PORT ST. LUCIE – Open to business, players and fans.
The Mets will move into their impressive $ 57 million overhauled facility in Clover Park, which is now much more fan-friendly, on Monday. Here's your first look before the first pitch when the Mets play on February 22nd.
From the very beginning, Mets fans will notice a difference in the facility called First Data Park with the new large, wide entrance on Piazza Drive last season. As soon as you enter the park, there is a much larger hall and larger concession areas before the fans get to all the blue seats of the new Mets through the larger portals.
One of the highlights will be directly above the field wall on the left. In the past there were only signs, no access for fans.
That has changed. The new elevated area has a huge outdoor bar, the Jim Beam Bar, and plenty of space, lots of sun with incredible views of the complex.
In the past, Mets Spring training facilities have been put to shame by newer baseball stadiums, particularly those of the Cactus League. But this redesigned facility offers everything players need and want. Basically, there are no excuses now. Everything is at the fingertips of the Mets players and the staff has everything they need to carry out.
"We worked really hard to fix this," Jeff Wilpon, Mets COO, told The Post on Sunday, but declined to resolve the ownership problems at this time. "We made sure that fans got a lot of new amenities that would bring them closer to the ball players, but we also gave the ball players and performance staff everything they need to have a championship team."
The 2020 Mets have the best facilities the team has ever had. For fans who have come in the past, this is a whole new ball game.
Not only can you watch the game, but you can also keep an eye on the new Pitching Mounds area, known as the 10-pack – 10 mounds, all lined up in a row, where Mets' pitchers do a lot of their work behind the scenes take care of.
There's also a new half field for inner field work, a new flag field beyond, a new huge new lawn diamond, much larger and better-lit covered tidal flats and another half field, all just a few steps away from the Mets, much larger new weight room, training room and clubhouse. In addition to the weight room and the Gatorade bar, there are two HydroWorx therapy pools.
From this left bar, Mets fans can see the back fields where minor league games are played. Fans can go to the practice fields in much broader ways. There is a new protection network in the stadium.
Players have never experienced anything like it in the past, including a new kitchen and a new dining area. Most impressive is the Mets' new clubhouse in the Major League, which appears to be larger than the clubhouse in Citi Field. The walls show murals of players who have gone through the Mets system.
The first two murals are Doc Gooden and Ed Kranepool. Each mural shows a picture of the major league player and a picture of this player when he was under age.
It will be a reminder of the talent that has emerged through the Mets system.
Also different this year is an additional changing room. This room is used by guest trainers and others during spring training. When the St. Lucie Mets begin their season, this secondary clubhouse is used by the minor leagues. In the past, the Mets Spring Clubhouse was the only clubhouse available and was used by the minor league team. Now the Mets use the Major League Clubhouse only for Major League players to differentiate themselves from the Minor League players: The Major League Clubhouse is your goal.
Above the 10-pack, fans can watch Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard throwing bullpen sessions. Just a few steps away, players enter the weight room and other areas, which include an oversized team classroom that St. Lucie County can use if necessary. There are conference rooms and separate offices for the New York Mets staff and the St. Lucie Club as well as a technology room, an interview room, a media work room and a dining area. There is even a hair salon.
A new elevator has been added that offers incredible landscaping. Artwork is added via the local art commission and of course the Mets logo to make it feel like home.