Major League Baseball used footage of Hoquiam’s historic Olympic Stadium in its Opening Day video promo, released on its Twitter page Thursday.
“They reached out to us about a month ago and asked for permission. We gave a resounding yes,” said Hoquiam City Administrator Brian Shay. You can view the video at https://mobile.twitter.com/mlb/status/1377661758865874949.
About 10 seconds into the one-minute clip, the diamond and easily-recognizable wooden bleachers can be seen for a few seconds, part of a montage of ballparks in small towns and Big League cities around the country. The video was welcoming fans back to live baseball for the April 1 season-openers. Just under 8,200 fans were to be allowed into T-Mobile Park Thursday night for the Seattle Mariners’ opener against the San Francisco Giants.
The 9,000-seat Olympic Stadium, which opened in 1938, is in the midst of a major overhaul. The first phase included a new entryway and a new fire suppression system under the grandstands. The second phase will include renovation and repair of the grandstands, accessibility improvements, siding replacement and painting.
The City of Hoquiam continues to work to secure funding — the first phase was funded by more than $500,000 in 2019 state capital budget money, and the city recently received a $900,000 grant through the state Department of Commerce to work on the second phase. The city has also contracted with a lobbying firm that, along with pressing the legislature for funding for the flood control levee project, is also working toward more funding for the stadium in the state capital budget this year.
“I am hoping that this amazing coverage will be a catalyst in our capital fundraising efforts to fully restore and enhance our historic stadium,” said Shay. “Maybe it could ultimately lead to a major league exhibition game or something someday down the road.”