Chronological Tour: Stop 354

The Replacement for Cobb Field

Entrance plaza at Dehler Park, Aug-2010.

Looking in from down the left-field line, on the new wraparound concourse. To the right is the 329 Club, named for the distance to left field.

Mustangs fans still have the Rim Rocks as a backdrop here.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
By 2007, Cobb Field, which had hosted the Billings Mustangs as well as two American Legion Baseball teams since 1948, was so far behind the times that it needed to be replaced. While watching a game there as a fan was still a pleasant experience, the infrastructure was dilapidated. One fan said the only thing holding the stadium together was the new coat of green paint they applied each season.

It took a while, and the resulting money was a bit short, but the voters in Billings finally approved a bond issue to build a new ballpark in time for the 2008 season.

I spoke to Mustangs general manager Gary Roller during a 2010 visit to Dehler Park (the name belongs to a local businessman who donated a million dollars to the project). Roller pointed out some of the differences. While the playing surface at Cobb Field was at street level, the Dehler Park playing surface is sunk by eight feet. Home plate at the new park is about 80 feet closer to the intersection, and the field was also shifted about 10 degrees to the east, making those third-to-first throws late in the afternoon a bit less hazardous than they used to be (and than they still are in Yakima).

The thing I liked least about the park, and it is a complaint Roller said he heard numerous times during the first year, is the fact that there are no high-level seats. The place for a fan to gain a good perspective on the whole field simply does not exist, as the deepest seat is only eleven rows back and at street level. Numerous changes were made to the plans as the organizers realized that the money simply would not be available to build what they had originally considered.

The good news is that the park is still basically in the same place, so the views of the landmark Rim Rocks overlooking Billings are still intact. All in all, this is still a decent place to watch a game.

Game # Date League Level Result
1087 Fri 27-Aug-2010 Pioneer R BILLINGS 1, Orem 0
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This page updated 27-Aug-2010