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The Aviators' Las Vegas Ballpark Takes Flight

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A panoramic view of Las Vegas Ballpark taken during the first home game of the Las Vegas Aviators' inaugural season.

A panoramic view of Las Vegas Ballpark taken during the first home game of the Las Vegas Aviators' inaugural season.

On April 9, the Las Vegas Ballpark opened its doors to the public for the first time, ushering in a new era of baseball to the Las Vegas Valley. Desert Companion Art Director Christopher Smith captured the Las Vegas Aviators' first game, a 10-2 victory over visiting Sacramento River Cats.

Christopher's take: The Strip-style amenities — gourmet food, posh suites, a pool with cabana suites and in-seat wait service — give the Las Vegas Ballpark a definite Vegas touch. But the size, scale, and design give the ballpark a legitimate "big league stadium" feel that suggest we've made it to the majors.

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Christopher Smith

Signage on the front of Las Vegas Ballpark. Crews were still finishing up small details as excited guests were arriving. 

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Christopher Smith

A plaque on the outside of the stadium detailing the team's major league affiliation with the Oakland Athletics. 

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Christopher Smith

Fans enter Las Vegas Ballpark for the first time. On their way in, fans received Las Vegas Aviators souvenir baseball caps.

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Christopher Smith

Opening week program book, given to fans as they made their way to the seats. 

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Christopher Smith

The Las Vegas Aviators take batting practice as the volunteers in the stands get their final assigments for opening night. 

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Christopher Smith

Fans arrive at their seats during batting practice to take in the ballpark's new views.

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Christopher Smith

Flydog, one of several new gourmet food concepts at Las Vegas Ballpark, offers fans several hot dog and sausage options created by Chef Brian Howard of Sparrow + Wolf. Other local restaurants are represented at the ballpark as well: Capriotti's Sandwich Shop, Ferraro's, Me Gusta Tacos, Goodwich, and more. 

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Christopher Smith

Fans not only flocked to the food vendors, they also flooded the team store for the new team apparel.

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Christopher Smith

The grounds crew touches up the field before the big game gets under way.

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Christopher Smith

Aviators first baseman Seth Brown sneaks out to the dugout before the rest of the team to take in the atmoshere of their new stadium. 

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Christopher Smith

Players stretch and warm up during pregame before the teams first-ever game at Las Vegas Ballpark.  

From left to right: Dustin Fowler, OF (10), Eric Capbell 1B (22), Tyler Ramirez, OF (23), Skye Bold, OF (8).

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Christopher Smith

Players stretch and warm up during pregame at Las Vegas Ballpark.  

From left to right: Outfielders Mark Payton (16), Tyler Ramirez (54), Skye Bold (8), Dustin Fowler (10)

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Christopher Smith

Young fans cheer on their newest team as they take the field for pregame warmups.  

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Christopher Smith

The Las Vegas Aviators introduced two new mascots to the valley. Here, 'Spruce' gets the fans in a frenzy before the start of the game. 

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Christopher Smith

Fans get into a frenzy as 'Spruce' gets them pumped up.

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Christopher Smith

The Las Vegas Aviators' second mascot, 'Aviator,' makes a grand entrance via jet pack. 

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Christopher Smith

'Aviator' points to the fans as the second new Aviators mascot is introduced.

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Christopher Smith

Hailey Dawson, 9, of Henderson, prepares to throw out the first pitch using a 3D-printed robotic hand developed and printed by UNLV's College of Engineering. (Dawson is the first person to ever throw out the first pitch at all 30 Major League baseball stadiums, a dream she completed at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. on September 16, 2018).

 

 

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Christopher Smith

Hailey Dawson throws out the ceremonial first pitch to Las Vegas hitting coach Eric Martins during the Aviators' inaugural game at Las Vegas Ballpark. Asked if she was nervous throwing out the first pitch at her home stadium, Hailey replied, "Never!"

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Christopher Smith

Howard Hughes CEO David R. Weinreb, Gov. Steve Sisolak, and LVCVA CEO Steve Hill commemorate Las Vegas Ballpark's first game. 

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Christopher Smith

Flags fly in the high winds at Las Vegas Ballpark in Summerlin. Winds were forecasted during the game to reach upwards of 35 mph. 

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Christopher Smith

The Las Vegas Aviators stand ready for the opening day festivities at Las Vegas Ballpark.

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Christopher Smith

Fans settle into their seats at the Las Vegas Ballpark.

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Christopher Smith

A young fan holds up a sign to welcome the Las Vegas Aviators to Summerlin.

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Christopher Smith

Fans filled the concourse throughout the opening innings to get food — and get out of the cold winds that started to creep into the stadium by the second inning. 

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photo by Christopher Smith

A view from right field; Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino is seen over the third base stands. 

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Christopher Smith

Shortstop Jorge Mateo breaks his bat as he hits a single to center field in the bottom of the first inning. 

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Christopher Smith

Unlike Cashman Field, the old home to the Las Vegas 51s, Las Vegas Ballpark has seating above the left field fence and a wrap-around walkway, offering new vantage points for the fans. 

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Christopher Smith

A popular feature at Cashman Field, the grass lawn, is a feature of the Las Vegas Ballpark, too.

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Christopher Smith

Jorge Mateo brings in a run with a line drive single in the bottom of the second inning. 

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Christopher Smith

Sheldon Neuse walks to home after a throwing error by Sacramento's shortstop Abiatal Avelino.

 

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Christopher Smith

Fans pack Las Vegas Ballpark for the Aviators' first home game. Las Vegas Ballpark has a seating capacity of 10,000, which doesn't include standing room. Attendance at this inaugural game was reported to be 11,036.

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Christopher Smith

Daniel Mengden pitches in the top of the fifth inning. Mengden had a strong outing, coming into play during the third inning to win the game. He pitched six innings, allowing one run with nine strikeouts. (Although The Aviators were winning by a score of 6-1, the stands appear empty because fans flocked to the concourse to escape the high winds and dust.)

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