Grandstand Is A Grand Slam

New grandstand will enhance fans’ and players’ experience

Megan Jenkins, Staff Writer

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Blinding rays of light burn against baseball fans’ skin as an aching pain grows in their arm from holding it up against the sun. A few spectators stand off on the side, late to the fight for seats. Crunched and packed together, fans attempt to watch the game as smells of body odor and sweat fill the air.

Problems like these have inspired the MN athletic department to build a new grandstand for the MN baseball field. This endeavor will help create a more comfortable atmosphere for fans and a more professional experience for the MN players as well.

“When I first saw the grandstand, I was amazed. It looks so nice and it makes our field a more attractive place to be during a baseball game,” senior Jake Cera said.

Along with the set of four row bleachers on the visitor side and the eight row bleachers on the home side, the grandstand adds two new sets of eight row bleachers under the canopy.

“I was blown away, it definitely makes it one of the nicest fields in Nebraska,” senior Camden Parks said.

Complete with more seating and a canopy overhead to protect fans from the sun, the grandstand has been something activities director Chad Zimmerman has been thinking about for a while.

“I certainly feel like parents of summer baseball kids are probably more excited because they’ll have some shaded area to potentially sit during the summer season,” Zimmerman said.

Before the new grandstand was created, the baseball and softball shared a set of bleachers which would be transported between each of their seasons.

“Due to the weather, lots of times we wouldn’t be able to get that set of bleachers from the softball field. We would be well into the season and we actually wouldn’t have seating for spectators,” Zimmerman said.

The grandstand was funded from MN’s athletic budget. MNBI, the summer baseball fund, also provided necessary funds to purchase the canopy overhead for the bleachers.

“The summer baseball association primarily has been really interested in trying to provide something to help their fans so they are pretty excited,” Zimmerman said.

The new bleachers are expected to draw in more fans to show support for the MN baseball team.

“A louder audience will get us fired up in the dugout because that will get in the opposing pitcher’s head and we can start a rally. It will be a very powerful advantage for us,” Cera said.

Zimmerman hopes the new addition to the baseball field will bring not only more fans to the games, but grab the attention of colleges and other places interested in renting the facility.

“I think this will be a huge benefit to future games. We will have a bigger crowd capacity so we can fit more fans into the stadium comfortably and it makes our complex look a lot bigger” Cera said.

Screams echo across the grandstand of fans as they cheer on MN. Protected from the waves of heat and sunlight, fans chew on fresh popcorn, chant for their favorite plays, and enjoy the game of baseball.

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