Play Ball: A $30M vision for Cheney Stadium

In today's Tacoma City Council study session, the Cheney Stadium Advisory Panel, with its chosen design team, Mortenson, Populous, and...

In today’s Tacoma City Council study session, the Cheney Stadium Advisory Panel, with its chosen design team, Mortenson, Populous, and Belay, revealed details of Cheney Stadium’s first full renovation in 51 years.

The $30 million, multi-party funded project is set to be completed by opening day of 2011.

The design team was unanimously chosen by a panel which included members from the City of Tacoma, the Rainiers, and the Cheney Foundation. They unveiled the preliminary design for renovation of Cheney Stadium subject to contract approval by the council. Council is set to make a final decision on Tues., March 9.

“This project goes so far beyond the Tacoma Rainiers,” Rainiers Team President Aaron Artman said. “A renovated Cheney Stadium will become a landmark and source of pride for the community. It speaks to a ton of hard work and a deep partnership between the Cheney Foundation, the City of Tacoma, Pierce County and the team.”

As part of the project, the Rainiers entered into a 30-year lease with the City of Tacoma.

The renovation is scheduled to break ground immediately following the 2010 baseball season. It includes plans for a redesigned, covered concourse, a right field grass berm with an attached children’s play area, new bleachers beyond the left field wall, 300 club seats behind home plate, a 5,000 square foot club/restaurant, and 16 luxury suites.

“That’s the beauty of this venue. We’re able to offer fans new and improved amenities, from luxury suites and new club to more concessions and restrooms,” Artman added. “At the same time, coming to a game will remain very affordable so everybody in the community can experience what is sure to be one of the crown jewels of stadiums in the country.”

Renovations will also include a new outfield fence line with inset bullpens, improved dugouts for home and away with tunnels and clubhouses directly behind each dugout. The home team will be switching dugouts in 2011 and gaining a brand new clubhouse.

“After seeing the plans and renderings of the renovated Cheney Stadium, the Mariners are excited for fans of the Rainiers, who will enjoy the new facilities,” said Chuck Armstrong, Mariners President and COO. “It is great that the park will remain on its long-time site as the home of Triple-A baseball in Tacoma.”

The multi-level structure will be built on top of the existing seating bowl, which will be resealed and reinforced. The new structure will be independent from the existing structure; a purposeful choice made by the panel and the design team to maximize sustainability.

“What you saw today is the beginning of a new era for Triple-A Baseball in our region,” said Mike Combs, Director of Tacoma’s Public Assembly Facilities. “The legacy that Ben Cheney started over 51 years ago continues today.”

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For earlier Tacoma Daily Index coverage of the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium, click on the following:

Minor League Team, Major League Fan: An interview with Tacoma Rainiers fan and blogger Justin Carleton — http://www.feedtacoma.com/docs/20080326-index-article-rainiers-fan.pdf

The Business of Balls and Strikes: Can the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers become a major player in Puget Sound sports? — http://www.wahmee.com/tdi_tacoma_rainiers.pdf

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