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Cheney Stadium’s mass will “buttress” fans from the rain, contractor says

Post by Kris Sherman / The News Tribune on March 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm with 12 Comments »
March 22, 2011 3:02 pm

Cheney Stadium’s new main structure is 30-feet taller than the height of the old building, and its mass will help shield Tacoma Rainiers fans in uncovered seats from the rain, Tacoma City Council members were told this afternoon.

Roof overhang at the rebuilt Cheney Stadium's is shorter than originally ordered./Peter Haley/ Staff photographer

“The structure itself is a pretty nice buttress from the weather,” Neal Schaefer of contractor Mortenson Construction said during a council study session. Its bulk should help protect fans from wind and rain that might drive in from the southwest, he and Mike Combs, the city’s director of public assembly facilities, said.

Opening pitch for the 2011 season is 24 days away, and the $30 million renovation is “on time and on budget,” Combs told council members during a report on the stadium’s progress.

Substantial completion is scheduled for April 1. A public open house is set April 2. Opening Day is April 15.

Schaefer’s comments about the stadium as weather-protection came in response to a question from Councilman Jake Fey about where fans might go to get out the rain..

He posed it two days after News Tribune City Hall reporter Lewis Kamb revealed in a Page One Sunday story that the roof on the renovated stadium covers fewer seats than city original specs required.

Columnist Peter Callaghan commented on the issue in today’s editions.

Fey said he’d toured the stadium and that he’d heard there was a place fans could go in case of rain. Could the construction team point it out?, he asked.

If you’re sitting in stands not covered by the roof, you can escape getting wet during drizzle or rain delays by heading into the mezzanine or lobby area, the main concourse or under the awnings on the first- and third-base sides, Combs said.

You also could spend the time in the team store, he added.

There “are more areas than in the past where you can go and hang out during a rain delay,” he said.

About 2,040 seats – including roughly 270 in suites – will be covered in the revamped stadium, city staff members have said. That’s about 1,675 fewer than were covered in the old stadium, which turned 50 last year. The revamped ballpark will hold about 8,500 fans.

The city’s specifications, changed during the course of bidding and construction, originally called for at least as many covered seats in the renovated stadium as there were in the original ballpark.

So, if you head into one of the covered areas to escape the rain, can you still see the action on the field? Councilman Marty Campbell wanted to know.

“Yes,” Combs said. “Down in the concourse there are plasma TVs” on which fans can watch the live action on the Rainiers’ closed-circuit TV system, he explained.

Campbell wanted clarification. Can you actually see the filed – and the action on it – from the concourse?

No, Combs said. But fans who don’t want to get wet when drizzle falls can still see the game from under the canopies on the first- and third-base sides.

“There are hundreds of seats” still covered by the main building roof, he added.

“I’m excited. It’s beautiful, and every day it gets better,” Combs told council members when he and the Mortenson team began their report to the council about progress on the renovation.

“Up front. We’re on time and we’re on budget,” he added. “We – and by that I mean this council and the previous council – saved and preserved Triple A baseball in Tacoma for the next 30 years.”

Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. JessicaW71970 says:

    Yes, but am I going to be able to watch the game from a covered concourse area with out getting soaked like I can at Safeco?, the answer was NO… If I want to watch baseball of any sort on TV, I’ll stay at home…..

  2. alindasue says:

    Great. I suppose we all need to make sure the rain is coming from the southwest before deciding to attend a game, eh. Can this situation get any more rediculous?

  3. Grapple4 says:

    Why does anyone put any stock in what Combs says? The guy has never provided the citizens with an accurate accounting of events, nothing he says in open forum is ever on the level, and his management of our facilities has been atrocious. I personally feel sorry for the poor sots that hire this guy once he is in private practice, which can’t happen soon enought by the way.

  4. The more I read about this, the more slimey it gets. How about a lawsuit against the INDIVIDUALS (NOT the city or we’d just be suing ourselves) who made these illegal decisions?

  5. Woosies…………………..what ever happened to a down and out game in the rain and mud. (with a hotdog of course)

  6. Istillknowalotmorethanyou says:

    I like me some outdoor baseball…so I’ll be sure to go when it’s a nice summer evening!

  7. The view? Guess we are not as gullible as thought. How about confessing, hey you caught us taking liberties but no we continually try to spin this and look like even bigger buffoons. Only in Tacoma!!

  8. Oh, you can see the game on TV (WTF?!?!) from the concourse and stay dry. Oh, you can also stay dry in the team store where you can spend more of your money on something other than watching the game live.

    Combs should be fired. He’s a hack. If he is fired, I am sure he’ll find a nice, executive position with the Rainiers…

    This is a debacle and someone’s head should roll for it.

  9. theaveragecitizen says:

    Tthis whole thing is pathetic. the city should make the contractor and team owners build some sort of real roof, and make both groups eat the cost as an overrun.
    Wait a minute! there is a roof and the large luxury boxes will protect people from rain? since when did gravity change on this planet and rain come down at a 45 to 90 degree angle? why don’t you just tell everyone the sky is brown instead of blue. I can’t believe council members are buying this load of nonsense.
    Also, this notion of “saving” baseball? laughable. let these guys move their team to Texas… they would be another PCL team here in a year. Espeically now that a stadium is re-done, the Rainiers have no leverage to move.

  10. If the ‘spinning’ on this ‘bait and switch’ debacle gets any faster by those over-exercising their CYA muscles we should change the ballpark name to ‘Tops’. Nothing spins faster and goes nowhere, while producing nothing of import..

  11. geeterpontiac says:

    “Up front. We’re on time and we’re on budget,” he added. “We – and by that I mean this council and the previous council – saved and preserved Triple A baseball in Tacoma for the next 30 years.”

    Unfortunately, the process was dishonest.

    And, the Tacoma City Council was willing to overlook it and do what they were told.

    That says it all.

  12. Luther_Walker says:

    Combs is a shyster, liar and a full on politician.
    The City Contract management team should all go to jail, false representation, collusion and criminal intent. What a bunch of losers. We said it, oh, no we never said it…we have rules, but no one has to follow them (if they ask) and we’ll cover their butts if this is exposed.
    Remember David Boe? Yeah, he was the one who called this baloney out during the City Council and was shouted down by Aaron Aardvark with FALSE claims about sneaky dealings…..DOES ANYBODY SEE THE IRONY HERE?
    Nice to hear the lies and spin from the soon-to-be unemployed GM at the Rainiers. Embarrass the City, commit unethical and sleazy deals, …and split! Good riddance Combs, Good riddance Aardvark.
    Good luck attracting legitimate contractors in the future City.

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