New ownership means lots of change for the Memphis Redbirds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), as $6.5 million in upgrades to AutoZone Park were unveiled by the team today.
As you’ll recall, the Redbirds were sold to the St. Louis Cardinals in a deal that closed in April 2014, with the Memphis Redbirds Foundation parting with both the team and AutoZone Park. As part of the purchase agreement, the Cards committed to $5 million in ballpark improvements under a 17-year lease.
“We are excited about the updates to what is already a world class facility,” said Redbirds General Manager Craig Unger. “Fans will notice a difference as soon as they come into AutoZone Park.”
With an emphasis on the fan experience, ballpark renovations made by the Cardinals include installation of a state-of-the-art LED videoboard in left field, LED ribbon board displays, thirty-nine four tops, a right-field destination BBQ food area, a new left field bar, additional berm seating, an expanded and upgraded club level, AutoZone Park’s first all-inclusive club in right field, playing field replacement and more.
“Enjoying a game at AutoZone Park will be a first-class fan experience unsurpassed in Minor League Baseball,” said William DeWitt Jr., Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of the St. Louis Cardinals. “Families won’t want to miss seeing a game in this amazing ballpark.”
Here’s a full list of the improvements:
- New state-of-the-art LED Videoboard Displays: Complementing the existing videoboard in right field, fans will get a complete multimedia experience at AutoZone Park with the addition of a new 14’ x 140’ HD LED Video Wall in Left Field and two new 3’ x 150’ HD LED Ribbon Boards along the first and third base façades within the seating bowl. The video wall and ribbon boards will provide better views, sponsorship activation, in-game entertainment, and game information.
- New right field destination food area: A BBQ-themed free-standing structure will be constructed on the outfield concourse in right field.
- Relocated berm seating: Fixed seats in the left field and right field corners were removed to create two new grass berm seating areas to maintain affordable tickets that are closer to the action on the field and fan amenities.
- New left field bar: Stairs were removed in the left field corner and replaced with a covered destination bar structure that includes high top tables, drink rails, and TVs.
- Club expansion behind home plate (2nd floor): Four existing suites behind home plate were removed to create a more vibrant club atmosphere and signature view of AutoZone park for both baseball and non-baseball events. This improved and larger indoor group space will feature retractable windows, more TVs, and a full service 360-degree bar.
- New all-inclusive club in right field (2nd floor): Four existing suites in right field were removed to create AutoZone Park’s first public all-inclusive area, which will feature retractable windows, a full service bar, indoor/outdoor seating, pool tables, and TVs. Tickets to this premium indoor group space will include all food, Coca-Cola products, draft beer, and house wines.
- Addition of thirty-nine (39) four tops: Private, semi-circle table configurations consisting of four, 360-degree swiveling stadium seats located in four sections (201-204) on the Club Level above home plate. Each table features included pre-game buffet, in seat service, and Coca-Cola beverages.
- Interior renovation of premium suites: Twenty-nine (29) suites will be renovated with replaced floor covering, new lounge furniture, drink rails, casework, wall and ceiling finishes.
- Upgraded existing signage: Selective non-digital signage, way-finding, and graphics visible to patrons on the main concourse and suite levels will be upgraded.
- Expanded backstop netting behind home plate: The extent of the netting behind home plate will be expanded to protect an increased number of patrons.
- Playing field replacement – Playing surface renovation and full-scale field makeover: Existing grass, dirt, and organic material will be removed. New sand base will be installed for the field, sod, infield, and warning track. This marks the first full-scale field makeover since installation in 2000.
- Expanded Concourse: The most heavily trafficked areas of the main concourse will be expanded to improve traffic flow.
- Various Concourse Improvements: Additional TV screens added to concourses and public areas around the stadium. Concession stands throughout the main concourse will also receive various upgrades.
Renovations will be completed by Montgomery Martin Contractors of Memphis. Architecture designs were provided by Pendulum Studio II LLC of Kansas City.
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