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Hops pitch major Ron Tonkin Field upgrades

Ron Tonkin Field

We may see a major expansion of Ron Tonkin Field, home of the Hillsboro Hops (High-A West), as the team is proposing a major facility makeover to both meet new MiLB ballpark guidelines and offer a wider range of events.

The City of Hillsboro issued an RFP for a design-build project for Ron Tonkin Field with the following scope:

The project will modernize, complete, and expand home team, visitors’ and coaching/umpire staff facilities and make needed upgrades to the onsite infrastructure in order to ensure compliance with recently upgraded Major League Baseball (MLB) facility standards. Additional team/fan spaces and amenities are also being contemplated as part of this project.

The City is looking for a team with recent experience in the design, development, and construction of premium sports facilities at the collegiate level and above.

The project is expected to have an initial price tag of $40 million, but the scope of the project could be expanded and the final price tag could approach $100 million, according to Hops President and General Manager K.L. Wombacher, as the team adds more events and concerts to the mix, per the Portland Business Journal:

“We thought, if we’ve got to update the facility to meet these minimum standards from Major League Baseball, let’s have a bigger conversation about what the next 30 years looks like,” Wombacher said. “We’ve got a great community, we have a great market, we have a great corporate community that we’ve established. Let’s dream big.”

Those dreams include determining whether the site can host outdoor concerts — Wombacher said the team has begun talking with concert promoters and exploring acoustical logistics — as well as large cultural festivals and holiday events in November and December.

“We started looking at this more as a year-round entertainment destination, as a ‘venue’ as opposed to a ‘ballpark,’” Wombacher said.

The Hops would cover approximately $30 million of the price tag via increased rent, while the remainder would be generated by the local 3 percent lodging tax.

Photo courtesy Hillsboro Hops.

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