Sun Devil baseball to call Phoenix Muni home again in 2015

Arizona Sports News online

In a 10-year span (1964-74), the Sun Devils played 137 games at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. They went 111-26 in those games.

Most importantly, Arizona State went 17-6 versus the Wildcats there in that time span.

Things are coming full circle for the Sun Devils, because come 2015, they’ll be re-occupying Phoenix Muni, and they’ll be calling it home again, at least for the next 25 years.

On Feb. 6, the Phoenix City Council came to a unanimous vote and approved the lease agreement, making the Sun Devils the primary tenants in the building.

The Sun Devils will also be responsible for all operating expenses and capital improvements to the stadium under the revenue-sharing agreement.

“I’m very excited for the future of ASU baseball,” ASU president Dr. Michael Crow said. “[It’s] an opportunity for us to have an ongoing and nationally competitive program at every level.”

“This facility will BE ASU baseball, this facility will BE Sun Devil baseball,” Dr. Crow said. “We’re very happy to be a part of the city of Phoenix’s commitment to the broader community.”

According to Dr. Crow, Packard Stadium would’ve needed at least $25 million in repairs to make it a viable stadium again, and the University wasn’t willing to invest that kind of money into it, which made this move a slam dunk for the Sun Devils.

“In many respects it’s a much newer facility than Packard,” Sun Devil athletic director Steve Patterson said. “You look at this field out here, it’s one of the best in the Cactus Leagues, the press box has been remodeled, the food service facilities are in great shape, the locker rooms, the weight rooms. All the kind of facilities we don’t have in the back of the house are much improved over Packard’s.”

Patterson got a feel for where the current players are with the move to Phoenix Muni, and the gauge he got was a positive one.

“I think in general, everybody’s excited about having more and better amenities than they have currently at Packard,” Patterson said.

Another group that’s important in this whole move is the season ticket holders. After all, they’re the one’s paying to see the team play.

What helps to ease this move is the fact that a great majority of the holders are what Patterson describes as a “senior season ticket holder group,” who have witnessed Sun Devil home games in the 60’s and 70’s at Phoenix Muni.

“It’s easier for some of our older fans to get around in,” Patterson said. “I think it’s a positive actually once people get here and get a chance to experience the ballpark.”

Arizona State doesn’t want to forget all the great games their predecessors played in the stadium, so they’re planning on billboarding and putting a theme throughout the stadium that pays tribute and respect to those who’ve paved the way for the current crop of Sun Devil baseball players to come back and hopefully be as successful as they were.