Thanks to a new preferred partnership with the City of St. Paul, the Lowertown Ballpark
will be the official home field for the Hamline baseball team
in coordination with minor league baseball’s St. Paul Saints
, who will manage the facility. The ballpark is scheduled to officially open in 2015.
“The Hamline Pipers will soon have the best field in the nation for Division III baseball,” Hamline Athletics
Director Jason Verdugo said.
The Saints’ Midway Stadium has been home to Pipers baseball since it opened in the mid 1980s. With that stadium closing, this new arrangement will provide the university team a prime location to practice and compete. It will also allow Hamline to utilize the training facilities, including batting cages, a dedicated locker room, and enjoy prominent visibility at the downtown ballpark.
“We are thrilled to call the Lowertown Ballpark home for Hamline baseball,” Hamline President Linda Hanson said. “Our Pipers will have the best field in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), and this progressive partnership offers our athletes access to top-notch facilities and a unique experience with Division III baseball. We’re also pleased to continue strong and long-standing relationships among Minnesota’s first university, its capital city, and one of the leading professional, independent, minor-league teams in the country.”
Hamline is expected to play more than a dozen games each year at the ballpark, from March to May, as well as hold fall and spring practices and several junior varsity games. The university will work with the St. Paul Saints to coordinate schedules.
“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Hamline University to Lowertown,” Mayor Chris Coleman said. “This is just one in a history of great partnerships we have shared with Hamline, and the university’s addition to the new ballpark speaks to the essence of what it was built to be – a community park, open to everyone, and host to a variety of events, on and off the field of play. The vitality of Lowertown will only increase with Hamline students and fans visiting nearby restaurants and rooting on their team.”
Between 2006-2014, Hamline baseball had seven winning seasons, made four MIAC tournament appearances, earned one conference championship, and one NCAA appearance and win. The team has a roster of approximately 59 players, making it one of the largest teams in the MIAC.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the opportunity to partner with Hamline University in Lowertown. We have enjoyed a long history of working with Hamline at Midway Stadium and look forward to strengthening that relationship in the new ballpark,” Derek Sharrer, executive vice president and general manager of the St. Paul Saints, said. “Building a regional home for amateur baseball has been at the heart of this project since the beginning, and the addition of Hamline goes a long way to make that goal a reality."
The Saint Paul Saints are one of the leading professional minor-league teams in the country, and nationally known for forward thinking, creative promotions and charitable giving. Major League teams have purchased the contracts of 110 Saints players, including three currently pitching in Major League Baseball: Caleb Thielbar (Minnesota Twins), Tanner Scheppers (Texas Rangers) and Brandon Kintzler (Milwaukee Brewers). The team's new stadium is expected to bring 400,000 people per year to downtown Saint Paul and will have a yearly economic impact in the millions of dollars on the city. The project is expected to create 500 full- and part-time jobs and will become a center for statewide youth and amateur sporting events.