ASU Baseball inaugurates new ballpark with win
As the ceremonial first pitch of ASU Baseball’s 2015 season left the hands of ASU alum and Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia on Feb. 13, the cheers from the crowd represented the first of many nights the Sun Devils will spend in their new home at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
ASU’s baseball program will call Phoenix Municipal its home for the next 25 years under a new partnership between the university and the City of Phoenix.
"I am pleased the City of Phoenix is part of ASU entering a new era at Phoenix Municipal Stadium with its championship baseball team," Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. "It's a grand slam for everyone."
Back in April 2013, the City of Phoenix and ASU made the announcement that Sun Devil Baseball would leave their on-campus home, Packard Stadium, where they've played for the last 40 years, and begin playing at Phoenix Municipal in the 2015 season.
Phoenix Muni had been the spring training home of the Oakland Athletics, who will this year move to a stadium in Mesa, Arizona.
When the stadium became available, ASU decided to pursue Phoenix Muni as the new home for the Sun Devils, and worked closely with Mayor Stanton and the Phoenix City Council to get the job done.
“The relocation of Sun Devil Baseball to this excellent facility would not have been possible without the support and dedicated effort of Mayor Greg Stanton, as well as the dedication of councilman Sal DiCiccio, in whose district the stadium is located,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow in 2013 when the deal was announced. “Phoenix Municipal Stadium will be an outstanding home ballpark for the ASU baseball team."
ASU Baseball fans are already excited by the team’s new home.
“This field is one of the best I’ve been to regarding college baseball fields,” said ASU sophomore Jason Rosenblum, who attended the opening night game. “It’s very nice, and I think it will only get better as the season goes on.”
In February 2013, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved the 25-year lease agreement that allowed ASU to have priority use of the stadium.
Both the City of Phoenix and ASU will benefit from the deal. The City of Phoenix will get a tenant for the stadium it owns and ASU will get an updated home with almost double the seating capacity of Packard.
Phoenix Muni housed ASU Baseball for 137 home games from 1964-1974. The Oakland A’s used the stadium every March since 1982.
Phoenix Muni is about 2.5 miles from Arizona State’s campus in Tempe, and is within walking distance of the Valley Metro Light Rail.
The Sun Devils inaugurated their new home with a 4-3 victory over Oklahoma State on Feb. 13. ASU sophomore shortstop Colby Woodmansee hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to seal the win.
“Best game I’ve seen in awhile,” Rosenblum said. “I can’t wait to be back here at Muni for more.”
The Sun Devils went on to beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys 5-3 on Saturday, but lost 9-8 on Sunday.
Written by Samantha Pell, ASU News