The Tacoma Rainiers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) have officially been selected to host the 2017 Triple-A All-Star Game at Cheney Stadium.
News of this announcement was widely circulated on Wednesday, but a few key details were revealed at a press conference that included Pacific Coast League president Branch Rickey III, Rainiers president Aaron Artman, Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner, and other baseball officials and dignitaries. The 30th annual Triple-A All-Star Game will take place on Wednesday, July 12, capping a three-day schedule of events,. MLB Network will present a live broadcast of the game.
“The growth we’ve had over the past nine seasons is because the fans – and the market in general – have so graciously returned to Cheney Stadium to support this franchise,” Team President Aaron Artman said. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this growth and support than to bring the Triple-A All-Star Game to Tacoma for the first time in franchise history. It will be a huge showcase for not just Cheney Stadium and the Rainiers, but for the entire region, and we’re excited to show it off.”
Coupled with continued on-field success and rising attendance, the Rainiers selection to host the 2017 Triple-A All-Star game further affirms the club’s position as a key asset to the Pacific Coast League and the Pacific Northwest.
“For the Rainiers to have won the bid to host the 2017 Triple-A All-Star Game is strong testimony to the standing of this franchise and underscores the credibility that the ownership and staff have earned across the sport,” Pacific Coast League President Branch Rickey said. “With such significant improvements having been made to Cheney Stadium, the International League and the Pacific Coast League are eager to hold one of their marquee events in Tacoma in 2017.”
Since 2007, the Rainiers have enjoyed increased attendance in seven-of-nine seasons, as well as a nearly 500 percent increase in season ticket holders. During the 2015 season, Cheney Stadium welcomed 352,521 fans through the gates, marking the second largest single-season attendance mark in franchise history.
“The Tacoma Rainiers organization and the city of Tacoma will be tremendous hosts for one of Minor League Baseball’s premier events,” Minor League Baseball President and CEO Pat O’Conner said. “Cheney Stadium underwent a historic transformation after the 2010 season and the Triple-A All-Star Game will give a national audience a chance to see this gem of a ballpark in the Pacific Northwest.”
Prior to the 2015 season, the Rainiers underwent a rebranding that included new primary and secondary logos, as well as a new on-field uniform set. The transition to the new brand identity helped launch the Rainiers merchandise sales up the Minor League rankings.
2017 will mark the first time the Tacoma franchise, members of the Pacific Coast League since 1960, have hosted the Triple-A All-Star Game. The contest has been held annually since 1988, and rotates between International League and Pacific Coast League locations. The selection of Cheney Stadium and the Rainiers to host the 2017 Triple-A All-Star Game also marks the first time since 2013 that a Mariners affiliate has hosted an All-Star event.
“Having the Rainiers host the All-Star Game is a chance for fans throughout the area to see all the best Triple-A players in the game in one spot,” Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President and General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto said. “It’s also a great opportunity for fans around the country to see beautiful Cheney Stadium on TV and for all of Minor League Baseball to discover what we already know: That the people and staff of Tacoma do a tremendous job.”
The 2017 Triple-A All-Star Game will be presented by CHI Franciscan Health, the Tacoma Rainiers partner in health and wellness.
“We are proud to help the Rainiers bring this exciting event to Western Washington,” Chief Strategy Officer of CHI Franciscan Health Thomas Kruse said. “With 12,500 employees and eight of the region’s best hospitals, we will support the Tacoma Rainiers, the Triple-A Baseball and Minor League Baseball with our volunteers, health care resources, and our Northwest Healthy spirit, helping spread the message of good health. On behalf of the Franciscan Foundation, we also thank the Rainiers for their commitment to raising charitable funds through the Charity Golf Tournament and other events to help us serve our community.”
Gildan, a leading brand and supplier of quality T-shirts, activewear, underwear and socks, is a partner of Triple-A Baseball and the presenting sponsor of the Triple-A All-Star Game and the title sponsor of the Triple-A National Championship Game, their two annual showcase events.
A complete list of the week’s events is as follows:
Monday, July 10
2017 Triple-A Home Run Derby
Tuesday, July 11
Wednesday, July 12
2017 Triple-A All-Star Game