB stars such as Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, and others.
While many may scoff at the Florida State League’s lack of general excitement among the team’s respective fan bases, the Clearwater Threshers stand to change that feeling. It is no mistake that this team is one of the most popular year in and year out, regardless of their record, in the league. The fans frequent the stadium with vigor, passion, and loyalty that some higher-up teams dream of. Ultimately, the mix of a quality facility, great location, passionate fans, and an overall air of affordability make the Clearwater Threshers a perfect choice for families and individuals, both local and visiting.