(Redirected from McKechnie Field)
|Location||Bradenton, Florida United States|
LECOM Park in Bradenton, FL, is the home of the Bradenton Marauders, the Pittsburgh Pirates' Low-A Southeast farm team, and Pirates' spring training games. With Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, it was to co-host the 2021 U-18 World Cup from September 10th through 19th – but the Coronavirus pandemic has postponed that into at least 2022.
City Park, opened in 1923, was re-named in 1962 for Pirate great and Bradenton retiree "Deacon" Bill McKechnie as he joined the Hall of Fame. In 1969, four years after his death, the Bucs moved spring training there. Essentially rebuilt in 1993, it has since been renovated several times - most thoroughly in 2013. Today's playpen holds more than triple the original's capacity.
Contrary to most minor league or spring training parks of its time, it is an urban ballpark, woven into the fabric of the city streets surrounding it. It features spired garrets and pillars that obscure the view of some grandstand seats, a reminder of the construction techniques of the era in which it was built.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine bought 15 years' worth of naming rights in 2017. The college's main campus is near Lake Erie, as might be expected - in Erie, PA. However, LECOM is therefore not far from Pittsburgh and the college has two regional campuses in Florida, so the name is not as incongruous as it may first seem.