Looking to find their groove in 2023 after a forgettable .383 winning percentage in 2022, the Pittsburgh Pirates will look to shore out their roster during Spring Training at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. A visit to the historic park offers a relaxing day of Spring Training action and the chance to witness former Ray Ji-Man Choi carve out a role on his new squad, not to mention perennial star outfielder Andrew McCutchen!
If you are interested in watching the Pirates, also known as the Bucs (sounds like another local team!) compete in Spring Training, then keep reading for things to do in and around LECOM Park.
Mar 9 vs Tigers
Mar 11 vs Yankees
Mar 12 vs Braves
Mar 14 vs Orioles
Mar 17 vs Rays
Mar 18 vs Twins
Mar 21 vs Phillies
Mar 23 vs Red Sox
Mar 25 vs Orioles
Mar 28 vs Twins
Originally built in 1923, LECOM Park has undergone significant renovations over the past 30 years to provide visiting Bucs fans with modern amenities while maintaining the feeling of a classic ballpark.
For example, LECOM’s iconic Spanish mission-style façade was constructed during a significant facelift in the early 1990s, and lights were added as recently as 2008. As a result of these changes, there’s plenty to see and do around the ballpark.
A 2013 renovation to LECOM included the creation of a 19,000 square foot boardwalk spanning the outfield and a large “Fan Plaza.” The boardwalk enables fans to completely walk around the ballpark by connecting its main concourse in the outfield corners via a ramp (left field) and stairs/elevator (right field).
LECOM Park was originally called McKechnie Field, in honor of Pittsburgh native, former Bradenton resident, and Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie, who led the Pirates to the 1925 World Series title before bringing the Cincinnati Reds to baseball’s pinnacle in 1940.
Just like at any ballpark, LECOM’s concession stands serve popular beers. However, for Pennsylvania favorites, check out the Plaza Bar for Yuengling as well as the Pitt-Stop and nearby carts for cans of Pittsburgh’s Iron City beer. Food Choices and Concession Stands are Subject to Change! Our favorite concessions are The Home Plate Express, the Snack Station, the Hot Corner Deli, and the Pirates Cove Grill.
If watching the ballplayers train is of interest, check out Pirate City, the club’s official Spring Training workout and practice field complex. Located five miles east of LECOM Park, Pirate City is open to fans on select days and times.
📍1701 27th St E, Bradenton, FL 34208
To get to LECOM Park from the North (Tampa and St. Petersburg), go over Skyway Bridge to Exit 5 (US19 South). Continue on 41 South (Bradenton/Sarasota). Make a right turn onto 17th Avenue West and continue to LECOM Park.
If you’re traveling from Sarasota, take Route 41 North to Cortez Road. Go straight onto Business 41 and turn right onto 17th Avenue West. LECOM Park is located at the intersection of 17th Avenue West and 9th Street West.
Traveling from I-75? Exit I-75 at S.R. 64 West (exit 220 if traveling south, exit 220B if traveling north). Proceed west on Route 64 to 9th Street West and turn left toward LECOM Park.
Game-day parking is available at the Outfield Parking Lot north of LECOM Park. This lot is accessible from 9th Street West. In addition, there is a grass parking lot located on 6th Street West and accessible from 17th Avenue West.
Spring Training season ticket holders get a $2 discount in Official Pirates lots by displaying their season ticket ID. Golf carts are available at all official Pirates parking lots to transport fans to and from the main entrance of LECOM Park (who doesn’t appreciate a lift from a golf cart?!)
Looking for something to do before or after a Pirates Spring Training game? Although the area around LECOM Park has historically been industrial, that’s changing thanks to the creation of a new arts district. As a result, there’s plenty to do nearby and, as always, fun in the Florida sun is never far away.
The new Village of the Arts, located near LECOM Park, offers galleries and boutiques, fine dining, live music, and more.
Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Bradenton is close to quaint Holmes Beach and the pristine white sands of Cortez Beach. So remember to pack a swimsuit. This is the perfect way to end a good game day!
📍 4000 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
📍 698 Gulf Dr. S, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Speaking of the Gulf, day trips to the nearby islands of Shell Key, Longboat Key, and Siesta Key come highly recommended. The latter has become famous, thanks to an MTV reality show, but all three offer everything from swimming and sunbathing to boating and fishing, not to mention perfect spots to see the sunset over the Gulf.
Tampa native | Sports Fanatic | Content Creator | Former College Athlete | Data analytics by day, Tampasportsguy by night...