The Amarillo Sod Poodles are five weeks away from playing their first baseball game. Their home opener is set for April 8 against Midland.
That is not a lot of time to get the new ballpark finished, but the Sod Poodles fully expect everything to be ready to go by the April 1 completion date.
The stadium is really starting to look like a ballpark. Team General Manager, Tony Ensor, says they still have a lot of work to do, but the heavy lifting is over.
“It’s finishing the seats in the hospitality areas,” Ensor said. “It’s getting the field ready. We need mother nature to give us some help in that regard, but we’ve got our growth blankets down so we’re not concerned about that… All those little things. Finishing the rails, finishing the painting, the IT stuff. There is just a lot of little things that need to be finished.”
The 30 lockers in the home clubhouse are almost ready for players’ gear, the mound is currently being built. On Monday night, the steel for the video board goes up.
Everything is on schedule for the home opener. The field should also be ready when the players arrive for spring training.
“We’ll have a workout here on the field on the first, on the second we’ll have another workout,” Ensor said. “Then, they don’t have a lot of time, cause guess what, they are on the road to start the game on April 4 in Corpus Christi. A really tight schedule for these guys.”
One thing Ensor is very proud of is how close the seats are to the field. In the outfield corners, the front row seats are about five feet from where the relief pitchers will warm up.
The stadium will also have a 30-foot tall net that extends 70 feet past the dugout on each side to protect fans from foul balls.