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Mariners enjoy revamped Spring Training digs

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Hammers were still pounding and construction crews were still painting the inside walls as the Mariners' new clubhouse and training facility officially opened for business on Thursday, when pitchers and catchers donned their uniforms for the first time this spring.

The Padres and Mariners have been in this facility for 20 years and as part of an extension to the original lease, both teams had their clubhouse facilities gutted and reconstructed since this past spring. A revamp of Peoria Stadium is on the docket for this summer.

For the Mariners, their new building went from 35,700 square feet to 56,368, a 58 percent increase at a cost of $15.5 million. The complex opened in 1993, drawing the Padres from Yuma, Ariz., and the Mariners a year later from Tempe.

"It's nice," said reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, who has been with the Mariners since 2011. "It looks newer, fresher. Everything is much bigger. The weight room is much bigger. I'm just starting to get around the whole complex. It's very nice."

The new facility includes a high-tech, HD-TV video room, a 1,000-square-foot training room, a modern kitchen and dining area, a 2,800-square-foot clubhouse, a hydro-therapy pool area and a 4,280-square-foot strength and conditioning center.

On the Minor League side, the clubhouse is 3,948 square feet and the training room is 1,420 square feet.

The reconstruction keeps the Peoria Sports Complex on par with many of the newer facilities that have opened in Maricopa County over the past few years, including Camelback Ranch in Glendale for the Dodgers and White Sox, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale for the D-backs and Rockies, and the new Cubs Park, an $84 million stadium and facility that opened in Mesa this spring.

Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.
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