Southwest University Park

From BR Bullpen

  • Name: Southwest University Park
  • GPS-able Address: 1 Ballpark Plaza, El Paso, TX 79901
  • Ballpark Owner: City of El Paso
  • Architects: Populous
  • Groundbreaking: 25/30/2013
  • Minor League Baseball Teams: El Paso Chihuahuas (AAA) 2014-present
  • Class/League History: AAA/Pacific Coast League 2022-present; AAA/Triple-A West 2021; AAA/Pacific Coast League 2014-2020
  • First Professional Baseball Game: 4/28/2014; stadium debut of Class AAA Chihuahuas
  • Others Playing or Operating Here: None
  • Previous Ballpark Names: None
  • LF: 322 CF: 406 RF: 322
  • Seats: 7,200
  • Stated Capacity: 10,000
  • House Baseball/Softball Record Attendance: 10,169, 7/3/2015

Southwest University Park in El Paso, TX, is the home of the El Paso Chihuahuas, the San Diego Padres' Triple-A Pacific Coast League farm team. The city used land it already owned to build it quickly - by tearing down its existing City Hall.

In 2014, the Populous-designed ballpark with views of both Texas and Mexico ended two baseball sagas: the 10-year El Paso absence that started when the St. Louis Cardinals bought and moved the El Paso Diablos to Springfield, MO, and the three-season homelessness of the Portland Beavers that began when Major League Soccer rejected its expansion Portland Timbers' plan to share PGE Park, the home of the commonly owned Portland Beavers.

After Timbers/Beavers owner Merritt Paulson agreed to the renovation of PGE into a soccer-only facility, all of his efforts to get a new baseball stadium failed. Finally, he sold his homeless team to its parent San Diego Padres, who planned to join the trend of having a nearby farm club by moving it to nearby Escondido. While that suburb built a stadium, the Beavers made a temporary move to Tucson, AZ, which had just lost a PCL team to Reno, NV. When the Escondido playpen also fell through, the Padres sold the club to the El Paso group that brought Organized Baseball back to West Texas.

The stadium blends "downtown retro" and a Spanish influence. Southwest University, a virtual school without baseball or other sports, bought naming rights just before it opened.

MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization greatly increased standards for ballparks in which its farm teams play, and the Chihuahuas have taken a key step in getting into compliance. Their lease requires them to pay for the upgrades, but the city has overisght and has approved a five-year plan that will do that and more.

Current ballparks in the Pacific Coast League
East Division West Division
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark | Constellation Field | Dell Diamond | Isotopes Park | Southwest University Park Cheney Stadium | Greater Nevada Field | Las Vegas Ballpark | Smith's Ballpark | Sutter Health Park