Tampa had a long standing history of professional baseball thanks to Plant Stadium which had been the Spring Training home to the Reds, Senators, Tigers, White Sox and Cubs as well as the full season home to the Tampa Smokers and other Minor League franchises. Despite the illustrious history, Plant Stadium was hardly close to being a proper "ballpark". Plant Stadium was built in 1913 and rebuilt in 1924 and throughout its history, was nothing more than a poorly converted football stadium. Tampa began to realize that if they were going to be able to maintain Tampa as one of the key Spring Training and Full Season Single-A hubs of Florida, that they were going to need to build a "real baseball park" and fast. How Tampa managed to skirt by with that rather sad excuse for a Major League Spring Training ballpark for 40 years is still rather perplexing.