ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Albuquerque is getting ready to spend millions more to fix up Isotopes Park. But these are changes fans most likely won’t see. It’s all part of an effort to meet new MLB standards announced a few years ago. The city owns the facility while the Isotopes rent out and operate it. But ultimately, it’s up to the city to keep the stadium up to big league baseball standards.
“This facility has become a central piece of the pride of the entire state,” said John Traub, General Manager for the Isotopes. As the Isotopes get ready for opening day, the city of Albuquerque is making sure Isotopes Park is ready to go and up-to-date with the latest standards.
“There’s a lot of different things that are now being required of all minor league stadiums across the country,” said Traub. “Just making the facility, I guess, more current when it comes to player development needs.”
According to the city, some of the needed changes include adding female changing rooms, upgrading dining facilities for players, and expanding the weight room. “It’s going to be minimally evasive to people. They probably won’t even see a lot of these things, but it’s just one of the things if you’re going to have a team in your hometown or in your facility, the facilities have to be up to compliance,” said Traub.
The city has already made some improvements to meet standards like removing the hill from center field last year. In its latest effort, the city is asking the state for $2 million in capital outlay funding this session to help upgrade coaches’ and players’ locker rooms. The city is asking voters for another $1.5 million in bond money this November.
“We’ve done a lot of things on our own, the city’s done a lot of things, and together it’s been a great partnership. The city owns this facility but we operate this facility. And we operate it as if it’s ours, inviting three-quarters of a million people into our home every year, and
we want to make sure that this ballpark stays as tip top condition and remains the pride of this community for a long, long, time,” said Traub.
The city said it is on track for Isotopes Park to be in full compliance by the MLB’s 2025 deadline. The Isotopes home-opener is on April 4.