Washington, which had played at Graves Field since the 1960s, will open the 1998 season at the new Husky Ballpark. Graves has been torn down and during the off-season, the new field has been built.
For this season, the Huskies will play at the new park with temporary bleachers. Even without the stadium completed, the new Husky Ballpark is a major step up for the program. Here's a rundown of what has already been completed for the 1998 season.
The Warning Track
At a cost of more than $6 million dollars, the Husky Ballpark will be one of the finest baseball facilities in the nation. Plans call for the stadium to seat over 3,500 fans. There will be 1,608 theater-style seats, including 470 oversized seats with additional leg room. The remaining seating capacity will be bench seats along both lines.
The inner concourse level will be equipped with concession stands and rest rooms at both ends of the main stadium area. The outer main entry level will be equipped with concessions, rest rooms and a novelty shop for UW Baseball Wear. The Husky locker room, located behind the first-base dugout, is 40 feet wide by 65 feet long, while the visiting locker room is 30 by 46.
The ballpark will have an elevator leading to the enclosed press box and coaches offices, located above the grandstand level. Permanent lights will allow the Huskies to play night games on a regular basis and to bid to host future NCAA Regional tournaments.
The athletic department will be contributing more than $1.5 million to the project. The remaining $4.5 million portion of the project is being funded by the newly created UW Baseball Foundation. Numerous naming rights opportunities are available for those donors wishing to donate a piece of Husky Ballpark and creat a legacy.
Giving levels of all ranges are available and donors making gifts of $5,000 or more will be publically acknowledged at specific locations throughout the park.
The stadium will also be widely available for community use during the Huskies' off-season.
For the 1998 season, the Huskies will play on the new field with stadium construction in the future, but upon its completion, the new Husky Ballpark will rival any college stadium in the nation, thanks to both the fan and player accomodations.