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Ballpark Preview: Cheney Stadium renovations

New Tacoma Ballpark

Cheney Stadium, home of the Tacoma Rainiers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), since 1960, is set for an extreme makeover for the 2011 season, under a $30-million renovation plan preliminarily approved this week. 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.

“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.”

Cheney Stadium opened in 1960. Its construction was spearheaded by team owner Ben Cheney, the lumber magnate who invented the 2×4 stud. You can view the current state of Cheney Stadium here.

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, Seattle 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.

“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.”