Ballpark Extension & Renovation Plans Revealed
The Daytona Cubs and the City of Daytona Beach announced, Monday, that Jackie Robinson Ballpark will continue to be home to professional baseball through 2022. A $1.25 million, two-phase renovation plan was also confirmed that will include enhancements to fan amenities, including restrooms, expanded food & beverage areas, the creation of a new east entrance, and the addition of a new picnic gathering space.
The Cubs player clubhouse will undergo improvements, including an expanded fitness training area and office space for coaching staff. The project will also see the Daytona Cubs office staff taking residence directly across Orange Ave. in the City's former Leisure Services building at 110 E. Orange Ave.
Daytona Cubs owner Andy Rayburn is excited about the new experience the renovations will create. "These enhancements will greatly improve services for our awesome fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. We appreciate the cooperation of the City of Daytona Beach, Volusia County and the phenomenal support of the greatest baseball fans in America."
Many people and supporters are to be recognized in securing baseball in Daytona for years to come. The Daytona Cubs would first like to thank the loyal fans, baseball enthusiasts and many communities that have displayed continued support of the ballpark and organization. We also owe a debt of gratitude to The City of Daytona Beach, former Mayor Glenn Ritchey, Mayor Derrick Henry, City Manager Jim Chisholm, Deputy City Manager Paul McKitrick, and the Daytona Beach City Commission. We thank the Volusia County Government for its assistance with economic development, and the Daytona Beach Racing and Recreation Commission for facility support.
"The city is excited to keep the Daytona Cubs in our community for the next decade. It's a wonderful, family-friendly amenity in the heart of our downtown, and the enhancements made to our historic ballpark will create an even more enjoyable fan experience," said Chisholm.
Financing for the renovations will be provided by a combination of Community Redevelopment Agency funds through the City of Daytona Beach, a grant from Daytona Beach Racing & Recreational Facilities District, and a substantial contribution by the Daytona Cubs.
Jackie Robinson Ballpark opened on June 4, 1914, as the Daytona City Island Ballpark. Along with the Daytona Cubs, City Island Ballpark/Jackie Robinson Ballpark has hosted the Daytona Beach Islanders (1920-1925, 1936-1941, 1946-1966, 1977), St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training (1925-1937), Brooklyn Dodgers Spring Training (1947), Baltimore Orioles Spring Training (1955), Daytona Beach Dodgers (1968-1973), Montreal Expos Spring Training (1973-1980), Daytona Beach Astros (1978-1984), and the Daytona Beach Admirals (1987).
Jackie Robinson broke the baseball "color barrier" when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers on March 17, 1946 in Daytona. As the first black man to play in the Major Leagues since the 1880s, Robinson was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation in professional baseball, which had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades.
Opening Day 2013 for the Daytona Cubs is scheduled for Thursday, April 4th.
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