Eugene new Cubs NWL home

The Cubs announced its third affiliation change of the week as the Eugene Emeralds are the new Northwest League home—ending a 14-year run with the Boise Hawks.

The Chicago Cubs and Eugene Emeralds have agreed on a new Player Development Contract to move the club's Northwest League affiliate from Boise. The contract runs through the 2016 season and reunites the two, as Eugene was a Cubs affiliate in the 1999-2000.

"We are looking forward to working with Allan Benavides and the entire Emeralds organization, and are eager to begin working with the local community," said Jason McLeod, the Cubs Senior Vice President, Scouting and Player Development. "The Eugene ball club offers a first-class facility at the University of Oregon, one of the most impressive facilities in short-season baseball."

"The Emeralds could not be happier to announce this new partnership with the Cubs," said Emeralds General Manager Allan Benavides. "We are excited to introduce a new brand of baseball at PK Park and look forward to a long-lasting relationship as the Cubs’ Northwest League affiliate." 

Since 2001, the Emeralds have been affiliated with the San Diego Padres. The club began play as an independent team in the inaugural Northwest League in 1955, and has since partnered with nine major league organizations in its 60-year history. A three-time Northwest League champion, the Emeralds moved into their current ballpark, PK Park, in 2010.

Opened in 2009 for the Oregon Ducks and built at cost of $19.2 million, PK Park is a vast upgrade over the facilities in Boise and the main reason the Cubs moved. Total capacity is 4,000, including over 2,000 box seats and a bleacher section that seats nearly 500. There are two picnic plazas and eight luxury suites with indoor and outdoor seating.

A new indoor facility, constructed in 2013, is located over the right-field wall. The facility features four, full batting cages, which are retractable so the facility can be used for infield practice. Outside the structure is the bullpen area, which features two mounds and a roof to protect the area. A large locker room and player’s lounge will also be to the player’s liking.

One of the unique features of PK Park is the playing surface, which is specially designed baseball turf and feels like natural grass. The surface covers the entire field except the pitcher mound and home plate, which are dirt. While the infield looks like dirt, it, along with base paths are created from special fibers to add “durability, consistent ball bounce and optimal sliding.” per the Emeralds website.

Emeralds are owned by David Elmore, who heads Elmore Sports Group, and also owns the Colorado Sky Sox, Empire Sixty-Sixers, San Antonio Missions and Idaho Falls Chuckers as well as the Utah Grizzlies, a pro hockey team in ECHL. Since 1991, he’s served on the Joint Committee of the National Association of Professional Baseball, a committee comprised of four minor league owners and four major league owners that work on all issues concerning both leagues.

Before the Cubs-Eugene announcement was made official, Boise already had a replacement for the Cubs, agreeing on a new PDC with the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies have spent the past 14 years in the NWL at Tri-City. A press conference to announce the agreement will be held Sept. 23.

The switch in the Northwest League ended a wild week as the Cubs moved three of their affiliates. They left Daytona and the Florida State League for Myrtle Beach and the Carolina League and then in a surprise move, left Kane County for South Bend in the Midwest League.

Photos of PK Park and the facilities from the University of Oregon's website at GoDucks.com.


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The Chicago Cubs and Eugene Emeralds have agreed on a new Player Development Contract to move the club's Northwest League affiliate from Boise. The contract runs through the 2016 season and reunites the two, as Eugene was a Cubs affiliate in the 1999-2000.

\"We are looking forward to working with Allan Benavides and the entire Emeralds organization, and are eager to begin working with the local community,\" said Jason McLeod, the Cubs Senior Vice President, Scouting and Player Development. \"The Eugene ball club offers a first-class facility at the University of Oregon, one of the most impressive facilities in short-season baseball.\"

\"The Emeralds could not be happier to announce this new partnership with the Cubs,\" said Emeralds General Manager Allan Benavides. \"We are excited to introduce a new brand of baseball at PK Park and look forward to a long-lasting relationship as the Cubs’ Northwest League affiliate.\"

Since 2001, the Emeralds have been affiliated with the San Diego Padres. The club began play as an independent team in the inaugural Northwest League in 1955, and has since partnered with nine major league organizations in its 60-year history. A three-time Northwest League champion, the Emeralds moved into their current ballpark, PK Park, in 2010.

Opened in 2009 for the Oregon Ducks and built at cost of $19.2 million, PK Park is a vast upgrade over the facilities in Boise and the main reason the Cubs moved. Total capacity is 4,000, including over 2,000 box seats and a bleacher section that seats nearly 500. There are two picnic plazas and eight luxury suites with indoor and outdoor seating.

A new indoor facility, constructed in 2013, is located over the right-field wall. The facility features four, full batting cages, which are retractable so the facility can be used for infield practice. Outside the structure is the bullpen area, which features two mounds and a roof to protect the area. A large locker room and player’s lounge will also be to the player’s liking.

One of the unique features of PK Park is the playing surface, which is specially designed baseball turf and feels like natural grass. The surface covers the entire field except the pitcher mound and home plate, which are dirt. While the infield looks like dirt, it, along with base paths are created from special fibers to add “durability, consistent ball bounce and optimal sliding.” per the Emeralds website.

Emeralds are owned by David Elmore, who heads Elmore Sports Group, and also owns the Colorado Sky Sox, Empire Sixty-Sixers, San Antonio Missions and Idaho Falls Chuckers as well as the Utah Grizzlies, a pro hockey team in ECHL. Since 1991, he’s served on the Joint Committee of the National Association of Professional Baseball, a committee comprised of four minor league owners and four major league owners that work on all issues concerning both leagues.

Before the Cubs-Eugene announcement was made official, Boise already had a replacement for the Cubs, agreeing on a new PDC with the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies have spent the past 14 years in the NWL at Tri-City. A press conference to announce the agreement will be held Sept. 23.

The switch in the Northwest League ended a wild week as the Cubs moved three of their affiliates. They left Daytona and the Florida State League for Myrtle Beach and the Carolina League and then in a surprise move, left Kane County for South Bend in the Midwest League.

Photos of PK Park and the facilities from the University of Oregon's website at GoDucks.com.

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