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Chihuahuas open new ballpark

El Paso ChihuahuasSouthwest University Park, the new home of the El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), opened last night before a crowd of 9,245.

It sounds like all went smoothly at the ballpark opened: fans moved easily through the new facility, there were no serious traffic snarls, and the atmosphere was positive, despite a few protestors decrying the loss of a City Hall building to make way for the Chihuahuas home. From the El Paso Times:

“It’s going to be an awesome experience having a team to come see all season long,” said Jacob Ornelas, 38. “It’s about time El Paso has a professional baseball team again.”

Ornelas and his stepson Andrew Martinez, were among the first fans inside. Monday was Andrew’s 13th birthday and they could find no better way to celebrate.

“It was so great,” Andrew yelled as his eyes gazed on the field. “There is nothing better than being at a game.”

Oh, a game was played as well. The Fresno Grizzlies won 2-1 in 13 innings. Some firsts: Jeff Francoeur collected the first hit in Southwest University Park history when he doubled in the first inning, while Travis Buck‘s solo shot in the third was the first home run in the downtown ballpark’s history.

RELATED STORIES: New for 2014: Southwest University Park; Chihuahuas move opener to April 28, shift series to Tucson; El Paso Chihuahuas unveil uniforms; Topping-out ceremony held in El Paso; Will new Chihuahuas ballpark be haunted?; Why the Chihuahuas name works: it’s fun!; Owners: Chihuahua name a hit; New for 2014: El Paso Chihuahuas; Ballpark Preview: New El Paso Ballpark


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