Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 | 2:23 p.m.
A steel beam signed by various dignitaries placed atop the north wall of the planned $150 million, 10,000-fan capacity Las Vegas Ballpark today cemented the progress that’s occurred on the site since the groundbreaking ceremony eight months ago.
But with 180 days until the stadium’s tenant, the former Las Vegas 51s, play their first game April 9 against the Sacramento River Cats, a lot of work still has to be done.
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.”
With mesh seating, an outfield pool, a group party deck, kids zone and other elements, the stadium will be the envy of the other minor league franchises, Logan said.
Aside from amenities fans will partake in, Logan is proud of the video board going up at the stadium. Standing 30 feet tall and 130 feet long, he said, it will rival that of most major league stadiums.
“It’s going to be the finest scoreboard in minor league baseball — I think the 20th largest board in all of baseball,” he said.
The stadium is the brainchild of former Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority Chief Executive Officer Rossi Ralenkotter, who said he’s excited to see the finished product.
“It was a moving moment seeing that final girder put into place,” Ralenkotter said, sitting just in front of home plate at the stadium. “It was a vision fulfilled, as we’ve been talking about a new ballpark for 10 to 12 years.”
Steve Hill, current CEO of the LVCVA, which has the naming rights for the stadium, said he’s honored to take over the project on the authority’s side.
“Rossi did the hard work, but I get the benefit of being a part of opening this park,” Hill said. “Rossi was part of bringing minor league baseball here in the ’80s and played a big role in bringing this park here. I want to honor the work he’s done.”
The Triple-A franchise will begin the 2019 season with not only a new stadium but a new Major League Baseball affiliation — the Oakland A’s — and a new, yet-to-be-announced team name. Logan looks at it as kind of a rebirth of the franchise.
“It affords you an opportunity to relaunch the brand,” he said. “Like it or not, the 51s were never really completely accepted by the market. That’s something we took a long look at. Having an affiliation with a West Coast team, we haven’t had that in 10 years.”
“A lot of good things are happening and when the community gets out here to look at it, it’s going to be great,” he said.