The Toronto Blue Jays player development complex in Dunedin, Fla., has been coming together for the past two years and on Thursday the team unveiled images of the new facilities.
The 65-acre site will be the hub for major-league players during spring training as well as supporting minor-leaguers and injured players year-round.
Ground was broken on the 115,000 square-foot project in April of 2019 once a construction partnership was formed between Gilbane Construction and Turner Construction. After roughly 500,000 cumulative worker-hours from more than 2,500 labourers, the Blue Jays are now equipped with a far more expansive setup than what they previously had in Dunedin, where the team has trained since its inception in 1977.
The new complex boasts multiple covered and non-covered fields, a state-of-the-art gym and clubhouse, hydrotherapy pools, a barbershop, dining spaces and various recreational areas.
Below you’ll find some additional information and notable images of the complex provided by the Blue Jays…
The complex features six fields, five of which are brand new, plus two half fields. All are aided by sizeable drainage and irrigation systems and use Latitude 36 Bermuda grass from Sarasota, Fla. One of the team’s outdoor fields, Field 2, has full turf and identical measurements to the Rogers Centre where the team usually plays its home regular-season and playoff games.
In addition to the outdoor fields, there’s a 155×150-foot covered turf field with a roof 30-37 feet in height. Nearby is a speed hill that is 20 feet tall from base to top. It’s 168 feet long with an inline of 6.79 degrees.
There’s a total of 12 covered batting cages with a height of 16 feet. Five batting cages are located on the north side of the complex and meant for major-leaguers. The remaining seven cages for minor-leaguers are on the south side of the complex.
There are five new bullpens and 20 total gang mounds on which pitchers can work their stuff. Ten mounds are on the north side and 10 located on the south side. There’s also a renovated observation tower where coaches or trainers can observe what’s happening from on high.
If the Blue Jays are out of shape in 2021 they’ll have no valid excuses because the new weight room is something to behold. There are more than 20 customized pieces of equipment that were exclusively designed for the franchise and in total there’s more than 40,000 pounds of weights to be pushed, pulled, squatted, et cetera. Cardio equipment is located on the upper level.
In addition to sports science labs and a movement studio used for yoga and stretching among other activities, there is a major-league training room and a minor-league training room both with eight training tables.
A spacious hydrotherapy room will also help players recover. There are two hot tubs, two cold tubs and a 15×40-foot custom depth pool.
A 2,436 square foot kitchen will serve food for multiple indoor and outdoor dining facilities, some for minor-leaguers and some reserves for major-leaguers. There are also fuel bars and “grab ‘n go” fridges for both major- and minor-leaguers.
There are several murals and quotes on various hallway walls throughout the facility, one of which displays the word “Equality” with the team’s and MLB’s concerted focus on inclusion and diversity across all levels of the sport.
There are eight locker rooms in total with the 3,750 square foot major-league clubhouse being the featured attraction.
Pitchers and catchers reported to camp last week and the first spring training games are scheduled to begin Feb. 28 with the Blue Jays taking on AL East rival New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field.