The opening of brand new Husky Ballpark is less than a week away. Here is the last update in a series of reports on the construction of the ballpark.
After months of construction and preparation, Husky Baseball is a week away from moving into its new ballpark. While they have been practicing in the facility for months now, next week they will have free reign of the facility.
For the players, coaches and administration the last couple of weeks have been repeatedly like the day before Christmas. The anticipation and excitement has been excruciating. They have had to stare at the presents under the tree for months and come March 21 they will finally get to open their presents. And boy, will it be worth the wait.
From a construction standpoint, the facility looks like it is ready to go. In the last week workers have installed the backstop netting that runs from batter’s box to batter’s box. It looks like if they needed to, the team could play games tomorrow. The dugouts are still missing the benches, but everyone would be too excited to sit down anyways if they had to play today.
The final couple of sections of the benches behind the visitor’s dugout along the third base line have been installed. It marks the last sections of seating that needed to be finished. The only seating area not completed so far is the berm that is down the left-field line. It still remains a dirt mound at this point.
On Wednesday, workers were busy patching the outfield wall. The next, and final step, is to install graphics on the fence that will span foul line to foul line. I can promise you, it will be one of the most impressive things that will catch fan’s eyes while sitting in their seats.
The player development building is almost 100-percent completed. Workers were busily installing the graphics on the walls and hanging the last of the nets up. The walls in the building are plastered with graphics that pay homage to the record holders in Husky Baseball history and serve as motivation for current players as they train. There are several photos included in this week’s gallery that show the new-hung graphics.
Attached to the player development building is the home bullpen. The mounds are being built up and should be ready for use next week. A unique feature of the bullpen area is that it is covered and heated, which has players, like sophomore catcher Parker Guinn, excited to take advantage of.
“It’s very important to have a covered bullpen, especially if you’re in Seattle where you get a fair amount of precipitation,” the sophomore from Gig Harbor, Wash. said.
“During the games if it was raining the pitchers used to be soaked before they even got out there on the field. The covered pens will give them a chance to be comfortable while warming up before they have to get out there and bare the elements. It will be a nice change for us.”
Outside the ballpark, things are taking shape nicely. Almost all of the landscaping has been planted, most of the final touches of concrete pouring has happened and signage has been installed.
Two of the most noticeable signage updates will greet fans as they enter the ballpark. Above the main gate in purple lettering with gold borders is “Husky Ballpark.” Just beyond the entrance is a purple wall rising from a concrete slab that pays homage to Husky Baseball and the location on which UW will play their games from here on out. The monument reads: “A diamond is hardened perfection formed by the pressure of the earth. It is fitting that baseball is played on this diamond, for out of its pressure, our heroes are created. On the banks of Lake Washington, a jewel amongst all settings, our Huskies will prevail. Welcome to the diamond on Montlake.”
The paint and concrete are drying. Finishing touches are being made throughout the concourse and on the field. Concessions, the scoreboard and even the restrooms are being tested. It’s hard to believe that in a mere week, the word “Play ball!” will be echoing from the umpire.
Thank you to all the workers and donors that have made this endeavor possible. You have helped build a home for Husky Baseball that the program will enjoy this season and for generations to come.
If you haven’t done so yet, order your tickets for opening day and beyond. It should be an amazing week and celebration of Husky heritage.