Chronological Tour: Stop 279

Tucson Electric Park

Exterior of Tucson Electric Park, Aug-2004.

A look in from down the right-field line after sundown.

The view from behind the plate, as the sun has set behind the third-base stands.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
During Labor Day weekend in 1998, I headed to Arizona to pick off two parks, the new Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix and this one.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the ballgame. It started raining. This was one of those fluke thunderstorms you get in the Arizona desert every so often, and it was intense enough to rain out the game. I returned in 2004.

The park is one of the larger ones to feature only one deck in the seating bowl; the entire second level is taken up by luxury suites and the press box. There are canopies of sorts under which one can stand when a rainstorm hits; I recall standing under one in 2004 and talking to the younger brother of future Major Leaguer Brian Bannister during a quick shower. Essentially, though, the park has an open-air concourse. The stands extend all the way down the foul lines to the walls, and they do hook around as you get near the foul poles.

The Tucson Sidewinders were purchased in late 2007 by an investment group that moved the team to Reno, Nevada, for the 2009 season. Ground broke in February 2008 for a new Triple-A park in Reno, along the Truckee River, and regular-season play here ended at the conclusion of the 2008 campaign. After the 2010 season, the City of Portland exiled its Beavers in order to make PGE Park a soccer-only facility. The franchise was relocated to Tucson for three seasons; the original plan was to move the team to Escondido, Calif., but now the club has relocated to a new downtown park in El Paso, Texas, for 2014.

Separately, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who had done their spring training here since their inception, moved closer to home in 2011, to a new facility they share with the Colorado Rockies just outside Scottsdale.

Game # Date League Level Result
692 Mon 9-Aug-2004 Pacific Coast AAA TUCSON 5, Memphis 4
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