The North Bend Eagle

  Foltz Field press box
The new press box addition at Foltz Field will include and umpire's locker room and indoor seating.

Foltz Field getting press box upgrade

by Nathan Arneal
Published 4/20/16

Luxury skyboxes are coming soon to a baseball field near you.

OK, perhaps “luxury skybox” isn’t quite the right term, but the press box at the North Bend City Park’s Foltz Field is getting an addition. And yes, it will give some lucky viewers a chance watch baseball while enjoying relatively luxurious air conditioning.

The press box addition, measuring approximately 15-by-24 feet, will be split into two rooms. The front, facing the ball field, will include a wall of windows and seating for about eight people. The rear half will be a changing room for umpires.

North Bend-Morse Bluff Baseball Association president Chaz Stephenson said the changing room is the main reason the addition is being built.

“When we have tournaments and whatnot, there’s nowhere for the umpires to go and change,” he said. “We’ve always had to use the Boy Scout cabin or get the school to help us out.”

The front half will be give people a chance to watch games in comfort, but Stephenson said it has yet to be determined who gets to sit up there. He said a raffle system may be used.

A small cinder-block grandstand was replaced by the current building in 1997. It houses rest rooms, a concession stand and a storage room on the ground floor. On the second floor is a press box.

The new addition is going on the second floor above the concession stand and storage room. It is hoped the new construction will also help keep the concession stand a bit cooler. The current low ceiling of the concession stand only compounded the hot summer temperatures.

Also included in the plans is a permanent sunshade on the northwest side of the building over the entrance to the stands.

“About every game, whoever is taking gate, we’ve got to put up a little tent for them,” Stephenson said. “Otherwise they just sit and bake in that sun.”

The entire second floor will be air conditioned with either a central air system or a mini split system similar to that used in hotel rooms. Stephenson estimated the whole project will cost between $10,000 and $15,000, depending on what kind of air conditioning system is installed. The Baseball Association is paying for the whole thing.

“We’re raising a lot of money, but we’re putting it right back into where it’s supposed to be,” Stephenson said. “Every time you hold one of these tournaments, you generate revenue. We want to keep a certain amount for the (baseball) program, but we’re basically taking everything above that number and making improvements to everything.”

Other improvements made in the past year include a cement floor in the batting cage and enlarging the storage shed at the batting cage. The association also split the cost of a John Deere Gator utility vehicle with the NBC softball program.
Stephenson said the new additions continue a string improvements over the last couple of decades that have made the North Bend ball park a first-class facility.

“It’s going to be really nice when we host tournaments,” he said, “because we hope to utilize all that space and not be jammed up there in that press box. By the time you put five guys in that little area with all the stuff we have in there, it’s tight.”

The addition, which is being built by Gene Kavan Construction, should be finished by the Legion baseball opener May 18.


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