Monday, June 18, 2007

Nat Bailey Makeover

After the triple-A Canadians left town, replaced by the single-A Canadians, catching a game at Nat Bailey Stadium was less appealing. After a few seasons of absence I went to a couple of games last season and found myself enjoying it. This season's season opener is Tuesday June 19th, and this week's Georgia Straight has an article about work that was done on the prettiest little ballpark in North America over the off-season.

Here are highlights...
  • The outside of the stadium has been painted and now includes 18 large panels of baseball art. The exterior also includes retro 1950s-style printing, giving it a nostalgic baseball feel.
  • The outfield fence has been painted and moved forward about four metres in hopes of producing a few more home runs.
  • The original scoreboard has been removed and replaced by a replica that is now embedded in the outfield fence and still requires someone to manually hang the scores inning by inning.
  • All chainlink fencing has been removed down the first and third base lines, bringing people much closer to the action. "We still have some netting behind home plate, but the fans that are down the first and third base lines are going to feel like they're on the field," [new owner Jake] Kerr says. "The good news is spectators are going to feel like they're on the field; the bad news is they're going to have to be wide-awake and have their gloves with them because they're going to be much more in the action than they ever have been before."
  • The food-service areas have been given a complete face-lift and the paying customers will get far more bang for their buck this year. "We're not raising prices, but we are improving quality, and we're certainly in some cases improving quantity," Kerr explains. "Last year's 16-ounce beer will be 20 ounces for the same price. And the hot dogs and the bratwursts will be a heck of a lot better, we think."

Click here for the full article.


mattias said...

speaking of baseball nostalgia, you and I need to catch a game this year. perhaps we can bring some golf balls and launch them into the air, running for cover. for old times sake.

these improvements seem great.

jblueafterglow said...

sure! but it has to be in the dark.

i saw some of the improvements on the news a day or two ago and i can't wait to see them, and taste them, in person.