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Brewers unveil Maryvale overhaul, set for '19

Owner Attanasio says facility will 'be state of the art'
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

PHOENIX -- The Brewers will contribute $56-$60 million to an overhaul of the Maryvale Baseball Park complex in time for 2019 Spring Training. A doubling of clubhouse space, new workout amenities including a massive weight room and a practice field that mimics the dimensions of Miller Park, and significant improvements to the main stadium concourse are planned.

Renderings unveiled Wednesday reveal the breadth of the construction project, set to break ground next month after the team plays its final Cactus League home game.

PHOENIX -- The Brewers will contribute $56-$60 million to an overhaul of the Maryvale Baseball Park complex in time for 2019 Spring Training. A doubling of clubhouse space, new workout amenities including a massive weight room and a practice field that mimics the dimensions of Miller Park, and significant improvements to the main stadium concourse are planned.

Renderings unveiled Wednesday reveal the breadth of the construction project, set to break ground next month after the team plays its final Cactus League home game.

"It is going to be state of the art," Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said. "We looked at every facility out here and tried to take the best of everything we saw. My excitement is only tempered by the fact that I don't know how they're going to get all this done in the next year."

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The project will be "substantially completed" by the start of 2019 Spring Training, the Brewers say, and will keep them anchored through 2042 in the west Phoenix facility they've occupied since 1998. It is the second-longest commitment in the Cactus League, according to the team.

Tweet from @Brewers: Big changes are coming to Maryvale Baseball Park in 2019! Details on the major renovation project: https://t.co/IdSntl7d1t pic.twitter.com/XGg6pOaYku

But to Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who took a video virtual tour of the project last week, it is not about cosmetics. It's about player development.

"It's important to understand this is a hub for the organization," Counsell said. "This is the hub for what a lot of what we do starts. Just think about this: As a Major League team, we spend 50-60 days here. We spend [81] days at Miller Park. So we spend quite a bit of time here.

"Then there's a whole other aspect. The player development part of the organization spends 200 days a year working here. So it's important. We're at the back end of teams that are doing this, we're late doing this. But we're going to have a facility next year that is going to be one of the best, we think, in the game."

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Counsell envisions a "campus feel" once the project is complete. A new building along the first-base side of the main stadium will connect with the current Major League clubhouse building to create one huge space, anchored by a massive weight room that serves players from all levels of the organization. It opens up onto a central agility field.

Renderings show the area open to fans heading toward the renovated stadium entrance for games.

In addition to their up-front contribution to construction costs, the Brewers will assume operation and maintenance of the facility. The City of Phoenix, which approved the project during a city council meeting in November, will allocate $2 million each year for the next five years for renovations, and the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority will contribute approximately $5.7 million on top of that.

Maryvale Baseball Park operates year-round, serving not only Spring Training but as the Brewers' medical center and home to a summer league team. The ballclub and the City of Phoenix have worked together over the years on updates, but the complex had fallen far behind comparable facilities in Arizona and Florida, leading the Brewers to look for alternatives in recent years.

At the same time, Brewers officials remained in touch with City of Phoenix officials, including District 5 Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, who according to Attanasio was instrumental in gaining approval for a project to keep the Brewers in place.

"I couldn't wait any longer, [so] I put a deadline in," Attanasio said. "Every year, we had a 'fair-haired bride' so to speak, a city of community that wanted us, including in Florida. It never quite got there, and we couldn't wait any longer, from my perspective, because player development is so important.

"I love the campus. I love the fact that we are here by ourselves. And the community has been very supportive of us."

The Brewers will have a ceremonial groundbreaking before the end of Spring Training. Construction is planned in stages to allow the Brewers' summer league team and its fall instructional program to play through the project.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

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