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New Hops ballpark smaller, more expensive

Hillsboro HopsThe new home of the Hillsboro Hops (short season A; Northwest League) will have fewer seats and come in over budget, with a final number still to be determined.

The Oregon ballpark is being built on a fast-track design-build system, which means parts of the design weren’t completed before construction started. That’s led to changes in the design, like the addition of a 50-foottall safety net along right field — a change mandated by the city. In addition, prepping the site for construction ended up exceeding estimates by $350,000.

Another big change: the decision to trim the number of permanent seats by almost 1,000, bringing fixed-capacity-seating-down to 3,534, down from the projected 4,500. From The Oregonian:

Hillsboro’s website says the facility has capacity for 4,500 spectators. Gross said the decision to slash permanent seats in favor of standing-room-only tickets and seating on grassy areas came through discussions with the Hillsboro Hops. Dinger said the city took savings from removal of the nearly 1,000 seats, a 22 percent reduction, to install more expensive and comfortable seats for fans.

Hops Executive Vice President and General Manager K.L. Wombacher said the franchise anticipates selling at least 4,500 tickets per game, possibly as many as 5,000. Grass seating and standing-room-only tickets will cost $7, he said, and are envisioned as more flexible, family seating options. Permanent seats will cost at least $11, Wombacher said.

The new $15.2-million ballpark is slated to open June 17, hosting the former Yakima Bears.

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