Northern Lights Expansion Project Finally Completed

By
Updated: April 1, 2017

 

Northern Lights Expansion Project Finally Completed

by Ray D. Enze, NLN baseball blogger

April 7, 2025: Reno Nevada – How does one take a cozy little ballpark on the banks of Cherry Creek Lake and over 15 years reach the League maximum number of seats (65,000) and still keep the park cozy?

Is it through smoke and mirrors? Careful planning? Or a sheer disregard for the fan base that recently set the all-time attendance mark (4,702,801) and over the 18-year history of the Planetary Extrame Baseball Alliance has rung the turnstile at a total of 66,989,374 – more than any club?

Is it greed at the ownership level – a greed that wasn’t there 3 years ago, before the untimely death of Michael Topham who patiently watch the team build, prudently spent money without being cheap? After a death that the team has yet to disclose any information regarding – the Organizations – both Aurora and Golden Entertainment have been tight lipped, the out-of-the-blue take over by Michael Topham, Jr has left the team in the hands of a maniacle owner who has stripped profits from the hands of his GM ‘Brother’, added (now) 10,000 seats over two seasons, and demanded a level of excellence that has the team in a run of escalating player salary like they’ve never seen – including a 2025 PEBA record $212M.

Oh, and by the way folks – good luck squeezing those $24 Coors into your seats.

So how has Aurora shoe-horned more seats into the park? Well, we can’t say that it was easy.

Bleacher seating of the old bench style will see a little extra seats per row as the previously much-wider-than-code aisleways will be narrowed across the board. Architects hired to work the reconstruction have also rearranged the handicap seating throughout to take advantage of changes in Federal law brought about by the SB1369 (also known as the ‘Trump Handicap is Great Law’ of 2019) in such a way that has maintained the number of seats, but maximized the potential ‘regular’ seats.

New suite seating was added onto last years seating additions above the right field wall – work that had been stealthly carried on through the bulk of the 2024 season. Lastly, at the Field Club and Fat Tire Club levels, the old seats have been removed with newer, narrower seats, with an additional row in back – ‘At an average cost of less than an inch per seat and row, we’ve been able to provide more fans with the quality experience Northern Lights Park and the Aurora Borealis have provided for 18 years’, that’s what Aurora CFO Edward Castle had the unfortunate pleasure of saying to the press – and fans, both prior to and during the annual ‘Play Ball Luncheon’ yesterday at the Denver Marriott.

You don’t expect Mikey, Jr to be the bearer of bad news for the fan now, do you?

Aurora set an attendance record last year, but in the wake of their failing to win the title – to ‘four-peat’ – a wholly unrealistic expectation, season tickets are down 3,500 which means a potential $9M not in the coffers. The Borealis will have to win to keep the suddenly massive confines of Northern Lights Park filled – and the expectations are they will, but to break even with last years numbers they’ll need to work hard to overcome changes that may finally put-off the fan base.

Anyone game for an $20 Polish?