After three years of construction, Lethbridge’s premier baseball facility is ready to open to the public. Fans will have their chance to see the renovated Spitz Stadium Friday night when the Lethbridge Bulls host the Okotoks Dawgs.
“I think it’s going to give them a better experience. When you come to a ball game, it’s not just about the ball game, it’s about visiting with friends and having some refreshments and some food and a fun enjoyable time,” Lethbridge Bulls president Kevin Kvame said.
“This is going to give them a lot more space in the stadium a lot more viewpoints.”
The entrance to the ball park has been remodeled, the ground level space has been expanded and an elevator was installed. While those changes are noticeable, the biggest alteration comes from the construction of an upper viewing area.
“The upper level was key to the sort of design that we went after, because most stadiums have a top-down loading capacity. We were bottom-up,” City of Lethbridge project manager Ric Johnston said. “So you had to come across and find the staircase you were going to go to your seat… All the services are available and you just have a lot better viewing from up at that level.”
There are a number of features in the upper level including a luxury box, press booths, bathrooms, a concession and standing room to watch the game.
The project started in 2015 and cost approximately $5 million to complete. The Bulls hope they can improve the fan experience with the renovations and potentially increase revenue with more bookings.
“We’d like to see more activity in the later part of August and September, even into October, both with baseball and other events and same in the early spring,” Kvame said. “We’ve done concerts before, I think if we do concerts in the future this is going to make it a much more attractive place to do them.”
The city estimates renovations to the grandstand and overall structure should last 30 to 40 years.