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LECOM Park Has Plenty of Old-School Charm

“LECOM Park is unique in terms of the history,” says Bradenton Marauders general manager Craig Warzecha. “It really has the perfect blend of old-school baseball charm with modern amenities.”

By Ilene Denton March 1, 2020 Published in the March 2020 issue of Sarasota Magazine



A Bradenton landmark for 97 years, LECOM Park is the oldest spring stadium in the Florida Grapefruit League. Among the teams that have called it home-away-from-home since 1923 are the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox.

In 1969, the Pittsburgh Pirates came to town and named the park McKechnie Field in honor of Bradenton resident Bill McKechnie, who’d led the Pirates to the World Series in 1925. LECOM—Western Pennsylvania-based Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, which has a campus in Lakewood Ranch—bought the naming rights in 2017. (McKechnie was not to be forgotten; the Pirates then renamed their clubhouse the Bill McKechnie Home Clubhouse.)

Night play came to the stadium with the addition of lights in 2008, and in 2013 the park underwent a $10 million renovation that spruced up its beloved old-timey look and added a tiki bar, a video replay scoreboard and a boardwalk around the entire outfield—the better to enjoy Pirates spring training games and, from April through early September, Pittsburgh’s Advanced-A affiliate, the Bradenton Marauders.

USA Today ranks LECOM Park No. 3 out of the 13 Florida spring training parks. 

The Pirate Parrot with young fans


No. of Seats

7,500 plus 1,500 standing room

2019 Attendance

90,585, an average of 6,039 per game

Estimated Economic Impact

Over $36 million

Summer Baseball League

The Bradenton Marauders

2019 Bradenton Marauders Attendance

71,253, an average of 1,131 per game

No. of Employees During Spring Training 

More than 200

Year-Round Employees



Pirate Parrot

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