Clean-up continues at Osprey Stadium

UPDATE: The Pioneer League ruled that the Osprey's series against the Idaho Falls Chukars that was originally scheduled to be played at Ogren Park will be moved to Idaho Falls due to the current condition of Ogren Park.

This results in a total loss of the Osprey's six game homestand scheduled from Friday, August 16 to Wednesday, August 21. 

Crews spent another long day working on the field, but the Osprey and their contractors could not get the field condition to meet the safety standards of Major League Baseball. 

“This has been a baseball team’s worst nightmare,” explained Osprey Vice President Matt Ellis. “Not having a safe and playable field is as bad as it gets. Our team’s effort was there but the mountain was too high to climb. Our team will now be on the road until our final homestand of the regular season begins next week on Tuesday, August 27th.”

Fans holding tickets from any of the six games from this homestand can exchange them for a ticket for any of the remaining Osprey home games.

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The clean-up continues at the Osprey Stadium after canceling their games this weekend they had to move tonight's game up to Great Falls. Now the question is will it be ready for Tuesday or will that game have to be moved too?

The Missoula Osprey had to cancel games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday due to unsafe field conditions. Crews were out on the field working hard to make sure the field isn’t too soft for players.

“We have had inspections on a daily basis the league president from the pioneer league has come in and is still in town helping us address the field to see whether its playable or not,” Osprey Vice President Matt Ellis said.

On August 11 Ogren Park hosted thousands of fans for a Mumford & Sons concert. But before the show started Missoula was hit with a lot of rain. Even though Logjams, the concert organizer, spent $75,000 on protective flooring, the combination of rain and heavy foot traffic was just too much for the field.

“We took all the preventative actions and baseball took all the preventative measures but sometimes you just have weather happen and cause events like this,” Logjams Owner Nick Checota said.

Ogren Park is a city owned complex and both the Osprey and Logjams lease the space. Checota says he hope to continue to host concerts at the stadium but in the meantime his company is continuing to work with the osprey restore the field.

While they baseball team is heading the restoration project, Logjams will be footing the bill for the repairs when a final cost is calculated.

“[Logjams] have talked to us and have been checking on us so yeah there is a lot of good communication going on but naturally we have to learn things from this and make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Ellis said.

Checota is confident that his company will host more concerts at Ogren Park.

"we have a lease with the city and the city is super supportive of doing more shows," Checota said, "this was a lesson learned and we will learn from it going forward."

Ogren Park is owned by the City of Missoula and they lease it out to both the Osprey and Logjams for $120,000 and $70,000 of that is paid by Logjams.

And when the Osprey do finally get to play on their home field again, Ellis hopes there is a good turnout for their return.

“We hope our fans when we get back home whether it is tomorrow or next Tuesday that they come out and support us it’s been a tough week and we would love to see everyone out here showing support for baseball,” Ellis said.

If the field is not ready for Tuesday’s game it will be played in Idaho falls.

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