The opening of a new WVU ballpark will be delayed until April 10 at the earliest, as bad weather has pushed back construction of the concourse and installation of the turf.
Monongalia County Ballpark, which will be shared with the West Virginia Black Bears (short season A; NY-Penn League), was to open for the Mountaineers on March 17.
“The one thing we don’t want to do is open this beautiful park when it is not ready,” said WVU Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs Matt Wells said in a posting on the WVU website. “We really want to commend and thank the construction team at Mascaro and its affiliated contractors as well as involved representatives from Monongalia County, WVU Facilities Management, the WVU Athletic Facilities and Operations staff and the West Virginia Black Bears. All of these groups have worked endless hours to complete the project and reach our goal of a March 17 opening, but the weather kept throwing roadblocks in recent weeks. In the end, Mother Nature won.”
At stake will be several openings for the Mountaineers. The delay will not impact the NY-Penn League season.
“When I visited the ballpark site in January, I was impressed with the facility and knew that WVU baseball was set to have a great home. I also was very pleased with the construction team and their planned work schedule,” said WVU Director of Athletics Shane Lyons. “Then when I started on the job on Feb. 2, I saw the continued setbacks that the bad weather and single-digit temperatures were bringing, and it became an uphill battle.
“The bottom line is that this facility will be beautiful and great for North Central West Virginia, but we don’t want to ruin the opening with a ballpark that is not ready to meet the needs of our fans. We are hopeful for the end of winter soon and better temperatures ahead so that the April 10 opening will be a special night.”