Improvements to Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville announced
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Before hosting a Jacksonville Suns game for the first time April 7, the team’s new ownership, along with the City of Jacksonville and SMG, are enhancing guest areas around the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The team announced the projects at a press conference Tuesday afternoon near the construction site of a left-field Tiki Terrace.
The Suns’ major additions to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville are a group picnic area directly behind the Suns bullpen and a Tiki Terrace near the left-field foul pole. Improvements include the renovation of all 12 private Suites and the expansion of the suite-level Sundowner Lounge to give all fans a climate-controlled space to overlook the playing field. These and other projects total more than $1.8 million invested by Suns ownership, Jacksonville Baseball, LLC, and are scheduled for completion by Opening Day.
“Fans will see a fresh look at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, as the renovations and facility improvements create a unique environment for affordable family fun,” said Suns owner Ken Babby. “We are extremely grateful that the City of Jacksonville, SMG and several local partners collaborated with us to begin to fulfill our vision for a ballpark that shines by its hospitality and extraordinary fan experience.”
The City of Jacksonville Sports & Entertainment Division and SMG have helped guide the process of the improvements and facilitated the City’s cleaning and maintenance of the ballpark to prepare for the 2016 season. For the major projects, Pete Popovic of Fast Forward Sports Group serves as the Construction Manager. The Design and Construction team consists of all Jacksonville-based firms – RS&H, Inc. provides Architectural & Engineering services; Birken Construction, Inc. is the General Trades Contractor; Miller Electric is the Electrical Contractor; W.W. Gay is the Plumbing Contractor.
The following are details of the major guest-area projects the Suns announced on Tuesday, representing the largest single set of ballpark renovations by the club since the stadium opened in 2003.
Further down the left-field line, the new Tiki Terrace will be open to all fans attending Suns games. Replacing what was previously a circular mound of grass, the free-standing, open-air, thatched-roof structure will offer terraced seating with circular tables and chairs, from where any fan may watch the game. The Tiki Terrace will also be the new epicenter for drink specials on each of this season’s 13 Maverick’s Live Thirsty Thursdays.
Directly behind the Suns bullpen on the third-base side, the Bullpen Terrace is the closest group area to the field. The three-terrace area will include high-top swivel seating and drink rails for a group of 24-48 people. For $30 per person, groups with a minimum of 24 people may reserve the area for a game night picnic, which includes 90 minutes of all-you-can-eat hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue chicken, green salad, cole slaw, beans, cookies and fountain soda. Each Bullpen Terrace group has exclusive seating in that area for the entire game.
The only area on the suite level open to all fans, the Sundowner Lounge is being nearly doubled in size toward the playing field, giving fans a unique observation-deck view from behind home plate. Fans may still enjoy a full bar and seating that looks toward downtown Jacksonville and the St. John’s River as the sun sets each night.
The 12 private Suites are all being renovated with new finishes and furniture. The climate-controlled Suites are available for full-season, partial-season and single-game rental. A private Suite for a single game – just $600 – comes with 20 tickets, four VIP parking passes and access to the suite level catering menu to order in advance of the game.
In addition to the aforementioned major projects, the Suns also upgraded food service equipment, reconstructed and refurbished portable concession stands and added a digital menu board system. The ballpark will also have new lighting and furniture in several areas.
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