Pro baseball can't survive in Yakima without a new or renovated ballpark, according to a study commissioned by Yakima County and the Yakima Bears.
Pro baseball can't survive in Yakima without a new or renovated ballpark, according to a study commissioned by Yakima County and the Yakima Bears (short season; Northwest League).
The study from Convention Sports & Leisure International says Yakima County Stadium is incapable of generating enough revenue for the Bears to turn a profit: it's too small (with only 2,654 seats) and lacks enough concessions to raise the team's per caps. That deadly combination is leading to annual losses posted by the Bears despite attendance rising in recent years.
It's not clear what will come next; the Bears say they'd be open to either a new ballpark or a renovation. And given the economy, a renovation may be the way to go: the study said there was relatively strong demand for premium seating areas in the community, and those sorts of upgrades can be accomplished easily via renovation. The team's lease runs through 2015, so we're guessing discussions of the future of the ballpark will be wound into any new leases.
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