Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: New Cheney a great place for baseball

Letter by Ben Golding, Bellevue on July 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm with 6 Comments »
July 16, 2011 11:42 am

Thanks to a team of community members and tradesmen, the great American pastime is alive and well in the City of Destiny.

After 51 seasons of play, the community came together to create a stadium fit for 2010 Pacific Coast League champions, the Tacoma Rainiers. Through one of the wettest winters in local history, 115 of our neighbors and friends took on the challenge to renovate Cheney Stadium before the first pitch of the 2011 season. Their work was complete in only 210 days – a triumph of determination, even by today’s standards.

Walking through the new gates into a wide-open concourse, it is easy to see where these efforts were focused. New concession buildings have replaced decrepit old shacks. Turn around and you’ll see new ticketing buildings, a team store and a sweet shop selling ice cream.

Take a few steps towards where the old bleachers stood, and the new berm comes into view – my son’s favorite spot in the whole park. Below the façade, a new skeleton of steel reinforces the original structure, bringing the whole park to the engineering standards of today’s public venues.

Whether you love it or hate it, or find yourself somewhere in between, Tacoma’s new ballpark is the culmination of efforts by many in this great city. See for yourself. Visit the park and see what the Rainiers can do.

This building is about baseball – and those of us who love the game will love the experience of the new Cheney Stadium.

(Golding was Mortenson Construction’s project manager on the stadium renovation.)

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. Pecksbadboy says:

    Ben, you live in Bellevue and don’t come to Tacoma and doubt if have to pay to see a game in a luxury box if you do.

    The citizens of Tacoma, 90% of which will never attend, are paying for it. The benefits are for the team owners and the politicians who get to give out box tickets to their corporate donors

  2. alindasue says:

    I haven’t yet had a chance to see inside Cheney stadium since the renovation, so I don’t yet have an opinion on the updated stadium yet. However, I do find it interesting that in the couple months since the stadium re-opened, the first fully positive review of the updated stadium that I’ve seen has finally been written… by the project manager in charge of the renovation.

    Personally, I liked the “decrepit old” concession shacks.

  3. nwcolorist says:

    Maybe the Trib could do a Hot Button poll on what the fans think of the new stadium.

  4. Junodog2 says:

    Mr. Golding,

    Having been to several AAA stadiums around the country, I find the new Cheney Stadiun to be more like a barn than a stadiun. From the outside it looks more like an office complex than a stadium. I am also pretty sure you had a hand in the behind the scenes 821K overun. What did Mortenson promise to Combs and Melvin under the table. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

  5. Omega6234 says:

    Being a season ticket holder i can say that things are much better now. Sure the seating hasnt changed much, but the ease of use is much better. Now all the Summit clubs “places to get beer” can see the field, where as before they were in a concrete room with no windows or in right field. As for anyone that i have talked to going to games or that has been to one… they like the new improvements.

  6. BornAndRaised52 says:

    If the most important aspect of the new stadium is to be able to watch the game while drinking, then perhaps modifications could have been made to satisfy the beer drinkers instead of building a new stadium. I am still astounded that a perfectly good stadium was torn down to build a “new” one. It fits with what has become a national obsession with new and improved everything. Ok, its all new and it looks pretty, but when it’s 90 degrees out or it’s raining where is the roof to duck under that was always there? Why do you think the roof was built in the first place? Why did the powers that be decide that all of a sudden a roof was unnecessary, oh, and without asking anybody?

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