When the final chair seat is firmly in place sometime this week, the ballpark Dave Baggott envisioned some 12 years ago will be complete.
"We had a vision of what the public is going to see this year from Day 1 (of the franchise)," said Baggott, owner and president of the Ogden Raptors.
"John E. Lindquist and I and my other partners we had a vision that we wanted a ballpark. What is happening now is we are catching up to that original vision."
Prior to the first pitch of the 2008 Pioneer League season-opener in Ogden, the renovations to Lindquist Field (which is now entering its 12th season) will be completed. Nearly 3,000 new chair-back seats, concession stands, restrooms, other amenities and the Tar Pit the observation deck on the left-field fence were added to the park.
"If you rebuild it, will they come?" Baggott asked.
Capacity of the original Lindquist Field was roughly 5,000, and with the additions, it's now up to 7,000.
"We outgrew the place, clearly," he said. "If I didn't think we needed it, we wouldn't have done it."
At the same time, the Raptors signed a new 20-year lease agreement with the city of Ogden.
"I have nothing but compliments for Ogden city. They have put their faith in me and my partners to say, 'Yes, we trust you. Come and entertain the city,"' Baggott said.
For the last three years, the Raptors have been at 98 percent of seating capacity. Concession lines were long, and there were too few restrooms.
With the additions, those problems have been remedied.
"It was starting to have an adverse effect on us financially," he said.
The new digs will make its debut Thursday night when the Raptors host the Orem Owlz.
"We've done it in a way where we're not increasing ticket prices. We're not increasing food prices," he said. "What we're banking on is the additional volume of people taking in a game at Lindquist Field to allow us to hit the numbers we need to hit."
The most expensive ticket to see a game remains at $9 for a reserved seat, which will allow access to the Tar Pit.
General admission remains $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and $4 for children 14 and younger.
Baggott said the team will continue with promotions, and fans entering games with ticket vouchers can upgrade to a reserved ticket for $6 and have full access to the Tar Pit.
General-admission seating is now the grass area and bleachers down the right-field line. Reserved seating begins at first base and continues down the left-field line. All seats in the reserved area are chair-backs.
"I think it's fair," Baggott said. "It's going to allow us to hit the numbers we need to hit from a business standpoint, but the fans are getting it for less money."
The Raptors, who are in their 15th season, played at Serge B. Simmons Field for the first few years prior to construction of Lindquist Field.
"It was a lot of work. It was a lot of headaches. We didn't draw particularly well, but it was intimate," Baggott said of their days at Serge B. Simmons Field."It was fun, but the most important thing is the time spent down there laid the foundation for baseball in the future here in Ogden."
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