The Arizona Wildcats are moving to Tucson’s Hi Corbett Field for 2012 and beyond, as the program’s leaders decided a larger and more professional venue was needed to replace Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium, which opened in 1967.
Moving off-campus is always a risky move, but University of Arizona officials say the ability to generate revenues at Hi Corbett Field will far outweigh any negatives. To be honest, Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium is a pretty limited facility crammed into some extra space alongside the other Wildcat athletic facilities (as you can see from the above photo; the football stadium looms across the street, while McKale Center is close by as well). It’s not very expandable, concessions are limited, and amenities like clubhouses and workout facilities are also very basic.
At Hi Corbett Field, the Wildcats will have access to the former pro-level clubhouses and workout facilities as well as batting cages and more. In addition, there’s still a concessions setup that allows for the sale of beer for the first five innings of a game.
The move will not be cheap: Arizona will pay $250,000 annually to lease the ballpark, about what the team spends on maintaining Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium, as well as spending that amount or more rebranding the ballpark as a Wildcat facility (logos on the front entrance, etc.). The 10-year lease has the potential to trim $250,000 from the team’s operating deficit, according to athletic-department officials. And, as an additional bonus, it puts the Wildcats in a position to hold an NCAA Regional or Super Regional at an attractive venue.
Photo: Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium.
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