Las Vegas Ballpark
Las Vegas Ballpark is a baseball stadium under construction in Summerlin, Nevada for the Las Vegas Aviators of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. The stadium will be owned by the Howard Hughes Corporation. The stadium site is located near the intersection of South Pavilion Center Drive and Summerlin Center Drive next to City National Arena. Construction of the $150 million stadium began in 2018 and is expected to be completed in time for the Aviators' 2019 season. It will serve as a replacement for the team's previous home at Cashman Field, where the team has resided since 1983. The home opener will be on April 9, 2019.
|Location||Summerlin, Nevada, US|
|Owner||Howard Hughes Corporation|
|Operator||Las Vegas Aviators|
|Field size||Left Field – 340 ft|
Left center – 380 ft
Center Field – 415 ft
Right Field – ft
|Broke ground||February 23, 2018|
|Opened||April 9, 2019(planned)|
|Construction cost||US$150 million|
($153 million in 2018 dollars)
|Las Vegas Aviators (PCL) (2019–present)|
The decision to build a new stadium for the team, then known as the 51s, came on the back of many issues both the 51s and Minor League Baseball had with the team's previous stadium, Cashman Field. Players and staff criticized the facility noting poor conditions in the playing surface, bullpens, and clubhouse. The weight room was smaller when compared to other Triple-A stadiums, with infielder Ty Kelly calling it "basically just a room... not an actual weight room". The batting cage was also a point of concern for the players as it was a single lane and only accessible by walking out of the clubhouse to the parking lot. Johnny Monell described the cage as making him feel like he was "back in high school again" and not up to par for a Triple-A stadium. During a 51s game on August 22, 2015, the stadium sewage system backed up, causing raw sewage to flow into the dugouts. The smell was so strong that players were forced to watch the rest of the game from chairs on the field. Team president and chief operating officer Don Logan said, "It's disappointing that Vegas has the worst facility in our league when we have such a great town with the greatest hotels, the greatest dining, the greatest shopping. It's not becoming of this community to have a place like this."
Pacific Coast League commissioner Branch Barrett Rickey expressed his concerns about the feasibility of the continuous usage of Cashman Field as a Triple-A ballpark. In a letter to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority which owned and operated the facility, he wrote: "It needs to be faced that Cashman's days of reliable use are well behind it, a conclusion not limited to experts in Las Vegas. The baseball community also knows it and to such a degree that the big league teams in proximity to Las Vegas have opted for Triple-A affiliations in far less appropriate markets." Partly due to the condition of Cashman field, Las Vegas was considered an affiliate of last resort for most MLB teams, something Las Vegas Ballpark sought to fix.
Approval and groundbreakingEdit
In April 2013, the team was purchased by Summerlin Las Vegas Baseball Club LLC, a joint venture of Howard Hughes Corp. and Play Ball Owners Group, including investors Steve Mack, Bart Wear and Chris Kaempfer, with intentions of moving it to a new stadium in Summerlin. In October 2017, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority approved a 20-year, $80 million naming rights agreement to help pay for a new $150 million 10,000-seat ballpark which could open in 2019. Las Vegas Ballpark is expected to include 22 suites, a center field pool, kids' zone, and several bars.
The official groundbreaking was held on February 13, 2018. By April 2018, excavation was 85 percent complete with nearby grading for parking lots about 90 percent complete. By June 2018, it was on schedule to be completed before the 2019 season.
Reservations for tickets began in July 2018. The schedule was announced in August 2018, with the home opener on April 9. The Aviators will play the Sacramento River Cats first, with 70 home games in the season. Las Vegas Ballpark will have breathable mesh seats for fans, with 8,000 seats to be installed, with a total capacity of 10,000.
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- Justin Emerson (2018). "Season ticket deposits for Las Vegas Ballpark begin Monday". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- Jesse Granger (August 2, 2018). "1st Game at New Las Vegas Ballpark Set for April 9/". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- Nikki Bowers (2018). "Las Vegas Ballpark to get comfy mesh seats for fans". Las Vegas Now. Retrieved September 20, 2018.