Hitting a Home Run with Women's MLB Locker Rooms
Oakland Athletics group of women in locker room

The recent completion of the Oakland Athletics spring training facility added a new locker room for the women working in Major League Baseball (MLB) and Minor League Baseball. This renovated space at their Lew Wolff Complex at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Arizona exceeded the provisions of the MLB mandate originally set to make space for umpires, which was then expanded by the female umpires to make space for all women in baseball.  

"This wasn't a space thrown into an old janitor's closet,” said Santiago Luna, carpenter foreman on the project. “The Oakland A's and their Director of Minor League Operations, Manny Colon, made sure that this would be a phenomenal space in a major league sports facility designed and influenced by those who will use it."  

In early 2022, a collaborative effort began to create spaces for female staff across the Cactus League, the league comprising all the spring training teams in Arizona. Mortenson, alongside our architect partners and engineers, initiated plans to update the White Sox facility. Simultaneously, the Cincinnati Reds expressed a similar need for their sports facility in Goodyear, Arizona. Awarded the Reds' project in October 2022, we completed the build on February 1, 2023. The facility updates included lockers, showers, and bathrooms. 

Within a short period, Mortenson has become well-versed in implementing the MLB mandate, consulting on multiple projects across the league. When the Oakland A's approached us with frustrations over the execution of their project plans, we worked directly with them to redefine the success of their project. Through that close collaboration, we focused on creating a statement for women in baseball, aiming for long-term impact. Details were meticulously planned with input from every level, the top down. Our team had the privilege of working alongside DWL Architects and Henderson Engineers using a design-build delivery model. Notably, a young female architect from DWL collaborated with the female staff of the A's, ensuring the creation of a truly functional and usable space tailored for them. 

During the walkthrough of the newly renovated space, the floor-to-ceiling tile, three showers, changing area, and vanity space with a mirror and counter made a significant impact. The renovation included 22 staff lockers and six female umpire lockers. Rachel Best from our Phoenix office observed that "everyone, including the male staff and players, was taking pictures of the women in front of their new lockers. Everybody was truly celebrating alongside them." 

Mortenson continues to be a leading partner in optimizing space components for diversity in sports facilities across the United States.