Southwest University Park officially opened Monday, April 28, to a sold-out crowd. The new US$72m home for AAA affiliate the El Paso Chihuahuas was designed by Populous and is centrally located in downtown.
The ballpark’s architecture is inspired by the Union Depot, an historic piece of architecture in downtown, and features an asymmetric seating bowl on one of the smallest sites in minor league baseball.
The venue has the capacity for 9,500 fans, with a variety of seating options, including standing room, luxury suites, club seating and berm seating, as well as a children’s play area and water feature. The ballpark also features three-different art pieces commissioned by local artists.
Ray Sanchez, writer for El Paso Inc. said:
I’ve been trying to come up with a word to describe El Paso’s new downtown baseball stadium. I thought of the words “beautiful” and “gorgeous” and even “awesome,” but I finally decided on “breathtaking.”
Aaron Bracamontes, of the El Paso Times, added:
Some fans proclaimed that Southwest University Park looked like a mini-version of a major league stadium. Others took out their cell phones and snapped a selfie with the field in the background. And children sprinted toward Chico, the mascot, and jumped into his arms… There was a sense of excitement in businesses near the ballpark.