Minor-league stadium seen as anchor for Rancho Cucamonga downtown

Inland Empire city approved a plan to link minor league stadium to its downtown

Rancho Cucamonga to upgrade its baseball park for offseason concerts
Rancho Cucamonga Mayor L. Dennis Michael and the Epicenter stadium at 8408 Rochester Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga (RJM Design Group, City of Rancho Cucamonga, Getty)

Rancho Cucamonga will revamp its minor league baseball park to serve as a hub for a new downtown.

The City Council approved a plan to create a “walkable urban fabric” by using walkways to connect its 6,000-seat Epicenter stadium at 8408 Rochester Avenue to Victoria Gardens, Cucamonga Station and sections of Foothill Boulevard, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reported.

The plan would also add foot traffic with concerts in the baseball offseason. The estimated cost of the project, as well as a construction timeline, were not disclosed.

The initiative is a strategic move to expand the reach of the city’s downtown, according to Matt Marquez, Rancho Cucamonga’s planning and economic development director.

The master plan aims to revitalize the Epicenter by attracting more diverse uses, including eventual retail space and additional entertainment options.

This shift is in response to a $1.6 million operating deficit faced by the city in running the stadium. The project aligns with the HART district, named after the streets within — Haven Avenue, Arrow Route, Rochester Avenue — with the T representing transit.

The Epicenter, also known as LoanMart Field, is home to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, a farm team for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Recent speculation about the team’s future arose when neighboring Ontario proposed a new $95 million baseball stadium. However, Quakes’ President Brent Miles said the team has no plans to leave Rancho Cucamonga and expressed interest in bringing in more teams.

Recognizing that the Epicenter is seldom used in baseball’s offseason, the plan aims to attract events to the stadium, including concerts and other sporting events. The popular Savannah Bananas, who played at the stadium in July, inspired the city’s new goal.

The Epicenter plan is bifurcated into two focus areas: North and South. 

The North Focus Area, serving as the gateway to the stadium and the Sports Center area holding recreational athletic fields, will become a central hub with improvements slated for the Epicenter Green, promenades connecting the sports center to the stadium, and the inclusion of food trucks.

Focus Area South, off Rochester Avenue and Arrow Route, is earmarked for a future animal center, though further details were not disclosed.

— Dana Bartholomew

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