Cheney Stadium 1960
Ben Cheney and Willie Mays - Photo Courtesy of The Cheney Family
Renovated Cheney Stadium - Photo Courtesy of Mission Glass
New logo of the Tacoma Rainiers - 2015
Stadium with New Logo - Photo Courtesy of Minor League Baseball
Backstory and Context
Cheney Stadium is named after a Tacoma businessman who wanted to bring minor league baseball to his hometown. The San Francisco Giants agreed to move their Triple-A minor league team to Tacoma if they were willing to construct a stadium to house them. The original stadium was built in only 42 days for a cost of around $900,000. That stadium had a capacity of 6,500 and had light towers and wooden seats procured from the demolished Seals Stadium in San Francisco.
The original seating remains in the stadium today along with a bronze statue of Ben Cheney holding a bag of peanuts along with a program behind home plate. These elements offer historic continuity in what is essentially a new stadium. After forty-nine years of baseball in the original stadium, the community along with the City of Tacoma renovated and modernized the stadium between 2009 and 2011 for a cost of $30 million. The voters and city approved the measure to fund the stadium renovation which included additional restrooms, more concession stands, a restaurant, a play area for children, and luxury suites. Occupancy increased from the original 6,500 capacity to the current 9,600
While Cheney Stadium was built for baseball, it is also home to the Seattle Sounders soccer team. This stadium has a lengthy history with baseball and has been home to a member of the Pacific Coast League since the stadium's first season in 1960. Six teams that have come and gone in that time. The Tacoma Giants played here from 1960-1965 and were followed by the Tacoma Cubs from 1966-1971, the Tacoma Twins from 1972-1977, the Tacoma Yankees in 1978, the Tacoma Tugs in 1979, the Tacoma Tigers from 1980-1994. Since 1995 the park has been the home of the Tacoma Rainiers and their mascot, Rhubarb the Reindeer. In 2015 the Tacoma Rainiers changed their logo to better match the old Rainier Brewing label.
McGrath, John. April 10, 2011. About the First Day of Baseball at Cheney Stadium – April 16, 1960. The News Tribune. Accessed on July 29, 2018 from https://web.archive.org/web/20120910152258/http:/www.thenewstribune.com/2011/04/10/1620291/news-brief-10cheneys2.html
Lacitis, Erik April 19, 2005. “Memories Fade, but Ben Cheney Lives on Through Stadium.” The Seattle Times. Accessed on July 30 from http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20050419&slug=cheney19m
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Minor League Baseball. “Tacoma Affiliation History.” Accessed on July 26, 2018 from http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20080603&content_id=41073114&sid=t529&vkey=team1
Minor League Baseball. “Rainiers Reveal New Logo, Uniform Set.“ Accessed on July 31, 2018 from https://www.milb.com/tacoma/news/rainiers-reveal-new-logo-uniform-set/c-111571990
McCoy, Nikki. 2018. “Take Me Out to the Tacoma Rainiers.” Parentmap. Accessed on August 1, 2018 from http://www.parentmap.com/article/take-me-out-tacoma-rainiers