Las Vegas Ballpark
Las Vegas Ballpark is a baseball stadium under construction in Summerlin, Nevada for the Las Vegas 51s 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 Town Center Drive and West Sahara Avenue. Construction of the $150 million stadium began in 2018 and is expected to be completed in time for the Las Vegas 51s 2019 season. It will serve as a replacement for the team's current 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 MiLB team|
|Broke ground||February 23, 2018|
($150 million in 2017 dollars)
|Las Vegas MiLB team (PCL) (from 2019)|
The decision to build a new stadium for the 51s comes on the back of many issues both the 51s and Minor League Baseball have with the team's current stadium, Cashman Field. Players and staff criticized the facility noting poor conditions in the playing surface, bullpens, and clubhouse. The weight room is 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 is also a point of concern for the players as it is 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 is "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 owns and operates 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 is considered an affiliate of last resort for most MLB teams, something Las Vegas Ballpark would 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 ocmplete. 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 51s will play the Sacramento River Cats first, with 70 home games in the season. On August 30, 2018, it was revealed that the Las Vegas Ballpark would 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.