Spring Training Slates Scheduled For 2023

Todays News

CoolToday Park. Image courtesy Visit Sarasota.

The Grapefruit League has dates set for the 2023 spring training season. Major League Baseball teams will bring with them a boost in sports tourism for the region.

The Baltimore Orioles will play 16 home games at Ed Smith Stadium in its 14th consecutive season in Sarasota. The Atlanta Braves will also play 16 games at home at CoolToday Park in North Port. And the Pittsburgh Pirates will play 16 home games at LECOM Park in Bradenton, where the team has played for 55 years.

All three teams managed to schedule opening games at home this year on Feb. 25, making the Sarasota-Manatee County area a major sporting venue as the Major League season kicks off. The Os play the Minneapolis Twins, the Braves face the Boston Red Sox and the Bucs will play the Toronto Blue Jays.

And over the course of the season, which runs through March 28, the three teams expect to draw thousands to baseball diamonds in the region. Major League Baseball for the 2022 season reported that the Braves attracted 46,320 to spring training, the Orioles drew 38,351 spectators and the Pirates pulled in 30,738 to games. Of note, attendance has been down 31% since 2019, with seasons impacted by both the COVID-19 pandemic and by an MLB lockout, but this year should be the first “normal” season in three years.

The teams will also spent much of their time away but still in this market. The Orioles and Pirates will play each other a record six times over the course of the season, three times in Sarasota (March 5, 8 and 19) on and three times in Bradenton (Feb. 28, March 14 and 25). The Braves also play the Os on March 4 in Sarasota and March 13 in North Port, and face the Pirates on March 14 in Bradenton and March 26 in North Port.

 

CoolToday Park. Image courtesy Visit Sarasota.

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