How Will The Changes To HODGETOWN Affect The Fans?
HODEGTOWN is widely considered, and recognized, as one of the nicest minor league ballparks in the nation. We have an absolute gem sitting right here in Amarillo. Couple that with the fact that they're the reigning champs, and everyone is excited to get back through those gates.
Well, when we are allowed to head back inside, it won't be without some changes that you'll notice as a fan. Will these things affect your experience? Depends on how you look at it.
It's not that HODGETOWN needed any changes, there are some that were mandated by Major League Baseball, and not making the improvements and/or additions, would've meant something catastrophic.
Without these additions and changes, we wouldn't have been allowed to watch our beloved Sod Poodles play the 2024 season. In fact, we could've lost the team as a whole without these changes.
There has been varying opinion within the city as to how they feel about the changes. There are members of the city council that feel like their being held hostage by MLB, and feel like they're having to foot the bill for something they won't see any kind of return on.
To be clear, the changes are being funded by the hotel occupancy tax as well as some money from the Elmore Sports Group. So what changes will there be that are visible to you as a fan?
The first thing you'll notice is a new building down the first base line. The building is to help accommodate the square footage being lost due to renovations having to be made in the clubhouses. This will essentially be a storage unit in essence that will be visible to the fans.
The other main change will be extension of the netting to the stands. Right now, that netting drops off around the middle of the outfield. It will now extend all the way out to the public picnic areas on both sides of the field.
Outside of those changes, you shouldn't see anything different at HODEGTOWN and it shouldn't take away from your experience as a fan.
Josh Jung and the Frisco RoughRiders play in Amarillo at HODGETOWN
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Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins