At long last, the City of Farmington is ready for a return of the Connie Mack World Series. Fans, players and local families hosting participants from around the country will see some significant changes to Ricketts Park, the home of the 2021 Series. You’re watching the Local NEWS Network brought to you by Serious Texas Bar-B-Q and Express Employment Professionals. I’m Wendy Graham Settle. A walk up the stairs leading to field level at Ricketts Park will show a lot more than a baseball field. This summer’s Connie Mack World Series will feature massive renovations, not only to the grand stands, but the field as well. Changes have been in the works for some time, but finally thousands of fans will get to see them during the Connie Mack World Series. The ballpark itself remains an icon in the City of Farmington, but a near $500,000 have gone into renovations that fans and players will enjoy. Tyson Snyder, General Chairman of the Connie Mack World Series, says the renovations were necessary to improve the fan experience.
It was self-funded by the Connie Mack World Series, so there was no cost from the City. It was something that we’ve been working towards and saving our money and building up to this point. The folks in Section 25, I know they wanted an upgrade. The general admission seats, they needed an upgrade. So it been a long time coming and right after the tournament in 2019, we decided to pull the trigger, started a renovation. COVID hit. It’s been a long, you know, year and a half, but we’re very happy and proud to unveil it this year at the 2021 Tournament.
The Connie Mack World Series has been a staple in the city of Farmington since 1965. The annual event brings in high school aged baseball players from around the country for the right to compete for one of the most coveted prizes in amateur baseball. Renovations to Ricketts Park have included upgrades to the field itself as well as for seating, for fans and scouts who use the World Series as an opportunity to see who might be talented enough to make it into the Connie Mack World Series Hall of Fame. Snyder said that as part of the renovation project, fans will have an even better opportunity to cheer on their favorite players.
So section, the old Section 25 down the left field line has been completely renovated. The folks that were in Section 25 have been resat. They have new seats. We tried to keep them as similar to their old seats as possible. And then in addition to that, we have extra handicap seating and we also have 76 bucket seats on each side. Those will be for the host family organizations as well as players’ families who traveled with the team, they’ll also have a nice place to sit and they can cheer on the players with the host families. And then in the general admission section has also been renovated. And that’s, it’ll be a mirror image of the renovation down the left field line.
The renovation project, which also includes upgrades to the field and bullpen areas has actually been in the planning stages for more than 20 years. The City took advantage of last year’s COVID cancellation to hire out-of-state contractors to make the renovations.
And after 2019, we pulled the trigger. We’re going to do this. It’s something that really we’ve been planning on doing since 2000. And then COVID happened. Labor issues. Production issues. There was obviously different mandates at different states, which prevented people from traveling from Texas to New Mexico freely. Sturdisteel is the company out of Waco that did this renovation and that’s also the company that did the renovation in 2000. So unfortunately, it took longer than we had planned. There was some unforeseen issues, but everyone worked hard including, the City of Farmington crew here and worked well with the engineers and the folks with Sturdisteel to make it, to complete the project. So it’s going to be complete and ready for the tournament in July.
In addition to seating upgrades, players will find new bullpens and improved field conditions with a new irrigation system and fresh sod that should be in perfect condition for the World Series.
While we were doing the seating renovation, the City redid the irrigation system. They also laid new sod, placing new dirt, warning tracks and in the infield. Down the left field line, we also… We were in the process of revamping the bullpen that was kind of in a poorly lit area, a little bit of a safety concern. Didn’t really allow the pitchers and catchers enough room and visibility. So we’re redoing that. We’re also redoing the bullpens down the right field line as well. So the players are going to see some improvements. The fan experience will also be improved. We also have a new net, so every seat in the house will be protected to maximize the safety for this tournament.
Other changes coming to the Connie Mack World Series will be a new radio home. It was recently announced that KSJE 90.9 FM would take over official broadcasting rights for the Series this summer. For more information about the Connie Mack World Series, check out the page at the City of Farmington website at fmtn.org or visit cmws.org. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local NEWS Network, serving Montezuma, San Miguel, and La Plata counties in Southwest, Colorado, and San Juan County in Northwest, New Mexico. I’m Wendy Graham Settle.