Increased chair-back seating capacity, other improvements coming in 2022
YAKIMA, Wash. — After nearly three decades with original equipment, Yakima County Stadium is in line for seating upgrades before the Yakima Valley Pippins take the field in 2022.
Earlier this fall, Yakima County entered into an agreement with Nor-Pac Seating Company Inc. to replace more than 1,000 worn-out, blue chair-back seats that were installed when the facility opened in 1993 with new, green Hussey Legend seats.
An additional 504 Legend seats will replace the bleacher-back Stadium View sections, bringing the total chair-back seating total to just over 1,500. Hussey Legend seats are also installed at T-Mobile Park in Seattle and Parker-Faller Field at Yakima Valley College.
“It’s a welcome and much-needed upgrade not just for fan comfort, but for fan safety as well,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. “There are no replacements for the current seats, and we’ve had to pilfer seats from other sections to replace broken chairs in more-popular areas. Almost 30 years of summer heat and sub-freezing temperatures in the winter have taken their toll on those sections.”
Nor-Pac will remove the existing seats and install the Legend seats by May 1, in time for high school tournaments before the Pippins’ 2022 season starts in early June. New cupholders also will be installed for each reserved seat.
“Nor-Pac is confident of its timeline to get everything installed by May, and we’ll have our first high school tournament games May 14,” Garretson said.
SCAC District baseball is scheduled that day, he said, and the Class 1A and 2A WIAA state tournaments will return to County Stadium on May 27-28 after a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new seating is the most noticeable improvement coming, Garretson added. Structural and roofing repairs under the seats also will begin likely after the Pippins season ends next summer.
The Pippins will open their eighth season at Yakima County Stadium on Friday, June 3, hosting the reigning WCL champion Corvallis Knights. Discounted Opening Night tickets are now on sale at PippinsTickets.com, and discounted season tickets also are available.