One of the primary projects will be to replace the fixed, “bucket” seats along the first and third base line with brand new, fold-down stadium seats that are similar to those found at many professional ballparks across the country, including Safeco Field in Seattle. These 64 new “Dugout” seats (32 along each baseline) will provide fans seated in these areas with a more spacious and comfortable chair from which they can view all of the action.
Two new group areas will be added at the ballpark that will enable fans to congregate with family, friends and colleagues as they take in the ballgame. The “On-Deck Patio” will be located along the third base foul line just behind the new Dugout seats that are positioned near the visitor’s on-deck circle. The deck will sit approximately 15” off the ground and the railing that goes around its perimeter will have a narrow shelf where spectators can place their food and drinks.
The “Backyard Bullpen” will be situated just off of the left field foul line directly in front of the visitor’s bullpen. This area (formerly part of the bullpen) will provide fans a one-of-a-kind, “up close and personal” vantage point. Picnic tables will be placed in this area for fans to use as they dine and watch the ballgame.
“We are thrilled to be able to incorporate these new seating areas at Joe Martin Field,” said Bells general manager Blake Buswell. “We have planned these additions in order to enhance the fan experience for all events held at this great baseball venue.”
The Bells front office staff and team owner have worked very closely with the City of Bellingham in designing these stadium improvements. “We greatly appreciate all of the guidance and support that has been extended to us by Leslie Bryson and Greg Hatch,” said Bells’ team owner Eddie Poplawski. “Moreover, we thank Dave McDonald and the entire field maintenance crew for all of their effort and dedication as they work to maintain the field on a daily basis.”
Construction should be completed by mid-May, two weeks before the start of the 2011 campaign.
The Bells open their season on Friday, June 3rd at Joe Martin Field against the Kelowna Falcons. For information regarding tickets, group packages and/or sponsorships, please contact the Bellingham Bells offices at (360) 527-1035 or via email at [email protected]