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Valley Public Radio Staff
Business & Economy
Fri November 2, 2012
Bakersfield Blaze Announce Plans for New Ballpark
The Bakersfield Blaze minor league baseball team announced today that it will construct a new 3,500 seat stadium at Coffee and Brimhall Roads.
Team officials say construction on the facility will begin in the first quarter of 2013, and the stadium is expected to open in 2014.
Since 1941, Bakersfield's professional baseball teams have called historic Sam Lynn Ballpark home. 2013 will be the team's final season at the venerable facility. The lack of a modern stadium has been a concern to team owners for over a decade, and previous attempts to assemble a plan for a new publicly financed stadium failed.
The new stadium will be located in the Bakersfield Commons project, a planned 255-acre mixed use development. Construction on the retail portion of the site is expected to begin in 2014. Team owners Gene Voiland and Chad Hathaway did not disclose the estimated cost of the new, privately owned facility.
Voiland, the former president and CEO of Aera Energy, and fellow oil executive Chad Hathaway purchased the team in March 2012 from Indiana based owner Dave Elmore.
In addition to hosting home games for the Blaze, the new stadium will also be designed to accommodate concerts, college baseball and softball.
The team is a Single-A affiliate of the Cincinatti Reds, and a member of the California League.