Construction of Al Lopez Field courtesy of Tampa County Library / Baseball History Museum
The city of Tampa originally bought the plot of land that the two stadiums would sit upon back in 1949 from the Federal Government. This 720 acre piece of land next to Dale Mabry Highway (US-92) had been known as "Drew Field" and served Tampa as an airport before the current "Tampa International Airport" was built *wiki. It would take 5 years before the city of Tampa could break ground on the new baseball stadium. Finally it would open in time for the 1954 Spring Training season with the Chicago White Sox moving east from their former home "Stark Field" located in El Centro California. In the meantime, Plant Stadium continued to host the Cincinnati Reds franchise for another few seasons and Tampa had itself two professional Spring Training stadiums.