|Charlotte County Sports Park / Tampa Bay Rays / Charlotte Stone Crabs|
|Page 2: Touring the Ballpark|
|Page 3: Assessing the Renovation|
Longtime spring-training aficionados may be able to recognize Charlotte County Sports Park as the former spring home of the Texas Rangers, remodeled to serve as the spring home of the Tampa Bay Rays and the regular-season home of the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Maybe.
Opened: 1988; renovated in 2009
Cost: $5 million original construction; $27 million renovations
Owner: Charlotte County
Dimensions: 338L, 402C, 338R
Previous Tenants: Texas Rangers spring training, 1988-2001; Charlotte Rangers (High Class A: Florida State League), 1988-2001; Charlotte County Redfish (independent; South Coast League), 2007
Address/Directions: 2300 El Jobean Rd., Port Charlotte. El Jobean Road runs east-west through Port Charlotte. From I-75: take the King's Highway exit from either direction. Go west on King's Highway for approximately one mile and hang a right on Veterans Boulevard. (Ignore any Google Maps directions; they are wrong.) Veterans eventually changes into El Jobean Road. The ballpark is past Hwy. 41 and will be on your left.
To say Charlotte County Sports Park has received an extreme makeover is an understatement, with the Rays, Charlotte County and HOK Sport taking what had been a basic facility and turned it into a nice, comfortable spring-training venue. True, it's not groundbreaking and it certainly lacks the historic ambiance of the Rays' former spring home, Al Lang Field, but it's perfectly nice and provides the laid-back feel you want in a Florida spring facility.
The complex is located at 2300 El Jobean Drive in Port Charlotte, across from the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. It's a rural setting, to be sure; there's nothing but a Harley-Davidson dealership within walking distance. So if you go, you're going to drive, and you're going to park on the dirt parking lot next to the ballpark.
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