PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- When Mets players arrived to work on Thursday morning, unfamiliar signs awaited them. Two days before their first Grapefruit League home game, the Mets officially changed the name of their spring stadium, announcing a 10-year deal to rename the ballpark First Data Field.
The park had been named Tradition Field from 2004-10, and from '13 until Thursday.
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"It is an exciting time for our organization to have a worldwide leader in their field, such as First Data, to be our new naming rights partner," Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. "First Data is going to be a terrific partner of ours for years to come, and we are thrilled to have their name on our stadium. All parties look forward to providing a great environment for Mets fans and the community."
First Data is an Atlanta-based technology company serving approximately six million business locations and 4,000 financial institutions in more than 100 countries around the world.
"We are proud to expand our partnership with the Mets, a world-class organization committed to winning on the diamond and providing an outstanding fan experience in the stands, whether at Citi Field or at First Data Field," First Data chairman and chief executive officer Frank Bisignano said in a statement. "While we root for the Mets under the Florida sun, our payments technology will help to power commerce for the Mets and their legion of fans."
The Mets have played at their current spring location since 1988, when it was called Thomas J. White Stadium. The club renamed it Tradition Field in 2004, after a planned community in Port St. Lucie. The ballpark held that name for most of the next decade, save for a three-year period when it was called Digital Domain Park. Wilpon, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins were among those on hand Thursday morning for the renaming ceremony.
In addition to Mets Spring Training games, First Data Field plays host to Class A St. Lucie contests throughout the summer.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.