The busy offseason for the Las Vegas 51s (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) was marked by a special occasion yesterday, as the team marked a construction milestone with a topping-off ceremony.
This is an event traditionally held when the last steel beam is put into place on a structure, with those involved signing that last beam, which is topped with an evergreen.
It’s not an event tied to specific timing on a construction schedule (such as work being halfway done), but it is a milestone nevertheless. The ceremony is both a reminder that there’s still plenty of work be done, but that the end is in sight. The team’s first game is April 9, but it remains to be seen whether the 51s will host a traditional Cubs preseason series during spring training in March. (So far there’s been no announcement, but there’s been no announcements of traditional spring-training exhibitions in cities like Las Vegas and Montreal.) From the Las Vegas Sun:
Team President Don Logan said there is no contingency plan in case there is a delay in finishing the stadium, stating there’s no reason to doubt the construction workers, who were recognized today as part of the ceremony.
“Not finishing is not an option,” Logan said. “The urgency that that creates, the deadline that puts on everybody — I’m not worried about these workers. These guys know what they’re doing.”
With the climate in Las Vegas, Logan doesn’t see why there would be any delays, as weather is favorable year-round.
“I’ve been involved with other stadium projects around the country and the one worry is weather,” he said. “We don’t have that problem. As long as we keep our nose to the grindstone, we’ll be OK.”
The new ballpark is just one part of a big offseason for the 51s. Besides the move from Cashman Field to the new Summerlin facility, the team is in the midst of a rebranding for the 2019 season, widely expected to center on an aviation theme. The team is also embarking on a new player development contract with the Oakland Athletics.
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