Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium

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Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium, formerly Varsity Park, is a baseball stadium on the campus of the California State University, Fresno in Fresno, California, United States. It was built in 1966. The field is the home of the Fresno State Bulldogs baseball team and named after former Fresno State baseball coach Pete Beiden. The park was redesigned in 1983 and now holds 3,575 people.[1] Prior to the 2002 opening of Grizzlies Stadium, the park also was the home of the Fresno Grizzlies minor league baseball team of the triple-A Pacific Coast League.[2]

Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium
Full namePete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium
Former namesVarsity Park (1966–1972), Pete Beiden Field
LocationN Cedar Avenue and Bulldog Lane, Fresno, California, US
Coordinates36°48′49″N 119°45′21″W / 36.813477°N 119.755699°W / 36.813477; -119.755699Coordinates: 36°48′49″N 119°45′21″W / 36.813477°N 119.755699°W / 36.813477; -119.755699
OwnerFresno State University
OperatorFresno State University
Capacity3,575
Record attendance5,673
Field size330 ft. (LF), 370 ft. (LCF), 400 ft. (CF), 370 ft. (RCF), 330 ft. (RF)
SurfaceNatural grass
ScoreboardElectronic
Construction
Built1966
Renovated1969, 1983, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2010
Tenants
Fresno State Bulldogs baseball (MWC) (1966–present)
Fresno Grizzlies (PCL) (1998–2001)

HistoryEdit

Originally known as Varsity Park, the field was dedicated in 1972 to Pete Beiden, Fresno State baseball coach from 1948–1969. Beiden, who led the program to 600 wins in his 21 seasons, was inducted in 1972 into the College Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.[1]

Stadium lighting was installed in 1969 and updated in 1996. In 1983, the venue underwent a $2.2 million redesign. In 1998, a new scoreboard, PA system, and bleacher sections along both foul lines were added. In 1999, the natural grass infield was renovated. In 2004, the left field bleacher section (added in 1998) was removed to allow for indoor batting cages and a clubhouse to be built.[1] Following the 2010 season, further renovations added a turf "halo" surrounding the infield and a new sound system.[3]

As of the end of the 2009 season, Fresno State has a 1,023–439–1 (.699) all-time record at Beiden Field.[1]

Fresno State hosted the 2013 Mountain West Conference Baseball Tournament at the stadium from May 22–26, at the conclusion of their first season in the Mountain West Conference.[4]

FeaturesEdit

On the field itself, the facility features bullpens, 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) of grass surface, cinder-clay mix infield dirt, and a rock dirt warning track. In 2000, the American Baseball Coaches Association/Turface Field Maintenance Award was given to the field's groundskeepers. On the center field wall, the numbers of two Fresno State coaches (#2 for Pete Beiden and #26 for Bob Bennett) are displayed. In addition, a seven-foot statue of Beiden stands outside the stadium. The field's stadium lighting includes eight towers with a total of 98 bulbs.[1]

Around the playing field, the facility includes a clubhouse, offices, batting cages, restrooms, concessions stands, and a press box suitable for 40 media members.[1]

AttendanceEdit

Out of the venue's capacity of 5,757 spectators, 3,575 seats are chairback. The main, concrete seating structure lies behind home plate, while additional bleacher seating lies down the right field foul line. The section behind home plate features four lower rows of box seats and 16 upper rows of more chairback seating. The two sections are separated by a cross aisle.[1]

In 1988 and 1989, the program led Division I college baseball in single-game attendance.[1] In 2013, the Bulldogs ranked 45th among Division I baseball programs in attendance, averaging 1,432 per home game.[5]

Top 10 single gamesEdit

The following is a list of the top 10 single-game attendance figures at Beiden Field.[1]

Rank Attendance Opponent Year
1 5,673 USC 1988
2 5,455 USC 1988
2 5,455 BYU 1988
4 5,422 Michigan 1989
5 5,406 Notre Dame 1989
6 5,355 Minnesota 1988
7 5,223 Stanford 1991
8 5,220 Cal State Fullerton 1995
9 5,113 Stanford 1998
10 5,021 Stanford 1988

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Athletics Department (2010). "Pete Beiden Field – Home of Bulldog Baseball". California State University, Fresno. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  2. ^ Merzbach, Brian. "Pete Beiden Field". Ballpark Reviews. Archived from the original on 2011-12-31. Retrieved 31 December 2011. Beiden Field was originally built for the Fresno State collegiate team, but doubled as a professional venue from 1998–2001 while the Fresno Grizzlies were awaiting their new downtown ballpark to be completed.
  3. ^ Fresno State University Athletic Department (September 29, 2010). "Dugout Club Helps Fund Beiden Improvements". Archived from the original on 2010-10-09. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  4. ^ "2013 Mountain West Conference Baseball Championship Central". themwc.com. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  5. ^ Cutler, Tami (June 11, 2013). "2013 Division I Baseball Attendance – Final Report" (PDF). Sportswriters.net. NCBWA. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 20, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2013.

External linksEdit