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Seat Upgrade Pitched for The Diamond

Lake Elsinore Storm

Pending city approval, the home of the Lake Elsinore Storm (High A; California League) will receive new seating before next season.

The Diamond in Lake Elsinore first opened in 1994, and most of the seating in the ballpark dates back to its first season. In recent years, there have been other teams–including the Wilmington Blue Rocks (High A; Carolina League)–that have taken the steps to remove original ballpark seats in an effort to modernize the facility, so the Storm would be part of a trend with clubs in facilities from the same era.

Lake Elsinore’s City Council will consider a proposal that calls for most of the seats to be removed. No details are available on how, if at all, the new seats would affect the The Diamond’s capacity or offerings, but city Administrative Services director Jason Simpson is already recommending a contractor for the project. More from The Press Enterprise:

According to Administrative Services Director Jason Simpson, most of the same 6,000-plus seats that were installed when the city opened The Diamond more than two decades ago are still in place and showing wear and tear.

“They’re 23 years old, so we’re doing this as part of the capital repairs that we’re doing out at the stadium,” Simpson said Friday.

Other projects at the stadium have included replacing the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system and expanding safety netting in the area behind home plate. All the work is being funded by the city’s budget for public works.

Simpson proposes hiring American Seating for $824,000 to remove 5,500 seats and and install new ones manufactured by the firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich. The remaining seats will be addressed when plans are in place to meet new safety and disabled seating requirements, he said.

Under the proposed timeline, removal of the current seats would start early next year, allowing for the new seats to be in place in advance of the Storm’s opener in April.

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