Charlotte Sports Park
|Charlotte Sports Park|
|Location||Port Charlotte, FL United States|
|Charlotte Stone Crabs (formerly)|
Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, FL, was the home of Port Charlotte affiliated baseball from 2009 to 2019. After that and the Coronavirus pandemic-canceled 2020 season, MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization eliminated the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Florida State League.
The Charlotte complex still hosts Tampa Bay Rays spring-training games, although its days may be numbered. As the attendance-challenged Rays consider moving to Ybor City - among other possibilities - the Tampa Bay Times reports they are looking, in that scenario, at moving their spring training to Pasco County.
CSP served as a food and water distribution center in the days after Hurricane Ian struck the area, but it was itself so damaged that the Rays moved their 2023 spring training to Walt Disney World's ESPN Wide World of Sports complex outside Orlando - until 2019, the spring home of the Atlanta Braves. The county has funded repairs it hopes will bring back spring training - and its multimillion-dollar economic impact - in 2024.
The Charlotte complex was also the Rays' 2020-2021 Coronavirus pandemic alternate training site.
The same-site replacement of Rangers Stadium opened six years after it lost Texas Rangers spring training to Arizona and the FSL franchise that had been the Port Charlotte Rangers to Palm Beach, FL. Billed as a renovation, the project rebuilt everything above the seating bowl. It was the first project completed by stadium-specializing architect Populous after its January 2009 spinoff from HOK Sport. The big Rays played its first professional baseball game, a February 25, 2009, spring training contest.