In an exciting press conference Tuesday, leaders from Arizona State University and the City of Phoenix announced that the Sun Devil baseball team will play their home games at Phoenix Municipal Stadium starting in 2015.
The event was hosted by Arizona Diamondbacks announcer Jeff Munn and featured podium appearances from Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Arizona State President Michael Crow, Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, Vice President for University Athletics Steve Patterson and head coach Tim Esmay.
After Esmay’s opening finished, the five men took the field along with Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos to throw ceremonial first pitches to current Sun Devil players.
There was much to be said about leaving historic Packard Stadium, but the mood surrounding the team’s new location could not have been happier.
“The views, the facility and the condition of the field are really quite amazing, so I’m very excited about the future of ASU baseball and the opportunity for us to have an ongoing and naturally competitive program at every level,” President Crow said. “We are excited to be here and excited to be a part of this stadium.”
“This is really exciting for all of us. From the nuts and bolts of our program, this is going to be us,” Coach Esmay said. “Welcome to the home of Sun Devil baseball in 2015.”
Optimism toward future team success was also high on Tuesday, as Mayor Stanton made the crowd a promise.
”There have been five NCAA championships already for this program, and now we expect five more in a very short period in time,” Stanton said.
The move was ultimately prompted by the upcoming renovations to Sun Devil Stadium, which are set to start in 2014. The football team will be displaced from the stadium in 2015 and will play at Chase Field, home of the Diamondbacks. Patterson says that both moves will improve athletic success due to their locations in Phoenix.
“The opportunities here with improved amenities will have products that appeal to different entities, be it families or be it students or be it corporate purchasers. That will help us with attendance and recruiting, and that means it helps us with wins.”