Las Vegas, NV
Review by Mike
Cashman Field was the home of the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League. I didn't get to see a game at Cashman Field, but I did stop by a few weeks before the 2018 season and the nice lady in the office allowed me to go in to take some photos. I didn't realize at the time that 2018 would be the last season of baseball at Cashman, after 36 years of AAA action. A new ballpark is under construction about 9 miles to the west, but Cashman will survive as a soccer stadium, home of the Las Vegas Lights FC of the USL.
I had read that Cashman was outdated and not a popular stop on the AAA circuit and it did have a sense of fatigue about it. The seats, once brightly colored, have been seriously faded by the unforgiving Nevada sun. Much of the grandstand is uncovered, surprising in a desert ballpark, and I can only imagine that any exposed seating would be unbearable prior to sunset. The general shape of the seating bowl reminds me of the former All-Sports Stadium in Oklahoma City.
The press box and suites are housed in an unusual structure that squats down low over the seats behind home plate. It feels almost menacing, the front of the press box extending down towards the field like a dragon dipping it's head low to inspect a hapless traveler that has wandered into its path. A rust-colored roof slopes down towards the field and that, combined with all of the brick around the concourse, gives the ballpark a decidedly dated look, which makes sense as it was built in 1983.
On the plus side, the single-layer seating bowl provides excellent sightlines to the field and splendid views of the mountains beyond the outfield fence. I can imagine that many lovely sunsets have colored those mountains with natural pyrotechnics thru the years. The field is oddly square, making for a very deep center field, but I'm told the wind almost always blows out, mitigating this factor. The stadium also features some unique light towers, with more structural steel on the risers than is common, that then extend out towards the field rather than simply being topped by lights.
Cashman Field is a ballpark of its time that has served its community for over 35 years and has seen its fair share of history; The AAA World Series, annual MLB exhibition games and a short regular season occupancy by the Oakland A's in 1996 while their ballpark finished up renovations. Although well past its heyday, I'm glad that the park will live on as a soccer stadium, but also glad that Las Vegas and the 51s are getting the new ballpark that this big-league market deserves. Oh, and the new ballpark will have a roof, so you can leave the sunscreen at home.