Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium

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Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium
Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium Seating.jpg
Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium during a Spring Training game, March 2013
Former names Tucson Electric Park (1998–2010)
Coordinates 32°10′36.03″N 110°56′0.12″W / 32.1766750°N 110.9333667°W / 32.1766750; -110.9333667
Owner Pima County
Operator Pima County Stadium District
Capacity 11,500 (8,000 metal seats, lawn seating for 3,000, 500 standing areas)
Field size Right/Left Field – 340 ft (103.6 m)
Center Field – 405 ft (123.4 m)
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground February 14, 1997
Opened February 27, 1998[7]
Construction cost $38 million[1]
($55 million in 2014 dollars[2])
Architect HOK Sport[3]
Structural engineer HMW Consulting Structural Engineers Inc.[4]
Services engineer M-E Engineers, Inc.[5]
General contractor Conelly Swinerton[6]
Tenants
Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB spring training) (1998–2010)
Chicago White Sox (MLB spring training) (1998–2008)
Tucson Sidewinders (PCL) (1998–2008)
Pima CC Aztecs Football (2010–present)
Tucson Padres (PCL) (2011–2013)
FC Tucson (PDL) (2012–present)
University of Arizona Club Baseball (National Club Baseball Association) (2011)
Casino del Sol College All-Star Game (2012)
Website
www.kinosportscomplex.com

Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium is a baseball stadium in Tucson, Arizona. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox formerly utilized the park for Cactus League games each March and had their minor league complexes on-site. It was also home to the Tucson Sidewinders of the Pacific Coast League for the team's last decade in Tucson, running from the stadium's 1998 opening season to the 2008 season. During that time, it was known as Tucson Electric Park or TEP.

The stadium was a temporary home (2011–2013) to the Tucson Padres (formerly the Portland Beavers) of the Pacific Coast League during the team's relocation to El Paso, Texas. It seats 11,500 fans. Concerts are often held at the stadium as well.

History[edit]

Spring training and AAA venue[edit]

Tucson Electric Park opened in 1998. Larger and more modern than central Tucson's Hi Corbett Field, it is situated 4 miles south of Hi Corbett, at the intersection of several major thoroughfares including I-10 and SR-86. TEP opened the same year that the Arizona Diamondbacks began operations in Phoenix, and the Tucson Toros moved from Hi Corbett to TEP, renamed themselves the Tucson Sidewinders, and became the Diamondbacks' AAA affiliate. Furthermore, the Diamondbacks themselves became a tenant of TEP for spring training, sharing the facility with the Chicago White Sox (who moved from their previous spring training facility in Sarasota, Florida). Across town, the Colorado Rockies continued to hold their spring training at Hi Corbett Field.

Departure of MLB spring training[edit]

The Chicago White Sox had an agreement to move to Glendale in a stadium that was completed in the 2009 season. However, the Sox' lease on TEP was to last through 2012. In order to leave TEP early, the Sox proposed a youth baseball academy backed by Major League Baseball surrounding TEP. On November 18, 2008 the Pima County Board of Supervisors agreed to the White Sox's revised offer of $5 million, thus allowing the team to move to Glendale in time for the 2009 season.[8] The Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies, spring training occupant of Tucson's Hi Corbett Field, indicated that they would both need Tucson to have 3 teams in order to continue playing there.[9] Tucson was therefore abandoned as a spring training venue, and all Cactus League games now take place in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The Diamondbacks and Rockies share the new Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, which opened in 2011 near Scottsdale.

Departure of the Sidewinders[edit]

The Tucson Sidewinders also played their last season at TEP in 2008. The team moved to Reno, Nevada, renaming itself the Reno Aces and remaining the AAA affiliate of the Diamondbacks.

At the same time, the Reno Silver Sox of the independent Golden Baseball League, displaced by the arrival of the Aces, relocated to Tucson. Instead of using TEP, however, the new team located itself at the more historic Hi Corbett Field and retook the historic name of the Tucson Toros.

TEP was thus, for a time, without any Major League or minor league baseball tenant.

Name change[edit]

In 2010, after the end of the naming agreement with the local electric utility, Tucson Electric Power, the stadium was renamed after Eusebio Kino, the Jesuit missionary who first explored southern Arizona in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The Pima County Board of Supervisors approved the name change (Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium) on January 18, 2011.

Tucson Padres[edit]

In 2011, the San Diego Padres Triple-A affiliate relocated from Portland, Oregon to Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium and renamed itself the Tucson Padres. They were formerly known as the Portland Beavers. Originally the San Diego Padres organization wanted to arrange for a stadium to be approved and constructed in Escondido, California, however that stadium plan later fell through when California eliminated their redevelopment agencies.[10] Their owner is currently exploring selling the team to an out of state buyer with plans to move the team to El Paso, Texas for the 2014 season.[11]

Pima Community College[edit]

The Pima Community College Aztecs football played its home games at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium for several seasons. The team will move to the Kino Sports Complex North Stadium for its 2014 Fall Football season.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Hi Corbett Field
Home of the
Tucson Sidewinders

1998–2008
Succeeded by
Aces Ballpark
Preceded by
first ballpark
Home of the
Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training

1998–2010
Succeeded by
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Preceded by
Ed Smith Stadium
Home of the
Chicago White Sox Spring Training

1998–2008
Succeeded by
Camelback Ranch
Preceded by
PGE Park
Home of the
Tucson Padres

2011–2013
Succeeded by
New El Paso Ballpark