Isotopes Park Information
Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park, previously known simply as Isotopes Park, is a minor league baseball stadium located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is the home for the famous Albuquerque Isotopes of the Pacific Coast League and the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. The facility was formerly used by the University of New Mexico Baseball Program. The stadium also hosts the New Mexico United, Expansion team for the United Soccer League as of 2019.
The name for the team and the stadium comes from “Hungry, Hungry Homer”, a 2001 episode of The Simpsons, in which the fictional Springfield Isotopes baseball team attempted a move to Albuquerque. Because of this name origin, the stadium features statues of the Simpsons family; Homer, Marge, Lisa, and Bart, on the concourse.
The stadium was first conceived after Bob Lozinak, then-owner of the Albuquerque Dukes, sold the team to a Portland, Oregon-based group in 2000. The team moved to Portland as the Beavers, which left Albuquerque without a baseball team after nearly 40 years of play. The city needed a new stadium to lure in a new team, as their stadium, the Albuquerque Sports Stadium, was the second oldest in the league and was in a state of heavy disrepair.
Finding a new owner and team wasn’t difficult, as the Pacific Coast League had Canadian Teams that wanted to relocate. The Calgary Cannons were purchased and agreed to move to Albuquerque, contingent on building a brand new park. The challenge was in finding the funds to build a park, as the city opposed then-Mayor Jim Baca on how to spend city funds towards the goal. The main debate was whether the old stadium needed to be rebuilt as a baseball-only park or to build an entirely new park downtown. Mayor Baca put the issue to a vote and the voters approved the $25 million needed for the project.
The renovation of the old stadium turned into the construction of a completely new facility as nearly everything of the old stadium had been removed or replaced apart from the playing field. The general structure and its dimensions and systems are all that remains of the old facility. One of the features that were intended for retention was the drive-in terrace where fans could sit in their cars and watch the game for free. But those plans were scrapped due to security concerns and the terrace was instead converted into a play area for children.
Today, the facility is known as a Hitters park, as the high altitude and dry air made it easier for home runs to be hit. The features of the park also make it one of the most popular sports stadiums in Albuquerque.
Further information on Isotopes Park Stadium:
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Isotopes Park Seating Chart:
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Isotopes Park Parking:
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