Ed Smith Stadium voted top Spring Training venue

Research based on fan comments

The Baltimore Orioles take on the Boston Red Sox during Spring Training at Ed Smith Stadium. File photo

Ed Smith Stadium is the top venue among Major League Baseball Spring Training sites in both Florida and Arizona, ReviewTrackers (reviewtrackers.com), a data-mining firm in Chicago, has reported.

“The study analyzed the comments in 36,000 online reviews of the 23 stadiums used for Spring Training, tracking how fans felt about the facility itself, food and drink offerings, and the overall experience for fans and families,” a news release explains. The research was undertaken for USA Today.

The findings are available at https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2018/02/22/ranking-florida-spring-training-parks/364114002.

Writing for USA Today, Joe Mock, noted, “In 2009, Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla., appeared to be a park without a future. Over the years since the ballpark was built in 1989, the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds had all moved their spring-training operations out of it — the last straw for the Reds coming when local voters rejected a bond measure to rebuild the park in 2008.”

Mock continued, “At that point, no big-league team was interested in playing there. Today, it is the most popular ballpark in spring training, according to our research.”