This week we were fortunate enough to sit with Brad Taylor, the General Manager of the El Paso Chihuahuas. Brad, originally from Fairfax, Virginia, exudes an enthusiasm for not only the baseball team but the entire city. Specifically, Brad is amazed at the progress of the ballpark and downtown itself. The ballpark, scheduled to be completed in April of this year, promises big things for this San Diego Padres Triple-A affiliate.
For those not as familiar with the tier system of baseball, here is a brief explanation. The Major Leagues have roughly 750 of the best baseball players in the world which comprise what we know as the Pro teams, including the San Diego Padres. Beneath this league are the Triple-A teams, which now includes our El Paso Chihuahuas, consisting of the next best 750 players. This league is buzzing with the energy of promise. Each player in the league is literally on the cusp of being plucked for pro ball at any given time, making for a kinetic and oft fluctuating roster of some of the most talented players in the nation. There are several leagues beneath the Triple-A’s that a player must climb in order to make it this far.
The El Paso Chihuahuas are presently training in Peoria, AZ, before playing their first string of road games then gracing El Paso with their presence and the first “Home” game of the season in April. Team players are chosen at training by the San Diego Padres and disseminated amongst the respective affiliates, at which time we will have our official roster-just in time for the start of the season.
DMD: Where does Brad Taylor see the organization and downtown in 2014?
Brad: We have done a lot of work the last couple of months and we are now branded, so as a known entity it’s now less guess work which means we will now see significant progress. Not to say we are the sole reason but local [downtown] businesses are changing their hours in anticipation of opening day. We have revitalization happening in conjunction with the ballpark and the coolest thing about downtown is that it’s not on one side or the other but in the middle of the city!
DMD: Is there a plan for the ballpark to be utilized when there are no baseball games?
Brad: Well first, baseball has to be done right. After that, there are plenty of options but we definitely will get involved. Next year, we will be excited to use the facilities to play a part in events like the Sun Bowl but the ballpark can be used in so many ways. For example, we can host concerts, 5k runs and things like that but our mission is to be used for events and to attract more and newer events.
DMD: Is the ballpark only a baseball field or are there uses we haven’t considered?
Brad: The ballpark has so much more and facilities that can accommodate private events as well. Imagine the excitement of having dinners, reunions, or quinceaneras at the ballpark! We love baseball but it’s more than just baseball, we are in the business of making lifetime memories. This is for the people of El Paso and we want this to perpetuate pride in their hometown.
DMD: Any parting thoughts?
Brad: We want people to look at the Chihuahuas as the place to be with your family, friends and co-workers because it’s safe, clean, affordable and you will never see the same thing two nights in a row!
Ticket information: 915-533-BASE