Best Press Box in the Northwest League

A survey among the eight broadcasters in the Northwest League has revealed their thoughts on the best Press Boxes in the league.


Thumbnail image for DSC02611.JPG1. Eugene – The press box at P.K. Park earned the only one of two unanimous votes by the broadcasters in the league (the other was for the worst of something), as the newest stadium in the loop earned rave reviews for the media headquarters.  The spacious visiting booth that has temperature controls, multiple Ethernet ports, phone lines, and a great sight line to the field.  One broadcaster felt, “It is night and day between P.K. Park and Civic Stadium, although I miss the charm of the old stadium.”  Another stated simply, “A big league experience,” while a third said, “Major League level press box – but other than the lack of a wireless internet set-up, it was as perfect as it gets.”


Thumbnail image for avista.JPG2. Spokane – I would think that Avista Stadium’s press box would have been the top choice in 2009, as the sight-line from high atop the part gives one a feeling of how broadcasters must have felt at old Tiger Stadium (but make sure not to fall out the window, it is a LONG way to the bottom) – as you are literally right on top of the action.  One broadcaster stated, “It is your best opportunity in the league to get a foul ball,” while a second said, “Great view, best in the league – with a pop machine and bathroom close by.”  A third broadcaster simply said, “AAA experience in a short-season A league.”


Thumbnail image for EverettMemorial3. Everett – I think the environment at Everett Memorial Stadium helps make their press box what it is.  Public Address announcer Tom Lafferty is a legend in the NWL, while the waitstaff that brings your dinner is outstanding – as is the sightlines to home plate.  “I love those clear days in which you can see the mountains in the distance,” said one broadcaster, while another mentioned, “Great view, although the internet access needs to be kicked up a notch.”


NatBailey2.JPG4. Vancouver – The box at Nat Bailey Stadium I think may be one of the next upgrades as the renovation of the park is ever-changing, as it is hard to think they used to house AAA ball.  The staff is outstanding, however, the radio booth is a bit cramped and although the sight-line to home plate is very good, it is hard to see things down the right-field line.  One broadcaster said, “Netting in front of the only untinted glass in the press box ruins the view, and the leg room is awful,” while another said, “Vancouver could be so, so, much better – should be #2, but loses points do to the inability to see part of right-field and the bullpen, and the lack of window tinting causes a legitimate hardship during day games.”


Thumbnail image for DSC02164.JPG5. Yakima – Although the press box at County Stadium hasn’t changed much since the stadium was built in 1995, a huge upgrade a couple years ago was the installation of an Ethernet line for internet access.  The visiting radio booth is right behind home plate, with the vantage point solid.  “Has improved considerably over the years, with the most reliable internet in the league,” said one broadcaster, while a second felt, “Needs a wireless internet option.”


Thumbnail image for RadioBooth.JPG6. Tri-City – Gesa Stadium has a basic press box that has plenty of room for the visiting broadcaster, but on nights with wind and dust – the large, open air windows make it difficult to choke out the weather.  When it gets hot in Pasco, especially in pregame, the booth does not give much comfort until the sun shade kicks in – but it does have a good view of the field.  “A lack of crowd noise is a challenge during some games, while the proximity of fans can be a distraction.  I don’t think the floor has been mopped since the Posse played there,” said one broadcaster, while a second mentioned, “Fans in the box are not nearly enough to quell the heat, although I tend to lose a couple pounds during the series there.”


Thumbnail image for Broadcast Booth7. Salem-Keizer – The press box at Volcanoes Stadium is a great working environment for everyone but the two broadcasters – as there is plenty of room for the gameday staff and press reporters.  The visiting radio booth is a small room right on the concourse level with a poor sight-line to home plate, making it difficult to judge pitches.  Fans will congregate in front of the window (which opens up and down, making it difficult to see) – further making the view difficult.  “I sound like I’m in a warehouse, and have fans talking constantly in my crowd mic.  That is, when they aren’t standing in the way of the game on the concourse,” said one broadcaster.  Another mentioned, “Stadium architect must have designed the press box on a Friday night between 4:50 and 4:59.  I’d like to see Katie Couric do the Evening News with a kiosk set up in front of her teleprompter.”


Thumbnail image for safford.JPG8. Boise – It’s sad to say, but my home press box is at the bottom of the list.  Too far away from the playing field to get any real natural sound from the game, while the heat during the summer can be brutal – especially on nights when the wind isn’t blowing.  Having a monitor in the booth when fans block my vision has been a life-saver.  One broadcaster put it – “Fans in your crowd mic, standing in front of you in the most inopportune times.  This outdated beauty adds to it with no ventilation in the middle of the summer, frankly, it needs to be blown up and redone.”  A second felt, “The Hawks “Tree House” is the absolute worst of the worst.  Impossible to do your job when you can’t see the field.  There shouldn’t be seats directly in front of the press box.”  A third mentioned, “It is a long climb to the restrooms.”


A couple other tidbits from the broadcasters – many of the guys mentioned that the Northwest League should send out a memo to the press boxes to mandate better communication between the broadcasters, the scorers, and the umpires when there are line-up changes.  Another said, “With the addition of P.K. Park, four of the eight press boxes now have restrooms.  Come on guys – four hours or more sometimes can be too long to wait.”  Another also was frank – “Salem-Keizer’s uniform numbers (a slanted script number) should be outlawed.”

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