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The New Downtown Ballpark

by Frinklin
on 4/3/2008 @ 12:15pm
Tacoma's new - hopefully waterfront - ballpark. How do we get it built?

ThriceAllAmerican posted some gorgeous photoshop work that places Portland's PGE Park on the Supervalu warehouse. Erik Hanberg mentioned the former Asarco Site. No Rhubarb! has always been privy to placing a park on the Hilltop, close to where baseball began in Tacoma. Still others want to tear down the Dome and rebuild there. We've had small discussions on each of those sites and in person. Here I would like to start an all-inclusive discussion, where we can lock down the best possible place, and maybe even figure out how we can afford it.

Cheney Stadium is old and - let's face it - not all that pretty. It's also a city property so Tacoma has a stake in its replacement. A waterfront park would feature views as good as any in sports, minor or major. A new ballpark would become one of the faces of the city, comparable to Union Station or the Museum of Glass. A new ballpark can and will make this city a more beautiful and livable place. So let's get it done.

by thriceallamerican on 4/3/2008 @ 12:21pm
David Boe sent along some sketches of a ballpark on the site of the tank farm at the mouth of the Foss. Another fascinating location. See here.

by CA on 4/3/2008 @ 12:31pm
I'd like to see the Dome torn down and replaced with a multipurpose facility that the Raineers, monster trucks, and Pearl Jam could all play in(not necessarily at the same time). The Tacoma Dome is old and loosing its competitiveness, and I also think its ugly. I just dont know how we'd pay for all of this. The city has spent lots of money the last couple decades on public projects, and I dont see them pitching in with more funds for something like this anytime soon.

by thriceallamerican on 4/3/2008 @ 12:53pm
From my original post, just imagine the (approximate) view from the Supervalu site:

by thriceallamerican on 4/3/2008 @ 12:55pm
And while I'm throwing in some visuals, here's the Boe sketch:

by NineInchNachos on 4/3/2008 @ 12:57pm
that's the most beautiful thing I've seen! And I hate baseball! :)

by CA on 4/3/2008 @ 1:05pm
Wow! That IS beautiful.

by Jim @ PSP on 4/3/2008 @ 1:41pm
now THAT is a good idea. Get people closer to the water. But until this gets built I'll still be trekking over to 19th street across from the Fred Meyer (free parking @ Freddies, yo!) to games at good and old Cheney Stadium.

P.S. How come Tacoma's not in the summer time cruise ship business? 600,000 people will be leaving for Alaska from Seattle in the next 6 months. People already on vacation with cash in hand to spend ... they're already here waiting to head North, why aren't any of these cruise ships leaving from Tacoma? Seems like an extremely lucrative market that, as a common goal, Tacoma should try and attract, maybe? Just wondering.

Tacoma could start pretty small, and I bet with our railroad history, Native history, proximity to the mountain, to the ocean, to Chambers Bay golf course ... it's very surprising as to what wealthy traveling Europeans and Asians find interesting; maybe Tacoma could end up being one of those places.

by michael g. on 4/3/2008 @ 2:31pm
That is a good idea! Not necessarily compatible with Simpson/Kraft almost right next door, but I'd take baseball over the pulp mill.

by NSHDscott on 4/3/2008 @ 3:07pm
I'm with NIN, I hate baseball and still love the Boe idea. You don't have to be a baseball fan to see how that would totally transform the perception of Tacoma.

The tank farm is an attractive target because of its location at the mouth of the waterway and my guess is that it contributes few jobs so the city/port would only be losing rent/property taxes by booting it. If that rent could be replaced with property sales and new taxes from the current Cheney site, what's to lose?

by NineInchNachos on 4/3/2008 @ 3:14pm
nothing to lose! It would be an excuse to use the MM Bridge also. Can you imagine the fireworks? This is a friggin' great idea.

by Erik on 4/3/2008 @ 4:00pm
Perhaps we should consider recruiting David Boe for Mayor.

For starters, just think of the hundreds of thousands of dollars Tacoma could save on outside consultant fees that the city is currently paying.

by NineInchNachos on 4/3/2008 @ 4:10pm
heck from the drawing it looks like it would be rather cheap to build compared to some of the more ridiculous projects (car museum). Where's the magic 700k in unclaimed lotto tickets for this project? What's the clear channel fine counter upto these days?

by Nick on 4/3/2008 @ 4:35pm
"And while I'm throwing in some visuals, here's the Boe sketch: "

Oooh, I want I want! Talk about bang for your buck - that would be one of the most iconic ballparks in the country. That would be an amazing location!

by izenmania on 4/3/2008 @ 4:57pm
heck from the drawing it looks like it would be rather cheap to build

Yeah, the beauty of that location is that you wouldn't need massive flashy visual appeal built into the park itself, because you've already got probably the best angle on the water and the downtown skyline as your backdrop. The facility itself could be fairly simple.

by Frinklin on 4/3/2008 @ 7:06pm
The most recent AAA Park to open is Coca-Cola Field in Allentown Pennsyvania, home of the wonderfully named Lehigh Valley IronPigs, cost about 50 million to build, and it's pretty nice.

Whole mess of photos here and it certainly puts Cheney to shame.

by beerandhotdogs on 4/3/2008 @ 8:03pm
Whats with all these ballparks with no outfield seating? Sitting behind home plate is frikkin' snoozeville. Sitting along the baselines is so played out and high school ballpark-esque. Cheap seats in the foul zones are only good for high-speed whizzers and watching people dive for their lives. Outfield cheap seats, people! Maybe we could have kept Adam Jones if people knew what he looked like. Outfield seats are the best. You can see everything, albeit at smaller scale. Catching a homer is pretty much priceless...something that is impossible at Cheney unless you're gonna forego the game watching and shag balls in the parking lot. Maybe rebuild a rendition of cheapskate hill in the outfield.


by Frinklin on 4/3/2008 @ 8:13pm
One of the current trends in minor league ballparks is a concourse that runs around the entire playing surface, with both picnic areas and concession stands. Considering the size of David's idea and the waterfront location, I might forgo the concourse and do a Green Monster-style wall with a few choice seats atop that.

by fredo on 4/3/2008 @ 10:27pm
The hookers on Puyallup Avenue would probably appreciate the increased traffic.

by Twisty on 5/22/2008 @ 9:39am
And speaking of traffic...

I don't disagree that this is an intriguing idea. But the whole thing falls apart as soon as a capacity crowd all tries to get home at the same time on the D St. overpass.

Oh wait, they'll all be riding the streetcar, right?

by KevinFreitas on 5/22/2008 @ 10:07am
I envision parking to be at the T-Dome lots (with spots for the disabled at the stadium) with shuttles getting people to and from the game. That asphalt landscape isn't used 24-7 and could easily help ease any large events like games downtown.

Or, maybe there could be a short streetcar line connecting the two in case the stigma of shuttles is a show stopper.

by isaacada1 on 6/8/2008 @ 9:59am
Norfolk Virginia has a triple A ballpark on the waterfront.

I love the idea of a downtown ballpark. Especially all the foot traffic it would bring in for the summer around the Thea Foss.

The thing though I would like to see happen is to place the stadium next to the Murray Morgan bridge. If the bridge is renovated, people could go to the stadiums two ways, Walk across the bridge to the stadium, or take the trolley from the dome district. :D

by isaacada1 on 8/19/2008 @ 5:34pm
Look at what's going on in Tampa Bay with their downtown ballpark.