Nearly two years to the day since the hallowed grounds of Paseo Stadium last heard the roar of the crowd for a baseball game, the newly renovated stadium will be opening its gates, once again, to Guam’s favorite pastime.
On Oct. 1, 2015, the AM Insurance/Crowns/AutoSpot won their second straight Guam Major League title with a 10-3 win over the Yigo Astros. Since that time, the longtime home of Guam baseball hasn’t seen a pitch thrown. Instead, Paseo Stadium has served as the host for concerts, the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts, just about everything under the sun, but not baseball.
The Guam Major League is starting up in January, so keep an eye out for it.
Hardly recognizable as Guam’s most historic baseball landmark, the baseball community has wondered aloud and emphatically at times, why Guam’s crown jewel has been left in ruin.
On the site at Paseo de Susana in Hagåtña, where baseball has been played since 1955, the sound of a cracking bat will once again be heard when the new Paseo Stadium opens for its inaugural event from Nov. 14 to 20 for the Micronesia Baseball Classic. The friendly tournament will feature the Guam National and Junior National teams facing off against regional neighbors CNMI, Kosrae and Palau. The Department of Recreation plans for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and ceremonial first pitch to commemorate the event.
The stadium will still feature its familiar blue façade, but has received a face-lift, greatly improving the fans’ viewing experience with newly renovated bathrooms, locker rooms, stadium lights, dugouts, and umpire room. Upgrades also feature new seating and roof for a safe, fun viewing experience. A new digital remote-controlled scoreboard and speakers also have been installed.
“The stands are safe and comfortable, with new seating and roofing,” said newly appointed Department of Parks and Recreation Administrator Jon Cramer, while leading the Post on a tour of the facility.
The field took a beating the last two years through a banana typhoon, concerts and festivals but, with a return to its former glory, Cramer hopes that the stadium will attract the crowds of generations past. “We are hoping to attract sponsors and fill up the outfield walls with billboard sponsorship,” added Cramer. “We want to keep it affordable, create a fun atmosphere,” said Cramer.
Cramer, who’s children Masaki and Minami have been raised on Guam sports, represents a face-lift for the Department of Recreation operational team, which includes newly appointed Parks Administrator Benji Pangelinan. Led by recently appointed Director Bill Reyes, DPR is following through on a commitment to rehabilitate old and neglected facilities, with Paseo Stadium set as a high priority.
“GML , the national baseball team group plans on helping out,” said Cramer, who stressed the use of the facility will be managed closely by DPR and, hopefully, community partners. “It’s a revenue source for DPR and it has so much history for Guam baseball. We all remember the stands being packed for baseball games here. We want to keep the facility in a high standard,” said Cramer.
When asked what a revitalized Paseo Stadium means to Guam baseball, Pat Leon Guerrero, coach of the Orioles, the last team to get a win at Paseo, paused, “It’s Paseo, it’s Guam baseball, so much history. It’s our chance to bring it back and teach the youth how to appreciate the chance to play on that field.”
Source: Google News : https://www.postguam.com/sports/local/paseo-stadium-to-reopen-in-november/article_c2d3286c-a4e2-11e7-a50b-973c27fc4fb0.html