Instead of renovating Ron Tonkin Field to meet the new MiLB facility specifications, we’ll see a new Hillsboro Hops ballpark for 2025, as the Northwest League team shifts course.
The new Hillsboro Hops ballpark will be located on the northwest side of the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex. The ballpark will be designed as a year-round outdoor entertainment venue potentially hosting up to 300 events per year, including Hops home baseball games, concerts, festivals, community events and amateur baseball games.
The design-build team of Mortenson, SRG and Populous will begin the construction process in late summer 2023, with project completion prior to the 2025 Hops baseball season. The project is anticipated to cost up to $120 million and will be designed to accommodate 6,000 people for baseball and up to 7,000 for concerts and other events.
“The requirement to meet new MLB facility standards has turned into an opportunity for us to reimagine what kind of venue our region needs and deserves,” said Hops President and General Manager K.L. Wombacher via press statement. “This new ballpark is going to be a generational project that serves as a community gathering place for decades to come. This is a gamechanger for our region and perfectly aligns with the City’s vision, as well as ours, to provide the best community to live, work, and PLAY.”
Funding for the project will be paid for predominantly through private financing secured by the Hops, with a smaller portion of the funding coming from the City through the local hotel tax. The Hops will have full operational control over the new ballpark under a licensing agreement with the City and will be responsible for all ballpark expenses, including utilities and maintenance. The City of Hillsboro will retain exclusive ownership and operation of Ron Tonkin Field.
The original plan for the Hops to address the new MiLB facility specs was a drastic overhaul of Ron Tonkin Field, originally built to host Short Season A ball, not full-season play. The project was expected to have an initial price tag of $40 million, but the scope of the project could have been expanded, with the final price tag approaching $100 million. But after some further cost analysis, the city and the Hops determined the most cost-effective path was to build a new ballpark.
“The City appreciates the Hops as a partner and recognizes the unique value the organization brings to the community. Creating a more robust regional entertainment destination will provide long term benefits to the City as well as the Hops,” said Hillsboro City Manager Robby Hammond via press release.
Rendering courtesy Hillsboro Hops.