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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Union Stadium set for a facelift: Renovations ahead for facility’s 30th anniversary

Baseballs line a pitching mound in the City College bullpen. A new mound was added to the field over the winter break. Photo by Dianne Rose

Nick Pecoraro

Sports Editor

[email protected]


Union Stadium at Sacramento City College is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018, and to celebrate, it’s getting a makeover.

The home field of the City College baseball team, the “U”, is scheduled to undergo some major renovations in the coming months.

The stadium was built in 1987, but the first game was played near the end of the 1988 season, the year that the Panthers won their third state championship; the first under City Hall of Fame coach Jerry Weinstein.

Weinstein began coaching at City in 1975 and broke away for a one-year stop as head coach at the University of Miami in 1984 before returning as City’s skipper in 1985. While at Miami, Weinstein had an epiphany—a vision for a respectable stadium—which he helped turned into a reality within four years.

“Building the stadium was a big deal,” said assistant athletic director Paul Carmazzi, who coached the City baseball team during Weinstein’s absence. “The team practiced on campus, but it was just a regular backstop, like you’d see at Land Park. (Weinstein) learned at the University of Miami that if you want people to come here, you’ve got to have a stadium.”

During the winter break, the baseball team worked with the City groundskeeping crew to upgrade the one area of the field that is involved in every play of every game: the pitching mound.

According to sophomore City pitcher Danny Chavez, who started the Jan. 27 home game against Cañada College, the new mound carries more meaning than just the place where pitches are thrown from.

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Construction begins in June to add new bleachers and improve the overall structural foundation of the seating areas. The new designs are set to satisfy up-to-date safety codes. An estimated 400 of the 1,500 seats in the stadium are taped off for the extent of the 2018 season, including the entire section directly behind home plate, according to Carmazzi.

Head coach Derek Sullivan estimated that the upcoming projects could cost up to $850,000.

“It’s necessary,” he said. “Thirty years is a long time without having any work done, and we need it.”

While Union Stadium’s field has always had a natural grass surface, Carmazzi said that the program may eventually follow many other modern stadiums’ example and shift to artificial turf, however, there are no immediate plans to make the change.

“I’m a big fan of the natural surface, especially if we can have the manpower to keep it tightened up,” said Sullivan. “But (turf) would be something that would be hard to turn down if it were ever an option.”

Union Stadium hosts a number of high school games as well, including the California Interscholastic Federation playoffs.

“It’s where everybody wants to go,” said Sullivan. “They all want to play at City.”

Sullivan added that a newly renovated stadium will help not only with recruiting, but will also serve as a beacon of pride for both City College and the entire community.

“We have one of the best facilities in the nation for junior colleges,” he said. “We’re fortunate to get guys from out of the area. There’s a lot of interest, not just from the western region, but from across the country. We have a national reputation, and a big piece of that is our amazing stadium. Keeping that up to date gives us a competitive advantage. It’s a special thing.”

For more info on SCC baseball, visit  

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    Roy McDanielJan 29, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Great place to play,being a Panther Alum best park I town and keeps getting better.THE “U” Home of Champions.Who will we Pounce on Next…Grrrrrr