FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno Sports and Events, the ownership group of the Fresno Grizzlies effective February 2018, are following through on their promise to make major capital improvements to Chukchansi Park. As was confirmed in the group's introductory press conference, construction on a new hospitality area in the left field portion of the stadium will begin the final week of May.
The left field project will immediately make Chukchansi Park a more modern facility similar to other Triple-A ballparks and high-level minor league stadia. Fans will have the opportunity to be more social during Grizzlies games, and the multi-tiered area, complete with bar, food options and six 65-inch high-def TVs to watch the action, is NOT an exclusive area, it will be open to any fan with a ticket, anywhere in the ballpark.
"The days of fans sitting in one seat for a two-and-a-half or three-hour baseball game are long over," said Fresno Grizzlies President Derek Franks. "What we're creating here is a gathering place for anyone in the ballpark to get a unique vantage point of the game, and the ability to meet up and be social with friends and acquaintances without missing any action. Chukchansi Park has always had great potential for an upgrade like this, so we're thrilled we have a new ownership group stepping up to the plate to make it happen."
By the Grizzlies' June 5-11 homestand and beyond, fans will notice the individual seats removed from the last several sections down the third base/left field line, and construction continuing in earnest throughout the summer. Zumwalt Construction, a Fresno-based general contractor will complete the project, following a competitive bidding process among only local construction companies.
In addition to improving the social experience of Grizzlies games, the area will also be used for non-game day community/non-profit gatherings and hospitality events. The goal is for the project to be completed by late-August, in time for use during the Grizzlies' final regular-season home games, and potential postseason games in September.
"The last thing we wanted to do is wait until the offseason to begin construction - we're serious about showing fans right away the level of improvements we want to make to Chukchansi Park," remarked managing general partner Michael Baker. "We have facility in great shape here in Downtown Fresno, and this left field social club project will help put it in the upper-echelon of Triple-A ballparks. It's an exciting start, and we can't wait to have the space available for the duration of the 2019 season."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.