Mid-February marks the time for a lot of fresh starts and new beginnings in baseball. The
Yakima Bears Hillsboro Hops are literally defining a new beginning. Formerly known as the Yakima Bears, the Hops have transported to the west side of Portland in Hillsboro, where a new stadium awaits them (kind of-it’s not quite done yet). The Hops are the short-season Class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The stadium is set to be up and running when the Class A season begins in June of this year. The stadium, which will seat close to 4,500 will feature more bells and whistles that didn’t exist at the old Yakima County Stadium. The move to Hillsboro is awesome for the organization because Portland is an area with an ever-growing sports market and the fans are beginning to buy in around the upper Northwest. The stadium gives off very fan-friendly vibes, which is synonymous with minor league baseball. This stadium will feature a 360-degree concourse that will allow better flow throughout the stadium for fans to explore the amenities that it has to offer.
Keep in mind, this is an establishment for a Class A team, so the idea of development should be a major talking point. The Hillsboro stadium has done a great job in making this a priority. Hops G.M, K.L Wombacher told a local newspaper:
“The dugouts are expansive and attached to the clubhouses. Behind the dugouts are covered indoor batting cages. From a player development standpoint, this is great.”
The amenities at the stadium include grass seating down the left field line, a children’s play area, and an area for food trucks to park and sell new ballpark fare (how very “Portland” of them). This is an exciting time not only for the D’backs organization but for the city of Hillsboro as well. Minor league baseball is a great thing to watch if you enjoy watching a player evolve into a star. I’m not sure what the Diamondbacks fan base is in Oregon, but who’s to say that the Hops won’t convert some fans into members of the D’backs Nation?
The Hops will make their much anticipated debut in Hillsboro on June 17th against the Eugene Emeralds.
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