Grand Junction Baseball Inc. makes first payment on stadium upgrade
The first payment has been made.
Grand Junction Baseball Inc., the non-profit organization that runs the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series, made its first official payment of $300,000 to the City of Grand Junction on Tuesday night at Two Rivers Convention Center. The payment goes toward the $8.3 million Lincoln Park stadium project.
“I’m kind of hoping I’m here 24 years from now and the final check clears,” JUCO Chairman Jamie Hamilton said. “It’s great what it means for the whole community.”
In addition to Grand Junction Baseball Inc.‘s payment, the El Pomar Foundation has contributed $50,000 to the project. Donation requests have been submitted to the Boettcher Foundation and Gates Family Foundation.
The Grand Junction Rockies ownership group, led by Colorado Rockies owners Dick and Charlie Monfort, have indicated they will contribute “a significant amount” toward the stadium project, Hamilton said. The Rockies and the City of Grand Junction recently agreed to a lease agreement for the Colorado Rockies rookie league club to share the Suplizio Field facility with the JUCO World Series.
“(Grand Junction Rockies co-owners) Ray Baker and Michael Baker understand nonprofit,” Hamilton said. “We were able to get a 15-year monetary commitment from the (Rockies) ownership toward the stadium project.”
National Junior College Athletic Association Executive Director Mary Ellen Leicht was at the meeting and is confident the JUCO World Series will continue to be well-marketed and succeed with the addition of the Rockies.
“If we didn’t think the JUCO Committee and the City of Grand Junction didn’t have our backs, we would be concerned, but we’re not,” Leicht said. “We know we have people here that look out for us. I’m confident the World Series will continue to grow with the leadership we have on this committee. I feel and hope the addition of a minor league baseball team will only enhance the overall baseball experience here in Grand Junction.”
The stadium upgrade will include individual seat backs underneath the press box on the first-base side and ushers will monitor those seats.
“JUCO is the reason we have the stadium,” Grand Junction Mayor Tom Kenyon said. “It’s the reason we have a baseball history and the reason we are a baseball community.”
The plan is to add individual seat backs around home plate down the third-base line behind the dugout.
Hamilton has met with Grand Junction Rockies Executive Director Tim Ray and discussed advertising and marketing plans.
“I’ve already had conversations with Tim (Ray) about setting up a ticket booth where you can buy Rockies tickets and JUCO tickets,” Hamilton said. “He’s been very accommodating.”
Tickets for the JUCO World Series will be available online in the spring as well.