September 6, 2019 - 4:33 pm
This season saw major changes for professional baseball in Las Vegas, and those accomplishments were recognized in the 2019 year-end awards from ballparkdigest.com, with Las Vegas Ballpark named Ballpark of the Year and the Las Vegas Aviators named Team of the Year.
This year’s selection of both Las Vegas Ballpark and the Aviators for major citations make history in the annual Ballpark Digest Awards: It’s the first time an organization has snared both awards in a single year.
On Aug. 3o, the awards were recognized during pre-game ceremonies at Las Vegas Ballpark when the Aviators took on the Tacoma Rainiers and celebrated during a postgame firework show.
“After years and years of work, the Las Vegas Aviators opened Las Vegas Ballpark to wide acclaim this season,” said Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard. “We’re thrilled to recognize these major accomplishments in our year-end awards.”
The year-end Ballpark Digest awards annually honor the best of the baseball industry, covering MLB, MiLB, independent-baseball and summer-collegiate programs in a wide range of categories.
The Ballpark of the Year and Team of the Year announcements are the kickoff to awards season for Ballpark Digest, with announcements running through the fall and culminating in an awards reception at December’s Baseball Winter Meetings.
“The Las Vegas Aviators not only opened a new ballpark in 2019, but also overhauled their whole business, ranging from an off-season rebranding to a total revamp of the concessions and hospitality programs,” Reichard said. “Just opening a new ballpark at a high-quality level is a big accomplishment. What the Aviators did with their partners is basically start from scratch, ending up with a new facility that’s leading the minors in attendance.”
Both Las Vegas Ballpark and the Aviators are wholly owned by The Howard Hughes Corp., developer of Summerlin and Downtown Summerlin, which has become a popular sports destination thanks to Las Vegas Ballpark and neighboring City National Arena, practice facility of the NHL’s Golden Knights.
The selection of Las Vegas Ballpark for Ballpark of the Year comes in a banner season for new and renovated pro baseball facilities.
“Fans were blessed by an abundance of riches this season,” Reichard said. “We saw great new ballparks open in Fayetteville and Amarillo, with the Milwaukee Brewers debuting a noteworthy renovation at American Family Fields of Phoenix. All four facilities advanced the art of ballpark design.”
Previous awardees for Ballpark of the Year include Atlanta’s SunTrust Park (2017); North Augusta’s SRP Park (2018), Minnesota’s Target Field (2010), Columbia’s Spirit Communications Park (2016), St. Paul’s CHS Field (2015), El Paso’s Southwest University Park (2014) and Arizona’s Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (2011).
This is not the first time Las Vegas Ballpark has been honored by Ballpark Digest: Earlier this season, Las Vegas Ballpark was the winner in the annual Ballpark Digest Best of the Ballparks fan vote for Triple-A facilities.
Over 85,000 fans voted in all five rounds of the Triple-A Best of the Ballparks fan vote, with almost 600,000 fans voting in the overall competition.
Ballparkdigest.com is part of August Publications, a Middleton, Wisconsin-based publisher of websites and books. Other offerings from August Publications include Arena Digest, Soccer Stadium Digest, Football Stadium Digest, Spring Training Online and Yellowstone Insider.