Blue Jays Spring Training
|2014 First Practice Dates
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Spring Training Info
| Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training
||Area Info - Dunedin
Florida Auto Exchange Stadium
Spring Training home of the Blue Jays since 1977
373 Douglas Avenue
Dunedin, FL 34698
Renovated: 1977, 1990 & 2002
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Florida Auto Exchange Stadium is nestled among small businesses and homes just a few blocks from downtown Dunedin. The nearby commercial enterprises have a homely feel to them, and the ballpark's location is the most residential of any in Spring Training. Adding to that feel, the VFW Post #2550 building, Hale Senior Activity Center and Home Plate Cafe (formerly the Iris Family Restaurant) are directly across the street. The Curtis Fundamental Elementary School is located behind the left field wall and the Dunedin Public Library beyond the right field wall.
Directions To get to US 19 from Tampa, take exit 39B on I-275 and travel west on SR 60 for about 11 miles. The distance from I-275 to the stadium is 20 miles.
To get to US 19 from the south (Bradenton/Sarasota), take exit 28 on I-275 and travel west on SR 694 for a mile. The distance from I-275 to the stadium is 18.5 miles.
Take US 19 to Sunset Point Road and go west 3.5 miles to Douglas Avenue. Turn right, travel about a mile and the ballpark is at the corner of Douglas and Beltrees Street.
The small lot with grass spaces outside of the stadium is reserved for the handicapped, team employees and season ticket holders. Parking for everyone else is scattered up and down Douglas Avenue, where plenty of people will be holding handmade signs in front of their homes or businesses. Most neighborhood lots charge $5. Those closest to the stadium charge more, while ones slightly further away charge less, and all are within a 5-minute walk of the stadium.
Cost: $3 to $10 (neighborhood) or $15 (stadium)
Dunedin's stadium is a throwback to the bygone era of Spring Training, both in size and appearance. It has an unassuming concrete exterior and minimal creature comforts. The ballpark's most distinctive features are found in its concourse, where banners of current Blue Jays and former greats hang from above. A plaque memorializing longtime announcer Tom Cheek is found on the wall behind home plate. A display on the concourse wall down the right field line honors all players who played minor league baseball in Dunedin and later advanced to the Major Leagues. The inside of the stadium is painted in the blue hue of the Blue Jays. Baseball has been played on its grounds since 1930 and the field is the only one the Blue Jays have ever called home in Spring Training. Originally known as Grant Field, the stadium was completely rebuilt in 1990, significantly renovated in 2002 and has recently been called Knology Park (2004-2008) and Dunedin Stadium (2009-2010). Naming rights were sold to a local used car dealership in 2011, when Dunedin-based Florida Auto Exchange agreed to pay $181,000 through 2017. That amounts to just roughly $25,857 per year, a far cry from the $68,000 Knology annually paid during the regional telecommunications company's sponsorship of the stadium, which is owned by the City of Dunedin. The Blue Jays' lease with the city to train in their stadium expires after the 2017 season, which is not coincidentally when the name Florida Auto Exchange Stadium is set to expire.
Fast Facts Most fans enter the ballpark through its main gate behind home plate. A much lesser used gate is far down the first base line.
All ticket windows are in the box office building that's next to the home plate entrance. The stadium's single Will Call window is in the corner on the right side of the box office.
Has the smallest actual capacity of any stadium used to host spring training games. Only the Astros' Osceola County Stadium has a smaller listed capacity (5,300) but crowds in Kissimmee can reach 7,000 thanks to standing room only ticket sales that aren't an attendance padding option in Dunedin.
The concourse is located behind the stadium, where the concession stands are recessed into the grandstand so that they are covered by it. The only other part of the concourse that is covered is the small portion of it behind third base.
Fans must climb stairs to get from the street-level concourse to their seats. A ramp for the handicapped is at the end of the third base grandstand. An electric wheelchair lift is down the right field line.
The Blue Jays bullpen is behind the fence in right field, out of sight from fans. The visitors bullpen is down the left field line, where a fence separates it from the playing field.
The main scoreboard in left-center field is traditional in style, meaning it has no video board and features an electric line score.
"Chad the Beer Guy" leads fans in the singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" from atop the Blue Jays dugout during the 7th inning stretch.
Two team stores, both named Jays Shop, carry mainly shirts and hats from their respective locations - behind first base and next to the concession tent behind home plate.
Practice Fields The Blue Jays minor league complex and practice fields are 3½ miles from Florida Auto Exchange Stadium at 1700 Solon Avenue in the Cecil P. Englebert Recreation Complex, which contains five fields that are simply numbered 1 through 5. All but Field #1 is accessible to the public.
The big league Blue Jays only use the Englebert Complex prior to the beginning of games being played. Once the Grapefruit League season starts all of their practicing is done at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, which is a 10-minute drive from the Englebert Complex.
To get to the Jays' complex from Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, take Douglas Avenue towards downtown and turn right on Main Street and drive until it runs into Highway 580. Go east on 580 for 1.2 miles and turn left (north) onto CR1/Keene. Proceed to Solon Avenue, turn right (east) and the Englebert Complex will be on the left.
Public parking is not available at the Englebert Complex. Instead, fans should head to the Louis A. Vanech Recreation Complex located at 3051 Garrison Road. The turn-off for Garrison Road is 300 yards from where cars enter Solon Avenue. After turning left onto Garrison, the entrance to the Vanech Complex is another 300 yards on the right. Upon entering, follow the low-grade asphalt path until it dead ends after about 0.2 miles at a small parking lot. From that lot, the Blue Jays' practice fields are visible and are a short walk away down a path that first passes by two softball fields.
Types of Seating Stadium seats: 5,509
All seats in the ballpark are painted blue and have a seatback and small metal arm rest.
Notes about the seating The Blue Jays dugout is on the first base side. To make sure you're on the Jays' side of the stadium, buy your tickets in sections 100-106 or 200-206.
Because of the stadium's layout, which extends down the right field line but not the left, most seats are on the Jays' side.
An aisle cuts through the grandstand, dividing it into lower and upper halves. All 100-level sections are below the aisle, while all sections in the 200s are above it.
Seats do not have cup holders, nor do they fold. They are styled after bleachers, not traditional stadium seats (see photo).
Handicap accessible seating is available on platforms at the top of sections 105-107, 204 & 208.
The backstop behind home plate extends from sections 105-107 and has visible supports. The netting attached to it is thicker than the protective screens found in most ballparks, making it slightly annoying to those sitting behind home plate. A separate (but small) barrier net extends the length of both dugouts.
Picnic tables can be found near the end of the first base concourse and in the tent behind home plate.
Standing room is limited and found at field level, behind the chain link fence down both the left and right field line.
Sections and rows Rows for stadium sections range as follows:
1 to 7 in sections 100 and 100A; A to B then 1 to 7 in sections 101 and 102; 3 to 7 in sections 103-104; 1 to 5 in sections 105-107; 1 to 7 in section 108; 3 to 7 in section 109; A to B then 1 to 7 in sections 110 and 111; 1 to 16 in sections 200-203; 1 to 15 in section 204; 1 to 9 in sections 205-207; 1 to 15 in section 208; 1 to 16 in sections 209-211
Tickets Sections 101-111 are sold as Box.
Sections 100, 100A and 201-211 are sold as Reserved.
Sections 200 and 200A are sold as Baseline.
Children 2 & under get in free so long as they can sit on a lap. If they need their own seat then a seat must be purchased.
Seats to avoid
Stay away from Row A in sections 101-102 and 110-111, which is not a part of the main grandstand. Its seats are literally at field level, but are behind a chain link fence that makes it difficult to see. Row B in those four sections is raised, so views from that row and above are not obstructed.
Seats in the shade
A roof provides cover over the top six rows (11-16) of seats in the upper grandstand, with the three sections (205-207) in front of the press box an exception. The afternoon sun is behind the first base grandstand, enabling all rows covered (11 & up) to receive shade in sections 200-204. On the third base side of the grandstand the position of the sun is such that only rows 13 & up in sections 208-211 are in the shade. Shadows from the roof creep down the upper first base grandstand during the game, but not the third base grandstand.
There are a limited number of skyboxes in the press box, which has a balcony on each side of it for skybox holders to enjoy.
Gates open early - approximately 2½ hours before first pitch - so that fans can watch the Blue Jays take batting practice. For a 1:05 p.m. start, gates open at 10:30 a.m.
Food, drink and bag policy Neither food or drink can be brought into the stadium. Even unopened bottled water is banned. However, fans are allowed to bring in an empty plastic water bottle.
Bags are allowed up to a maximum size of 16" x 16" x 8".
Blue Jays players sign autographs before the game close to their clubhouse down the right field line. Visiting team players most often sign for fans gathered in the rectangular fenced in area across from their bullpen. They also sign there after the game, as it's on the way to the visitors' clubhouse. Jays players sign postgame in scattered spots between their dugout and clubhouse. For those who don't mind waiting a while, the Blue Jays player parking lot is behind right field, between their clubhouse and the library. Fans that hang out near the parking lot gate are occasionally rewarded for their patience by exiting players willing to sign from within their cars.
Unique ballpark fare
The food offerings are normal American fare, but beer drinkers have a Canadian option as Labatt Blue is available in cans at a couple of carts on the concourse. Beer on tap is mostly limited to Bud and Bud Light. The Craft Beer Dugout can be found inside the narrow third base concourse. Fans can't watch the game there, but they can enjoy a bottled brew or mixed drink in the air conditioned lounge that is furnished with plush couches, high top tables and a corner bar. Coke is served at all concession stands and within the large tent covered grill behind home plate, which is best known for its pulled pork sandwich and baked beans.
2015 Blue Jays Spring Training Schedule
(only home games at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium are listed)
* Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, December 4. Links in calendar are to TicketsNow inventory.
See the full 2015 Blue Jays Spring Training schedule
Ballpark Area Info
The area surrounding Florida Auto Exchange Stadium is as quaint as the ballpark itself. Downtown Dunedin is just a half-mile away and features charming restaurants and storefronts on a classic small-town Main Street. Businesses that line the avenue that the ballpark is on look like well-kept houses and the streets of nearby residences are lined with trees dripping with Spanish moss. All in all, it feels like a modern day Mayberry with a coastal vibe. The water is just a block away and the city's Edgewater Park and Municipal Marina can be reached by car in a few minutes. The Pinellas Trail, a 14-mile paved path for bikers, runners and walkers, runs right through downtown.
Travelers' notes The closest Interstate, I-275, is about 20 miles away.
There are no safety concerns here, as the ballpark is in a safe neighborhood in a safe city.
The National Armed Services & Law Enforcement Memorial Museum is just down the street from the stadium.
Nearby Caladesi Island State Park, reachable by ferry, was named America's # 1 beach in 2008 by noted coastal research expert Dr. Stephen Leatherman.
Hotels close to Florida Auto Exchange Stadium
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|Distance ||Hotel ||Street Address ||City/Zip ||Phone
|0.7 miles ||Meranova Guest Inn ||458 Virginia Lane ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-733-9248
|0.8 ||Best Western ||150 Marina Plaza ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-733-4121
|0.9 ||Holiday Inn Express ||975 Broadway St. ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-450-1200
|1.1 ||Seaside Artisan Motel ||1064 Broadway Blvd. ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-736-4657
|2.8 ||Palm Court Motel ||2090 Bayshore Blvd. ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-736-0441
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Restaurants close to Florida Auto Exchange Stadium
|Distance ||Restaurant ||Street Address ||City/Zip ||Phone
|0.1 miles ||Home Plate ||234 Douglas Ave. ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-953-9812
|0.1 ||Marguerite's Cafe ||420 Patricia Ave. ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-734-7040
|0.45 ||Time Out Cafe ||355 Scotland St. ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-734-1830
|0.5 ||Casa Tina Mexican ||365 Main St. ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-734-9226
|0.55 ||Café Alfresco ||344 Main St. ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-736-4299
|0.55 ||Kelly's ||319 Main St. ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-736-5284
|0.6 ||Bon Appétit ||150 Marina Plaza ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-733-2151
|0.7 ||Umberto's of Long Island ||150 Patricia Ave. ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-736-3138
|0.7 ||Stuffed Shell ||927 Broadway St. ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-733-6500
|0.7 ||The Dunedin Smokehouse ||471 Main St. ||Dunedin, FL 34698 ||727-736-2227
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Airports close to Florida Auto Exchange Stadium
|Distance ||Airport ||Airport Code
| 9.0 miles ||St. Petersburg-Clearwater International ||PIE
|15.4 ||Tampa International ||TPA
|45.3 ||Sarasota Bradenton International ||SRQ
|93.8 ||Orlando International ||MCO
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