Press box expected to be ready by next spring

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The artist’s rendition of what the new press box at CSUB’s Hardt Field will look like. Photo courtesy of CSUB Athletics

Esteban Ramirez

Sports Editor

A new press box at CSU Bakersfield’s Hardt Field was originally thought to be ready by the start of the 2015 baseball season.

However, due to extra costs to the seating project, the press box won’t be put in until the start of the 2016 baseball season.

“The hope is to have it up by the beginning of next year,” CSUB Interim Athletic Director Kenneth Siegfried said. “That’s definitely the goal. When we initially did the seating project, there was a certain amount of money needed for the seating and the press box so we had to raise half the money and borrowed the other half.”

He added that the $143,000 that they needed to raise was raised in a couple months, but because of the seating project needing to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, it ended up costing more. Siegfried said the extra expenses for the ADA were around $100,000. Siegfried said that he doesn’t expect an increase on the dollar amount for the press box.

Illustration by Paola Hernandez/The Runner
Illustration by Paola Hernandez/The Runner

“We have checked back, and the pricing is right around the same,” he said. “It’s all going to be determined on exactly when we get the new bid. Where it’s beneficial is the platform is built now, so literally all that has to happen is they bring in the press box. They set it in the platform. There shouldn’t be much cost differential.”

He added that the press box will look very similar to the press box at the Roadrunner Softball Complex, but only it would be much bigger.

“The center part is already larger than the softball one,” he said. “In addition to that, there are these two side areas that can be used for several different things.”

Siegfried said that this addition will allow them to have more seating area and even give more appeal to one day host a Western Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament.

“We need to have appropriate seating, and we need to have press area because if we ever want to host – let’s say one day we want to host the WAC Baseball Tournament. We need these things to be able to do that,” he said. “In addition to that, we want our media to be comfortable. We don’t want [the media] when it’s raining or when it’s really windy to have to sit under tents. We are a Division I program, and that’s how we want our facilities to look.”

He said that improving facilities is important because it will help with recruiting and give that Division I atmosphere feel to CSUB.

“When we have a student athlete who comes in and looks at our facilities and is trying to decide if they are going to play here, they look at these types of facilities,” he said. “We also want when we come out, we want our atmosphere to be a D-I atmosphere, so that people see that this is big time.”