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‘A wow factor’: Las Vegas Ballpark celebrates 5 years — PHOTOS

Remember 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Although it seems like it was a million lifetimes ago, 2019 was the year the $150 million Las Vegas Ballpark opened and the newly rebranded Las Vegas Aviators started their Triple-A affiliation with the Oakland Athletics. The Aviators were previously known as the 51s (and the Stars before that) and had played at Cashman Field since the early 1980s.

The stadium has hosted a wide variety of events since then, including charity softball games, Golden Knights watch parties and holiday extravaganzas.

Check out some of the highlights from the ballpark’s first five years with the Aviators:


April 9: Fighter jets from Nellis Air Force base flew over the park in the Aviators first game. The home team won 10-2 against Sacramento in front of an announced crowd of 11,036 fans, the first of many sellouts that season. “This place has a wow factor,” Aviators president Don Logan told the Review-Journal.

An umpire also interfered with Finn the Bat Dog, the popular black Labrador retriever and unofficial team mascot. That led to a loud chorus of boos from the fans.

June 4: The Aviators played as the “Reyes de Plata” (Silver Kings) as part a minor-league initiative that began in 2017. Their logo, a grinning skull wearing a miner’s hat, might be one of the most intimidating in professional baseball.

Aug. 8: The facility hosted its first “Flicks on the Field” movie night with a screening of a little-known 1980s film called “Top Gun.” Movies were shown on the outfield’s 3,930 square-foot LED display.

Sept. 6: More memories were made when the Aviators won the first playoff game in stadium history. Las Vegas Ballpark attracted record crowds its first season and won numerous awards.

Oct. 19: The stadium hosted a party for the Golden Knights, one of many it’s held throughout the years.


March 7: Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant, a former Bonanza standout and National League MVP, returned to Las Vegas to play in Big League Weekend. The Aviators season was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic just a few days later.

June 30: Minor League Baseball called off its season.


May 6: Baseball returned to Las Vegas Ballpark after a 606-day absence as the Aviators began their season with COVID-19 restrictions in place. Fans were required to wear face coverings except when eating or drinking. Attendance was about 5,000 due to social distancing rules.

June 10: The Aviators became the first local team to welcome full-capacity crowds back for games. “It’s obviously huge,” Logan told the Review-Journal. Masks were not required for fans who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

July 24: The Raiders defeated the Golden Knights in the second annual Battle for Vegas charity softball game. The game was first played in 2019 but was canceled in 2020.

August: Finn the Bat Dog made his first post-pandemic appearance, delighting many fans.

November: Enchant, an immersive holiday experience featuring a Christmas village and light maze, made its debut at Las Vegas Ballpark.


February: The stadium transformed into a practice field for NFL stars as the Pro Bowl rolled into town.

April 5: The Aviators began their season with a win. It was the first opening night played as scheduled at Las Vegas Ballpark since the inaugural one in 2019.

May 1: Lambo, a 3½-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, joined her brother Finn at Aviators games.

May 31: The robot umpire made its debut at the stadium thanks to new minor-league rules. The Aviators won in extra innings.

August: The Aviators unveiled a mural celebrating the history of Triple-A baseball in Las Vegas. It’s located behind the suites on the third-base side.


April 4: The Aviators opened their season against Oklahoma City, marking the 40th anniversary of Triple-A baseball in Las Vegas.

Sept. 1: The ballpark saw its first rainout as a monsoonal storm pounded the Summerlin area. The game was made up the next day as part of a day-night doubleheader. Only 13 games in the team’s history have been canceled because of weather-related reasons.

Contact Mark Davis at mdavis@reviewjournal.com.

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