Populous Chosen to Design Minor League Ballpark in El Paso
December 13, 2012
Populous has been selected to design a new, $50 million minor league ballpark in El Paso, Texas. The ballpark will become the home of the Pacific Coast League’s Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, currently playing in Tucson. The purchase of the Tucson Padres by MountainStar Sports Group, an El Paso-based ownership group made up of two prominent El Paso families, was finalized in November as part of an agreement with the City of El Paso to build the ballpark.
“We are delighted to be a part of the exciting times ahead for El Paso as this ballpark becomes an integral part of City’s new urban master plan. Our selection brings the city of El Paso one step closer to completing a major component of their downtown revitalization efforts,” said David Bower, Principal at Populous. “Our goal will be to capture the energy, culture and sense of community that is unique to El Paso in the stadium design.”
Alan Ledford, President of MountainStar Sports Group, said that Populous was the selection of choice by both the City of El Paso and MountainStar. “As part of our agreement with the City, we had an equal say in the selection process and it was a logical choice for both parties,” said Ledford. “We are excited to be working with the Populous team. It was apparent from the outset that they understand the unique characteristics of El Pas, and can design a ballpark that will be the preeminent facility in the downtown area.” Ledford also said that the Triple-A ballpark and team will be a signature community asset. “This ballpark will belong to El Pasoans and we want it to reflect the tremendous community pride that the city has about this project.”
The facility will include a seating capacity of close to 8,500, with 20 luxury suites and between 250 and 300 club seats and a total capacity including standing room of 10,000. The design will also include office space, areas for weight training, therapy, fitness, and retail. The Populous design will also feature “neighborhood” spaces, which will be areas for gathering and hospitality. These spaces include berm seating, a kids’ play area, closed and open group meeting spaces and a water feature. The open air park, located in downtown El Paso where the current city hall stands, also will host concerts and community events throughout the year.
“We’re pleased to be working with Populous and we are confident that the firm is the ideal choice to develop our ballpark,” said City Engineer Alan Shubert. “With their expertise in minor- and major league ballpark design, we anticipate a facility that El Paso will be proud of and a quality home for the city’s new minor league team.”
The initial design phase has already begun, with construction expected to begin in March of 2013. Completion is set for April 2014, in time for the first pitch of the season.
With offices around the globe, Populous is a design and architecture firm that specializes in ballparks, arenas, stadiums and convention centers. The firm has designed 48 minor league ballparks, including the 2012 Ballpark of the Year, Blue Wahoos Park, in addition to Coca-Cola Park, ONEOK Field, and Cheney Stadium.
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