Avista Stadium
Former namesSeafirst Stadium
(1994–1999)[6][7]
Fairgrounds Ballpark[8][9]
(1958–1993)
(a.k.a. Indians Stadium)[6]
Location602 North Havana Street
Spokane Valley, Washington, US
Coordinates47°39′43″N 117°20′42″W / 47.662°N 117.345°W / 47.662; -117.345Coordinates: 47°39′43″N 117°20′42″W / 47.662°N 117.345°W / 47.662; -117.345
OwnerSpokane County
OperatorSpokane County
Capacity6,803[1]
Field sizeLeft Field: 335 ft (102 m)
Center Field: 398 ft (121 m)
Right Field: 296 ft (90 m)
SurfaceNatural grass
Construction
Broke groundJanuary 9, 1958[1][2]
OpenedApril 29, 1958[3][4]
Renovated1979, 1990s, 2007, 2008, 2013
Construction cost$550,000
($4.93 million in 2020[5])
ArchitectCuller, Gale, Martell, & Norrie[1]
Tenants
Spokane Indians (PCL/NWL/High-A West) 1958–present
Spokane RiverHawks (WCCBL/PIL/WCL) 2005–2009
Gonzaga Bulldogs (NCAA) 2004–2006

Avista Stadium is a baseball park in the northwest United States, located in Spokane Valley, Washington. It is the home ballpark of the Spokane Indians, a minor league baseball team in the High-A West.[10]

History

Built in less than four months at the Interstate Fairgrounds, the stadium opened 63 years ago in 1958 and has a seating capacity of 6,803[11]large for Class A ballpark. The facility was built for Triple-A in the Pacific Coast League, which it hosted for 24 of its first 25 seasons.[10] The parent club in 1958 was the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had just moved out west from Brooklyn and moved their PCL affiliate, the Los Angeles Angels, north to Spokane. They stayed for fourteen seasons, through 1971, then departed to New Mexico and became the Albuquerque Dukes.

After one year in the short-season Northwest League as a Dodger affiliate, the Triple-A PCL returned in 1973, from Portland, as the Texas Rangers' top affiliate. The Milwaukee Brewers became the Indians' parent club in 1976, the Seattle Mariners in 1979, and the California Angels in 1982. The Indians left for Las Vegas after the 1982 season and the NWL returned in 1983 and has remained for over three decades.

Earlier ballparks

The preceding minor league ballpark in Spokane was Ferris Field, which was about a mile (1½ km) west, on the west side of Playfair Race Course. Named for city attorney George M. Ferris, its original wooden grandstand was built in 1936.[12] Ferris was a former player and manager for the Indians who secured funding from the Works Progress Administration to build it.[4] A fire in October 1948 damaged most of the grandstands,[13][14] and it was rebuilt using concrete and steel in the spring of 1949.[15]

Earlier baseball venues in Spokane were Recreation Park (47°40′05″N 117°22′05″W / 47.668°N 117.368°W / 47.668; -117.368), Natatorium Park (47°40′23″N 117°27′32″W / 47.673°N 117.459°W / 47.673; -117.459), and the original Twickenham Park.[4][16]

In 1954, four-year-old Memorial Stadium (now Joe Albi Stadium) was considered as a potential minor league baseball venue.[17]

Other uses

For three seasons beginning in 2004, the Gonzaga Bulldogs used the stadium as its home venue while its current venue was being built.[18] Their former ballpark was displaced by the new McCarthey Athletic Center.

In 2011, the Spokane Chiefs hosted the first outdoor game in Western Hockey League history at Avista Stadium on January 15; the home team routed the Kootenay Ice 11–2.[19]

Stadium name

Naming rights were purchased in 1998 (and the stadium renamed after the 1999 season)[7][20] by Avista, the Spokane-based utility founded in 1889 as Washington Water Power Company.[21] The venue's first corporate name was Seafirst Stadium, from 1994 through 1999.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b c John Blanchette (June 15, 2008). "Jewel on Havana Street". Spokesman-Review.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Workers begin ball park job". Spokane Daily Chronicle. January 9, 1958. p. 35.
  3. ^ "Record opener crowd sees Spokane win over Seattle". Spokesman-Review. April 30, 1958. p. 1.
  4. ^ a b c Price, Jim (June 21, 2003). "Five homes to call their own". Spokesman-Review. p. H12.
  5. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Derrick, Chris (March 22, 1994). "Indians rename ballpark". Spokesman-Review. p. C1.
  7. ^ a b "Indians seek sponsor for stadium". Spokesman-Review. October 7, 1999. p. C3.
  8. ^ Missildine, Harry (March 15, 1979). "Baseball pride returns to Spokane". Spokesman-Review. p. 9.
  9. ^ Missildine, Harry (April 18, 1979). "Indians' 'spruced-up' stadium will play to audience". Spokesman-Review. p. C1.
  10. ^ a b History at spokaneindiansbaseball.com, URL accessed March 7, 2021. Archived 10/18/09
  11. ^ Avista Stadium at minorleagueballparks.com, URL accessed October 18, 2009. Archived 10/18/09
  12. ^ "So Spokane ball fans can sit in comfort while diamond stars perform". Spokane Daily Chronicle. June 30, 1936. p. 1.
  13. ^ "Fire destroys Ferris Field's grandstand, parts of bleachers". Spokesman-Review. October 30, 1948. p. 1.
  14. ^ "Investigators seek cause of $100,000 Ferris Field fire". Spokane Daily Chronicle. October 30, 1948. p. 1.
  15. ^ "Ferris Field construction rushed; line-up named". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 8, 1949. p. 15.
  16. ^ Price, Jim (June 21, 2003). "Indians stadiums of the past". Minor League Baseball. (Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington). Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  17. ^ "Memorial Stadium may be used for pro baseball". Spokane Daily Chronicle. June 15, 1954. p. 19.
  18. ^ "Patterson Baseball Complex Dedication on Friday". Gonzaga.edu. 18 April 2007. Archived from the original on 2012-08-01. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Chiefs rout Ice in WHL's first-ever outdoor game". Hamilton Spectator. January 16, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  20. ^ "Take me out to the ballgame". Spokesman-Review. June 16, 2000. p. 2-Weekend.
  21. ^ "Avista Legacy Timeline". Retrieved 10 September 2012.