Designing and constructing simultaneously, the River Cats build a Sacramento-area landmark in a short eight months
Raley Field reflects the shape and style of baseball stadiums at the dawn of the 20th century. In vintage baseball flavor, the two-decked park gives fans an intimate experience at the ol' ball game. From close seating to the deft retro touch of outfield clubhouses, Raley Field seems like it was built with a sense of history.
Yet the $48 million new Triple-A ball park for the Sacramento River Cats also offers state-of-the-art features, the kind unknown in the earlier part of the century when such storied parks as Wrigley Field in Chicago or Fenway Park in Boston were erected. While those places are charming baseball icons, by today's standards they lack adequate spacing and facilities.
Similar to the San Francisco Giants' new Pacific Bell Ball Park, Sacramento's Raley Field combines the best of both baseball worlds, old and new, though on a smaller scale. The 11,092-capacity field was built at almost breakneck speed and under tight deadlines. It opened on May 15, about a month late, due to February rains and delays caused by legal challenges.
In the beginning, the River Cats aimed for the truly ambitious -- compressing what would normally be an 18-month project into seven. They almost made it, taking one month longer than they'd wanted.
Finally, though, the wait is over. So what does it offer fans?
"Intimacy, that's a word we use a lot," said Joe Diesko, the chief architect on Raley Field for HNTB Architects in Los Angeles.
The Raley Field project team included Cordell Corp. for project management, HNTB Architects for design, and J.R Roberts Corp., based in Citrus Heights, for construction. Some credentials of those architects and builders include Bank One Ball Park for the Arizona Diamondbacks and …