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City gets look at Cheney Stadium plans

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on March 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm | 9 Comments »
March 2, 2010 3:49 pm

Proposed Cheney Stadium

Skyboxes, a new club/restaurant, a fancy new concourse. Those are some of the features of the renovated Cheney Stadium unveiled to the Tacoma City Council at today’s study session.

The recently selected design team shared its vision for the $30 million renovation with the council and other city officials at today’s session. Our reporter Lewis Kamb is down at city hall now and will have a complete report soon. For now, here’s the press release with more details.

Sneak Peek at Cheney Stadium Renovation
Design team announced, details unveiled in city council study session

Tacoma, WA – 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. Mortenson is one of the top sports construction firms in the US and has a local Seattle office. Populous is the world’s foremost ballpark architecture firm, having designed more than 150 ballparks at the collegiate, minor league, spring training and major league levels. 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 Tuesday, March 9th.

“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. Steve Patterson of Pro-Sports Consulting and formerly president of the Portland Trailblazers, was instrumental in advising the Rainiers on lease and financing.

The renovation is scheduled to break ground immediately following the 2010 baseball season. It includes something for everyone with 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 5000 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. It is great that the park will remain on its long-time site as the home of Triple-A baseball in Tacoma,” said Chuck Armstrong, Mariners President and COO.

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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