There are many articles that describe the history of the stadium. The following is meant to be a comprehensive update on recent renovations, current needs and future plans for the stadium. Other family fun events in Round Rock.
The Dell Diamond is located in Round Rock, Texas, which used to be a small rural community about 20 miles north of Austin. The area was mainly known for its strip of motels and restaurants along Interstate-35. However, in the past two decades Round Rock has boomed and Dell Diamond now sits at the heart of a bustling community that is home to about 100,000 people. The stadium opened in 1994 as the Dell Diamond and is home to the Round Rock Express, a PCL affiliate of the Houston Astros. The stadium has also hosted several big-time events including the 2003 and 2006 Big 12 Baseball Tournaments, two NCAA Regionals (2005, 2007) and the 2008 NCAA Super Regional featuring the Texas Longhorns and Mississippi State Bulldogs. The stadium is owned by the City of Round Rock and is located near Brushy Creek, which is a tributary of the Colorado River.
History of Renovations
In 2006 the stadium went through its first major renovation in an effort to make it more fan-friendly and to add value for not only the Express but the community. The renovations included:
· A kids play area, replete with a scaled down field and batting cage, called the “Little Dell”
· Five redesigned outfield concourse luxury suites with pool tables and other amenities.
· A new restaurant, “The Express-Café”, with a patio-style bar and snack concession.
· A new state-of-the-art video board in centerfield, dubbed “Round Rock Live!”
· A new entry plaza with ticket windows.
· Asphalt paving throughout the stadium
These renovations helped transform Dell Diamond from an outdated, minor league facility with bad sightlines into a very nice AAA ballpark. Dell Diamond had a seating capacity of about 7,500 in 1994 and with the renovations in 2006 it sat around 10,000.
The latest renovations to Dell Diamond were done ahead of the 2010 season. The Express ownership was not satisfied with the status quo and they decided that certain aspects needed to be improved if they wanted to continue to draw more than 300,000 fans per season. The renovations done in 2010 were completed without a single dollar of taxpayer money and they were done with the help of private donors. The renovations included:
· A new outfield party deck featuring picnic tables, an upgraded concessions area and a bar
· A new artificial turf playing surface. The cost of this field alone was $750,000.
· A new outfield fence. The old fence was not consistent with the feel of a AAA ballpark; it was deemed too short, too inconsistent and not “beautiful” enough. The new outfield fence is 42 feet tall and consistent throughout the park.
· New padded outfield walls to ensure that outfielders are not injured when crashing into the wall.
· New seating throughout the stadium, including new bleachers down both lines to accommodate standing room only crowds.
· New lights that will allow the stadium to host night games and also the possibility of hosting future nationally-televised events. The lights were partially funded by a donation from an anonymous organization.
It is clear that the Dell Diamond is undergoing a transformation from a good minor league ballpark to a great one. Not only will this help attract fans but it will also help the Round Rock Express draw better players. The affordability of Dell Diamond combined with its location and comfortable amenities makes it a great place.