I had my first Cheney Stadium walk-through on Friday afternoon, and I snapped a bunch of photos.
Our group got to see the inside of the new club and suite levels, including the Summit Club, and also the new main concession stand. We did not get to see the new Rainiers clubhouse, where serious work was underway.
As always, you can expand the photos by clicking on them.
We entered the stadium on the third base side, near where the old administrative office used to be.
Player's entrance to new home clubhouse
Their used to be an incline in the concourse as you walked around the outside of the park. That area has been excavated and will be flat now – resulting in part of the concourse being below parking lot level.
Looking towards parking lot, third base side. The worker is coming out of the side door of a new concession stand.
Here’s the new third base concourse, walking towards home plate.
On the right is the same concession stand in the previous photo.
Here’s something we can all enjoy: new bathrooms.
Potty humor CENSORED!
We walked up one of the four stairways to the second level – which is located a few feet up from the top row of seats. Here is a good look from that level, down towards the home plate and first base seats. You can see that they are starting to build the new field level Dugout Club seats, and also the new, much longer dugouts are being constructed.
About five feet of foul territory will be replaced by the new seats, bringing fans even closer to the plate.
The Rainiers are now in the third base dugout.
In the distance you can see the hill that will become the grass berm.
The second level will include a couple of suites, including the Owner’s Box. The second level also houses the Press Box, three broadcasting booths (Home Radio, Visiting Radio, and TV), and our in-game command center (scoreboard operators, video room, P.A. announcer, etc).
View from my radio booth
Directly behind home plate on the second level, there is an open landing right above the top row of seats. I believe (but I’m not certain) that it’s going to be a standing-room area anyone can access. This little shelf needs a name.
Right behind the dish
On the first base side of the second floor will be the team offices. One or two lucky ones will have a view of the field, while most will have a view of
the parking lot Mount Rainier.
We went upstairs to the third level. That’s where the majority of the 16 suites are located, plus the new Summit Club. The Summit Club looks really impressive:
Formerly called the Gold Club and located in a tent, the new Summit Club is going to be awesome.
Check out the wooden roof. The design team is really proud of this, with the wood roof acting as a nod to Ben Cheney and the Pacific Northwest’s timber industry.
I think it looks cool.
The third floor suites, along with the Summit Club, will have a row or two of outdoor seating.
From seats in front of Summit Club, looking towards third base side
From Summit Club towards first base side.
From Summit Club towards the plate. It's very similar to the view from my old booth on the roof.
So you get your Summit Club tickets, and it just happens to be the day the Rainiers get trounced 9-0. Yikes! Oh, well – they also have windows looking out back, towards Mount Rainier.
Windows on both sides will give the Summit Club a very bright, open feel.
Here’s a good shot of the work being done on the Rainiers third base dugout. You can see plastic wrap over the tunnel that will lead into the new home clubhouse, located underneath the seats.
Note that the popular party decks are staying.
The Ben Cheney statue is in the wooden box.
Do not open until April 15.
We walked back downstairs to the outside of the stadium. There will be a main entrance unlike anything the stadium has ever had before. Here is a look from out front, straight up at the roof.
Elevators will be located at the main entrance.
We couldn’t walk into the main entrance because cranes were lifting gigantic, heavy things overhead. Instead, we went somewhere safer: the new main concessions stand, which is now on the first base side behind the seating bowl. There will be many, many more points-of-sale which will cut down on the long lines. Also, there will be smaller stands throughout the park, including portable units.
Is that a pile of peanut shells on the ground? Already?
Here is an example of Cheney’s new A.D.A.-compliant ramps. There are elevators to the upper levels, ramps into the lower seating bowl, and on the first-base side a zig-zag ramp for wheelchair users who prefer more of a Formula One approach.
This side of the stadium used to be wheelchair inaccessible.
Here is a pretty photo of a massive mud pit that will become a grassy lawn behind the first base berm. In the background is the old batting cage, which is going to be transformed into a barbecue area for group outings. The new batting cage will be underneath the seats near the Rainiers clubhouse.
Does anything make men between the ages of 1 and 100 happier than bulldozers in mud?
The first base side outdoor stairway looks stark.
I presume they will add handrails.
Do those light standards look a little funky? Let’s take a closer look:
No light bulbs!
They are replacing the lights in all of the towers. The towers are still the original light standards that were shipped up from San Francisco’s Seals Stadium in 1960, but the actual light outlets are going to be modernized, and brought up to current Triple-A Baseball standards. This will make the entire field brighter – which is good for the players and the fans.
That’s everything I got to see on Friday. I still have not seen the home clubhouse area, or the inside of the main entrance, and I haven’t been able to walk through the seating areas. I expect to be doing a couple more of these photo-blogs as progress is made in these areas.
Special thanks to Mortenson Construction for showing us around.
Looking for more Cheney Stadium photos? Check this gallery on the Rainiers official site.
Meanwhile, down in Portland… Ugh. It causes a violent reaction when I look at it. You have been forewarned.