Ballparks.com has named Southwest University Park Ballpark of the Year for 2014.

The announcement was made in Wednesday's USA Today Sports Weekly by Joe Mock, president of Grand Slam Enterprises and frequent contributor to USA Today publications.

 "The level of excitement over my in-depth review by fans in the El Paso area has even topped what I saw last year," said Mock. "They constructed one of the great facilities in the sport."

To read more of Mock's review of Southwest University Park, visit http://www.baseballparks.com/ElPaso-1.asp.

The honor is given annually to a new or remodeled baseball stadium with the best combination of aesthetics, architectural design, attractive site selection and fan amenities.

"This is truly an honor for the entire community of El Paso," Josh Hunt, Managing Partner of MountainStar Sports Group, said. "I believe our City can be very proud that the El Paso Chihuahuas play in a venue that is recognized as being the best new ballpark in the country.  From the outset, our objective was to build a first-class facility."

Hunt added, "The unique design was a key factor.  The project team started with a small, tight amount of land in the heart of our city, and turned it into a ballpark with distinct 'neighborhoods' that make up the total venue.  And to top it off, we have incredibly supportive fans that create the best environment in Minor League Baseball.  Populous, the construction team and consultants, and the City of El Paso should be very proud of this honor.  It's really very special."

 

"I think every El Pasoan can feel this ballpark is theirs and take pride in what it represents - not only family fun and excitement at the ballpark, but also national recognition at the highest level," said El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser.

The architecture firm, Populous, designed the ballpark that is situated in downtown El Paso on a little more than five acres of land. This is the eighth honor for Populous, who also won the honor in 2004 for the design of Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres (the Chihuahuas Major League Affiliate), in 2000 for the design of AT & T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, and in 2001 for PNC Park the home of  the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Southwest University Park incorporates El Paso's rich history with its unique design. The red brick exterior resembles the nearby Union Depot and includes a box car-like façade and archways along the concourse.