The Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday announced that they have purchased the Florida State League team located in Sarasota, Florida, and will be relocating the team north to Bradenton, Florida. The move became official following a vote of approval by Florida State League owners this afternoon at their League meetings in Daytona Beach.
The Florida State League affiliate will move from Ed Smith Stadium (above left, built in 1988) in Sarasota to McKechnie Field (above right, built in 1993, improved in 2007) in Bradenton.
The purchase of the Florida State League affiliate from the Cincinnati Reds organization strengthens the Pirates core baseball operations by locating the club’s High-A team in the hub of its player development facilities in Bradenton. The City of Bradenton’s investment in lights at McKechnie Field in 2007 allowed the Pirates to bring Florida State League baseball to the area and solidify a year-round commitment by the Pirates to the City and the region.
While the official team name and logo will be announced in the coming weeks, the inaugural game of the new Pirates affiliate is scheduled to be played on the evening of April 8 under the lights at McKechnie Field. The Pirates will mark the occasion with a post-game fireworks celebration. The full 140-game schedule will be announced shortly.
See the release attached above from our friends in Pittsburgh.