Plant City Stadium
Plant City, FL
Review by Mike
Plant City Stadium is the former Spring Training home of the Cincinnati Reds, which is easy to believe given the utter and total redness of everything that isn’t concrete or metal. The Reds trained here for just 10 years before decamping to Sarasota and, finally, in 2010, west to Arizona. Built in 1988, this is a very basic ballpark. The grandstand is a simple concrete structure. Three connected grandstands contain all the seating, one along the 1st base line, one along the 3rd base and diagonal seating behind home plate to connect them.
A sturdy rectangular press box stands behind home plate with no apparent suites. In fact, there seem to be no amenities whatsoever beyond the basic ballpark seating. To be fair, it’s been 25 years since this was a major league training facility and perhaps some features have been removed in that time, but Plant City Stadium, while sturdy and very well maintained, is about as a basic as a ballpark can be.
There is a horizontal aisle that separates the lower section from the upper, with benches above and individual seats below. The view beyond centerfield looks out on the former Reds practice fields, now used for community and high school baseball and softball. The stadium itself is now home to amateur baseball, including a number of tournaments.
The exterior landscaping does a nice job of dressing up the concrete façade and parking appears to be plentiful. It’s just kind of an odd place. It feels like it was built in the Brutalist period of the 60s or early 70s because no measure was taken to introduce interesting design elements or style. This is a place to come and sit and watch a baseball game. It would seem that it is suited for just that purpose.