Fresh off plenty of improvements for 2014, the New Orleans Zephyrs (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) announced further enhancements to Zephyr Field in coming years.
The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED) has commissioned Billes Partners LLC, a local architectural firm, to conduct an analysis of the facility and to provide recommendations for enhancement projects. These projects, based upon best practices from other Minor League Baseball ballparks and direct input from the LSED and the Zephyrs, would be phased in over the next several years.
“This is a very exciting time for the Zephyrs and the ballpark,” said Zephyrs General Manager Mike Schline. “A lot of work and money has been put into the ballpark by the LSED over the last 10 years. Most of that was to take care of essential day-to-day needs of the stadium that, for the most part, fans would not notice.
“This project will directly affect the fans and the look and feel of the ballpark. It will give the park a facelift from the game experience aspect.”
A wide range of projects are under consideration, the majority of which are focused on the overall game day experience. One such project is the expansion of the concourse to provide 360-degree access around the field, allowing fans to freely navigate the entirety of the venue. Currently, the concourse cuts off on the third-base side.
“We envision fans being able to watch the game and enjoy amenities beyond the outfield wall in both left field and right field,” Schline said. “This is by far the most ambitious plan that has been embarked upon at the stadium since it opened.”
Other projects under evaluation include improved premium seating options, fan amenity upgrades, and expanded team branding opportunities.
“This enhancement analysis is another step toward ensuring that local baseball fans have access to a facility deserving of professional baseball,” said LSED Chairman Ron Forman. “We are excited to review that results of the study, and more importantly, the implementation of the projects at the facility.”
Billes Partners is also involved with the design and build of the brand new BB&T Ballpark in downtown Charlotte, home of the Charlotte Knights (Class AAA; International League), who are owned by Zephyrs owner Don Beaver.
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