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The Minor League Facility Standards Matrix


The facility standards that are part of the Professional Development Licenses for all 120 minor league teams are governed by what can best be described as MLB’s version of a matrix, much like one a food safety inspector would use when going to a restaurant.

There are requirements, and there are point deductions for failing to meet those requirements. Some items carry minimal point reductions, and 100% compliance on all of these requirements is not necessary.

A team could decide that it’s willing to live with a deduction here and there, avoiding a pricey spend to fix something that won’t leave them out of compliance. These standards will be phased in.

  • By 2023, teams are expected to have fewer than 30 points of deductions to be in compliance.
  • In 2024 that cutoff will drop to 20 points.
  • In 2025, it drops to 10 points, which is where it will remain going forward.

Almost everything spelled out in the facility standards is at least a one-point violation. If the visitor’s eating area doesn’t have a storage cabinet, that’s a point. If the batting/pitching tunnels don’t have a power outlet, that’s a point. If there isn’t a security command post, that’s a point.

But many elements are worth two or three points. If a bullpen in a new stadium is set up on the playing field, it’s three points. If it is off the playing field but without protective overhead cover, it’s two points. If the height or slope of the bullpen mounds are not of regulation dimensions, it’s three points.

If a team doesn’t have 24/7 video surveillance of key areas, that’s two points.

But then there are the non-negotiables. Anything that is a 10-point penalty is an automatic non-compliance by 2025.

If a team fails to have a locker room for female staff, or if that locker room doesn’t have two shower heads, two water closets or two lavatories, that’s 10 points and automatic non-compliance.

Similarly, if a team doesn’t have two covered pitching/hitting tunnels, that’s 10 points.

A lack of a primary internet connection is 10 points. Having a 900 square-foot visitor’s clubhouse is three points, but less than 800 square feet is 10 points. Having 30 visitors’ lockers is three points, but fewer than 30 is 10 points.

Less than 150 square feet in the visiting training room or less than 200 square feet in the home training room is 10 points. Less than five staff lockers in the home or visiting dressing room equals 10 points.

Having field lighting in the infield that is less than 90 foot-candles of illumination is three points, but less than 70 foot-candles is 10 points.

The result is a menu of requirements with some absolutes and a whole lot of other items that are necessary, but with a little bit of wiggle room.

The facility standards is like a test where a perfect score isn’t required, but there are core components that have to be met.

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