At #4 in our Spring Training Grapefruit League countdown is Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It is home to the New York Mets and is an amazing stop on any fan’s baseball road trip. This park has everything you need to enjoy a ball game: shaded seats, grass seats, good food and drinks, enthusiastic fans, and a feel good environment.
Even before you enter the gates at Tradition Field, there is baseball all around you. The fans proudly wear their orange and blue hats and jerseys as they look to talk Mets’ baseball to anyone within earshot. No matter what team you cheer for, any baseball talk is good baseball talk, and there is plenty of that in Port St. Lucie.
You will see a plethora of signs and posters of current and former Mets. The team’s prize players, David Wright and Matt Harvey, are on full display both with pictures plastered around the park and on the back of fans’ jerseys. This up and coming team has thousands of fans that take their team even more seriously than teens take social media.
The park itself is one of the best in the Grapefruit League. Behind the field fence sits a large grassy seating area where fans can both watch the game and let their kids run around like little Major Leaguers. There are popular bar spots in right field and down the left field line that spectators line up three deep to stay hydrated and refreshed. One of the best parts is that you can take a walk from foul line to foul line without missing a pitch. If you need to cool off from the hot Florida sun, the corridors behind the seats offer shade and televisions to the game if it being broadcast.
Ticket prices go between $15-$35. Parking is $10 on site. These are some of the best values in the Grapefruit League for the atmosphere that Tradition Field provides. There are many stores and restaurants close by, and the field is close to the I-95 to provide easy access from the highway. Despite being on the east coast of Florida away from other Spring Training locations, this is one stop that is well worth the trip.
If you get to the park when the gates open, you can catch the tail end of the visiting team taking batting practice. I was able to see three groups hitting on the field before the grounds crew came out to prep the field for the game. Autographs are more accessible during this time as well, as players walking up and down the warning track can be ushered over to sign a ball or hat.
Many Grapefruit League stadiums have viewing areas that overlook the bullpen. Tradition Field is one of the better ones, as you can see pitchers warming up from both ground level and above along the railing. Be sure to get tickets early, because the marquee games will sell out, and you don’t want to be standing outside the gates trying to scalp a ticket. If you have to wait until the regular season, you can catch the Port St. Lucie Mets of the Class A Florida State League who play their home games at Tradition Field.