Prior to Wednesday night’s Crabs game, state Sen. Mike McGuire announced the state of California is investing $1 million into the Arcata Ballpark.
McGuire told the crowd that the funds would be used to update disability access, construct a new plaza in front of the ballpark and to build a new facade.
After receiving the ceremonial check from McGuire, David Sharp, president of the Crabs Board, thanked the senator and addressed the fans, saying conversations around this announcement began last year.
“About a year ago, Mike and I had a conversation out there behind the facade in front of the front entrance there at the plaza,” Sharp said. “It was a conversation about the Crabs and stories, but one really of our fans and the impact on the community that this organization has. And how we always say that we’re a fan-based , fan-owned organization. And how cool is that? That this $1 million check is going back to you guys.”
After the announcement, McGuire spoke in more detail about the decision.
“It’s almost been 80 years that the Crabs have been playing here in Humboldt County,” McGuire said. “And the stadium needs a little bit of love. So last year we started conversations with the Humboldt Crabs organization as well as the city of Arcata… on what type of enhancements are needed."
McGuire described a three-point plan that was discussed between the state, the Humboldt Crabs and the city of Arcata, which owns the ballpark.
“No. 1, enhanced disability access all throughout the ballpark. No. 2, a brand new front facade for the front of the ballpark, to be able to match the look of downtown Arcata," he said. "No. 3, there is going to be a brand new grand Crabs plaza as folks come in and exit the stadium.”
McGuire also said the hope is to begin construction in the near future as well as stating that funding for the upgrades is a combined effort between the state, city, and Crabs organization.
“We’re hoping to get kicked off here in the next 12 to 24 months,” McGuire said. “And this is also a financial partnership. So the state is going to invest $1 million, the Crabs are setting aside funding and the city of Arcata will also be pitching in as well.”
Arcata Mayor Stacy Atkins-Salazar was also on hand at the announcement to address the crowd and publicly thanked McGuire.
“This ballpark really is the gem of the downtown,” Atkins-Salazar said. “And to see this investment into our community, especially as we’re coming out of COVID, supports not only the Crabs team, but our business communities as well.”