Avista Stadium

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Avista Stadium
Avista Stadium logo.jpg
Former names Seafirst Stadium
(1994–1999)[1][2]
Fairgrounds Park
(1958–1993)
(a.k.a. Indians Stadium)[1]
Location 602 N. Havana St.
Spokane, Washington
Coordinates 47°39′43″N 117°20′42″W / 47.662°N 117.345°W / 47.662; -117.345Coordinates: 47°39′43″N 117°20′42″W / 47.662°N 117.345°W / 47.662; -117.345
Owner Spokane County
Operator Spokane County
Capacity 6,803[3]
Field size Left Field - 335 ft (102 m)
Center Field - 398 ft (121 m)
Right Field - 335 ft (102 m)
Backstop - N/A
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground January 9, 1958[3][4]
Opened April 29, 1958[6][7]
Renovated 1990s, 1979
Construction cost $550,000
($4.5 million in 2014 dollars[5])
Architect Culler, Gale, Martell & Norrie[3]
Tenants
Spokane Indians (NWL) (1983-present)
Spokane Indians (PCL) (1973-1982)
Spokane Indians (NWL) (1972)
Spokane Indians (PCL) (1958–1971)
Spokane Riverhawks (WCCBL/WCL) (2005-2009)
Gonzaga Bulldogs (NCAA DI WCC) (2004–2006)
Hockey
Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
(2011 Rockstar Outdoor Hockey Classic)

Avista Stadium is an outdoor athletic venue in Spokane, Washington. It is the home ballpark of the Spokane Indians minor league baseball team of the Northwest League, a Class A short-season affiliate of the Texas Rangers.[8]

History[edit]

Built in less than four months at the Interstate Fairgrounds, the stadium opened in 1958 and has a seating capacity of 7,162;[9] large for Single A ballpark. The facility was built for AAA in the Pacific Coast League, which it hosted for 24 of its first 25 seasons.[8] The parent club in 1958 was the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had just moved out west from Brooklyn. The Indians were their top affiliate for fourteen seasons, through 1971.

Earlier ballparks[edit]

The preceding minor league ballpark in Spokane was Ferris Field, which was about a mile west, on the west side of Playfair Race Course. Named for city attorney George M. Ferris, its original wooden grandstand was built in 1936.[10] Ferris was a former player and manager for the Indians who secured funding from the WPA to build it.[7] A fire in October 1948 damaged most of the grandstands[11][12] and it was rebuilt in concrete and steel in the spring of 1949.[13] Earlier baseball venues in Spokane were Recreation Park, Natatorium Park, and the original Twickenham Park.[7]

Other uses[edit]

For three seasons beginning in 2004 season, the Gonzaga Bulldogs used the stadium as its home venue while its current venue was being built.[14] In 2011, the Spokane Chiefs hosted the first outdoor game in Western Hockey League history at Avista Stadium on January 15; the home team routed the Kootenay Ice, 11-2.[15]

Stadium Name[edit]

Naming rights were purchased in 1998 (and the stadium renamed after the 1999 season)[2][16] by Avista, the Spokane-based utility founded in 1889 as Washington Water Power Company.[17] The venue's first corporate name was Seafirst Stadium, from 1994 through 1999.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Derrick, Chris (March 22, 1994). "Indians rename ballpark". Spokesman-Review. p. C1. 
  2. ^ a b "Indians seek sponsor for stadium". Spokesman-Review. October 7, 1999. p. C3. 
  3. ^ a b c John Blanchette (June 15, 2008). "Jewel on Havana Street". Spokesman-Review. 
  4. ^ "Workes begin ball park job". Spokane Daily Chronicle. January 9, 1958. p. 35. 
  5. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  6. ^ "Record opener crowd sees Spokane win over Seattle". Spokesman-Review. April 30, 1958. p. 1. 
  7. ^ a b c Price, Jim (June 21, 2003). "Five homes to call their own". Spokesman-Review. p. H12. 
  8. ^ a b History at spokaneindiansbaseball.com, URL accessed October 18, 2009. Archived 10/18/09
  9. ^ Avista Stadium at minorleagueballparks.com, URL accessed October 18, 2009. Archived 10/18/09
  10. ^ "So Spokane ball fans can sit in comfort while diamond stars perform". Spokane Daily Chronicle. June 30, 1936. p. 1. 
  11. ^ "Fire destroys Ferris Field's grandstand, parts of bleachers". Spokesman-Review. October 30, 1948. p. 1. 
  12. ^ "Investigators seek cause of $100,000 Ferris Field fire". Spokane Daily Chronicle. October 30, 1948. p. 1. 
  13. ^ "Ferris Field construction rushed; line-up named". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 8, 1949. p. 15. 
  14. ^ "Patterson Baseball Complex Dedication on Friday". Gonzaga.edu. 18 April 2007. Archived from the original on 2012-08-01. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Chiefs rout Ice in WHL's first-ever outdoor game". Hamilton Spectator. January 16, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Take me out to the ballgame". Spokesman-Review. June 16, 2000. p. 2-Weekend. 
  17. ^ "Avista Legacy Timeline". Retrieved 10 September 2012. 

External links[edit]