Fort Myers is home to Hammond Stadium, the Twins escape from the chill of Minnesota during regular-season play at Target Field. The Florida State League established Hammond Stadium in 1992. It was originally home turf for the Miracle, the High-A affiliate of Fort Myers. Once the Miracle switched over to the Mighty Muscles, a Single-A affiliate of Minor League Baseball in 2019, Hammond Stadium operated as a co-op club with the Twins.
As guests walk up to the derby-like exterior of Hammond Stadium, their eyes are greeted with a symmetrical build of balconies. Hanging from the balconies are red, white and blue bunting that portrays patriotism and, of course, Twins spirit.
Inside, there are amenities to fill every baseball fanatic’s dreams. The main concourse has a plethora of concessions and photo-ops. Little Joe’s Lemonade stand is a popular stop among visitors; they can choose any all-natural fruit-inspired flavor of lemonade, which is freshly squeezed in front of their eyes. Other concessions made available are Philly cheesesteaks, pizza, popcorn, ballpark favorites like soft pretzels and hot dogs, as well as enough alcohol to pleasure an army.
On the exterior of Hammond Stadium sits a 360-degree “boardwalk” that runs from foul pole to foul pole. It allows fans to walk the circumference of the outfield without missing a pitch. Along the boardwalk is Rusty’s Buckets, a standing bar that permits fans to order enough drinks for the day in one place. Customers can walk away with a bucket of their beer of choice. Also on the boardwalk is Lee County Grill and two Twins gear shops, one located on the right field line above the visiting bullpen.
Bruce, a Minnesota native ushering section 109 on the boardwalk said his job at Hammond Stadium is to keep an eye out on the fans among all that the location has to offer. He mentioned that he enjoys directing people towards all that there is to see and do. Though it resembles Target Field, Bruce claimed that Hammond Stadium serves as a reminder to Minnesota fans of what baseball is all about.
“I had never seen anything like this place before,” Bruce said. “If we had a lawn like this and a boardwalk back in Minnesota, I think my job would be a lot more fun.”
Kevin, another usher at Hammond Stadium, began his job as a beer runner six years ago and hasn’t looked back. He said the boardwalk was added to the stadium and completed in 2019, when the Mighty Muscles had their claim to fame. Since then, Kevin said his job has escalated in action. Though a Minnesota resident, Kevin had never worked at Target Field.
“I got a job here at Hammond because I’m a huge Twins fan and I’m in Fort Myers for three months out of the year,” Kevin said. “I never thought we’d get crowds like this. This is just plain out fun.”
The 80-acre Lee County Sports Complex that houses Hammond Stadium can hold approximately 9,300 people with 7,500 fixed seats.
Another long-time usher Paul has worked for the Twins at Hammond Stadium for five years. His love for baseball is what inspired his hire. According to Paul, “Hammond Stadium is one of the nicest, most friendliest parks in all of the American League.” He came from upper Michigan and said the weather in south Florida has just been the cherry on top of the gig. In regards to Hurricane Ian, Paul said the Twins operations took precautions to keep Hammond Stadium safe.
“The only aspect affected was the roofing,” Paul said. “They replaced that, but it was up and running for the start of spring training.”
The Rest of the Week
Fans have the chance to visit Hammond Stadium eight more times before the conclusion of spring training. The Twins matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates begins at 1:05 on Tuesday, March 14. Other teams whose fans get the opportunity to walk the boardwalk include the Rays, Orioles, Braves and Blue Jays. The final competition is on Monday, March 27.