The Hillsboro Hops Stadium Saga Continues

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Ron Tonkin Field, Hillsboro Hops Northwest League Stadium

The minor league team wants to build a stadium in Hillsboro, Oregon.

The ownership of Minor League Baseball’s Hillsboro Hops franchise of the Northwest League, now has until March 15th, 2024 to come up with financing for a new stadium in the Oregon city. Originally, Major League Baseball gave the Hops’ ownership a deadline of September 30th to renovate the team’s present facility but the Hops’ ownership has decided to try and build a new venue in town. The team is affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise. Hillsboro is the fifth largest city in Oregon and is part of the Portland metropolitan market. There are about 106,000 people who live in Hillsboro. The city reached an agreement to bring a Yakima, Washington franchise to town in 2012 and construction on a 4,500-seat stadium began in September 2012. The team started playing in the facility in June 2013. The ten-year old stadium did not cut it anymore. Hops’ ownership wanted to build a new stadium but needed funding from some government entity whether it is from local or state sources. The Hops’ ownership is looking for about  $20 million.

When Major League Baseball took over Minor League Baseball in late 2019, it decided to cut 42 minor league franchises. The Hillsboro Hops franchise survived and moved up from the Short Season-A classification to a High-A league. But Hops ownership was told do something with the stadium or the team will not remain in Hillsboro. The team ownership needs a park that meets MLB’s stadium standards.  Hops’ ownership and city officials were considering renovating the Hops’ current stadium but the ownership and city officials are now convinced that building a new ballpark would be at least “15% more cost-effective”. The team ownership and city officials are hoping state legislators will fill in the funding gap during the legislative session in February 2024.

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