The seating bowl, from the left-field stands.
A turf infield (since replaced) and a grass outfield just don’t go along with each other.
|Chronological Tour: Stop 227|
Soon, TELUS Field (named for the largest telephone company in western Canada) rose in the North Saskatchewan River valley, on the site of the old John Ducey Park (the Trappers’ home since 1981). It looks tremendous from the outside, and when you walk in it seems as if you’re entering a medium-sized hockey arena.
It’s when you get to the seats that the problems start. The park is comfortable, and it even has “ground boxes” like Dodger Stadium and Mobile’s Hank Aaron Stadium.
Unfortunately, TELUS suffers from a number of design flaws. Chief among them is the presence of artificial turf in the infield, like Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita or McCarver Stadium in Memphis. (I heard that the parent Minnesota Twins requested the artificial turf to give their infielders experience on the surface, but I’ve since been corrected and advised that the turf was in place when the park was first rebuilt, when the team was an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Apparently, it’s difficult to maintain the infield grass through the winter months in Edmonton.) Site visitor Ali Siddiqui reported in June 2005 that the infield turf has been replaced by real grass; however, another visitor, Brock Mulligan, told me that December that the turf was merely replaced by a more modern variety. Yet another visitor, Evan, advises that FieldTurf was installed in the infield prior to the first season of Northern League play in 2005.
In addition to the turf issue I described, the field faces southwest, which means the sun is brutal even behind the plate during a night game. Edmonton is just below the 54th parallel, the northernmost park in professional baseball, and the sun lingers low in the sky for a long time here during the summer. Finally, the design that makes the park so nice upon entry makes egress rather slow.
All of the seating is in stadium seats in the main grandstand, while two additional sections of aluminum bleachers were added, one along each foul line, to bring the park up to Triple-A capacity standards.
With the Calgary Cannons moving to Albuquerque, the Trappers were lonely for two seasons. In 2004, the team was sold to the group headed by Nolan Ryan, who moved them to Round Rock, Texas, and moved the existing Double-A Express to a new park in Corpus Christi. From 2005 to 2011, both Edmonton and Calgary fielded teams in various independent leagues.
|541||Wed 7-Aug-2002||Pacific Coast||AAA||EDMONTON 7, Calgary 6|