LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College has received a two-year extension to play host to the Avista-NAIA World Series at LCSC’s Harris Field through 2021, NAIA and LCSC officials announced jointly on Tuesday.
LCSC received a three-year contract extension last January to host the Series through 2019. With improvements currently underway at Harris Field, LCSC sought and received another two years as the tournament’s host. The final year of the new deal will mark 22 straight years the Series will be held in Lewiston and the 30th overall.
“Extending our agreement to host of the Avista-NAIA World Series demonstrates the strong relationship between LCSC and the NAIA,” LCSC President J. Anthony Fernandez said. “It is a reflection of the partnerships between LCSC, Avista, our community, and the NAIA and guarantees that the Avista-NAIA World Series will remain one of the most successful collegiate national championships in the country.”
Harris Field is currently going undergoing more than $1.75 million in remodeling and changes, most of which is driven by private donations. This includes a new seating project and the installation of a video display board to replace the old scoreboard. It also includes the naming of Ed Cheff Stadium in honor of the most successful coach in NAIA baseball history, pending approval from the Idaho State Board of Education.
“The tournament has been a tremendous success in the Lewis-Clark Valley,” LCSC Associate Athletic Director and Avista-NAIA World Series Tournament Director Brooke Cushman said. “We are extremely excited to continue our relationship with the NAIA and the Avista-NAIA World Series. By extending the contract, this will allow us to continue to provide a great experience to the spectators, fans, players and coaches.”
LCSC Athletic Director Gary Picone said the contract extension is similar to the previous extension with some minor financial changes. The tournament will remain a 10-team double elimination tournament with nine teams qualifying by winning an NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round tournament. LCSC will be the 10th team and receives an automatic berth into the tournament as the host team.
The 2020 Avista-NAIA World Series will be held on May 22-29, and the 2021 Series will be May 28-June 5.
“This extension continues the long-term relationship between the NAIA and LCSC,” Picone said. We want to continue to provide a championship showcase within the NAIA and this extension allows us to do that.”
There are four phases to the renovations at Harris Field, which started in October with the demolition and removal of the existing grandstands and seats. A new foundation is being poured and new grandstands and seating are scheduled to be installed by Feb. 1. The new seats will allow for more seating and leg room. This first phase of the project will cost around $950,000.
The second phase is the addition of a 24-by-32 foot DVX video display board, which will replace the old scoreboard in right field. P1FCU has generously donated the $300,000 video board.
The third phase includes the completion of the grandstands with the addition of brick columns, a vendor area, and display for LCSC baseball. This has a completion date of May 1. Picone said this phase will continue the brick facade that currently is just in the grandstand area to continue around to the seating in the first- and third-base bleacher areas.
Picone said a fundraiser is currently underway to help this phase of the project, which includes naming/display rights for the new brick pillars on the backside of the grandstands.
The fourth phase is connected with the third phase and is the renovation of the first and third base decking and seating, which is expected to be completed by May 1
The baseball field will continue to be called Harris Field as it has since 1950 in honor of Loyd Harris. Harris was instrumental in baseball in Lewiston as a player, manager and club director until his death in 1969.
This year’s Avista-NAIA World Series will be held May 25-June 2 at Harris Field. For tickets or for more information, contact Kristina Keener in the LCSC athletic department at 208-792-2471. To volunteer at the Series, contact Allie Canfield at 208-792-2492.