Wednesday, February 23, 2011

100 days until Opening Day

Well, it is about 7 P.M., which means that 100 days from today at this time, we'll be lining up along the 3rd baseline for the national anthem and Opening Night of season 2 at Borleske Stadium. Awesome - and where the freak did the off-season go?!?! Seriously - the conversation just a few days ago (it seems) was that we have a great off-season to get ready for year two. Well, now we have a great 100 days. I am excited to see what we have learned from our errors and from our victories.

Borleske Stadium, in its 85th year, is worth renovating.
In other news, as I was doing some research for a proposal that I am writing, I found out that the official year of opening for Borleske Stadium was 1926 - which makes 2011 the 85th anniversary of it's opening. How many stadiums in the country are still functional at 85? I don't know - but it would be interesting to find out. A research project for another day or an intern - but a fun one. I think that is something that should be embraced in this community - a testament to the pioneers who had the foresight to build it, and how can we keep that vision in place while bringing the stadium up to the standards of a modern facility? It deserves the effort it will take to get it there.

I like what the Red Sox have done with Fenway (happy 100th by the way...) - a historically relevant facility that, ten years ago, was ready to fall apart. The two paths that existed for the Sox were either build new (at the cost of at least $500M and probably closer to $1B) or put together a master plan to renovate. The club chose the latter - and look at the results. They are culminating a nearly $300M renovation project (much less expensive than a new build) that has all the bells and whistles of a "new" facility while protecting the history and romance of a classic early stadium. Plus, it saw two World Series victories and an end to a Curse, so I'd say it worked out.

Now, Borleske isn't Fenway - but it is an historically significant, culturally relevant stadium that houses a great history in a community that doesn't have another athletic facility like it. What we have done over the past 18 months is start the process to protect its history and identity while making it a viable facility for the foreseeable future. (photos courtesy of the Walla Walla Sweets).