PEORIA, IL -- O'brien Field is officially no more. Friday evening, in a grand re-opening ceremony, the Chief's Stadium officially took on its new name of Dozer Park.
Hundreds of Central Illinoisans packed Dozer Park Friday evening to see the Chiefs take on the Clinton Lumberkings. But Friday also served as a special day with Caterpillar officially renaming the stadium Dozer Park.
"We've been collaborating with the Chiefs for the last six months to come up with a financial package that provides them with a long runway of successful operations here in Peoria," said Caterpillar spokesman Jim Baumgartner.
A 2 million dollar runway that gives Caterpillar the naming rights for the stadium and the City of Peoria forgiving 1.2 million dollars in bond payments for 8 years. But aside from funding, what fans will notice most is more of a big yellow looking appearance.
"We have a couple of machines here, one 19 old D6 fully restored and then a brand new D4," added Baumgartner.
While Caterpillar does have naming rights for the Park, a collaborative effort over the next ten years will be key to the Park's success.
"I think each year in the off season, we'll talk about the upcoming season and things we want to do in the ballpark and maybe things they would like to see in the ballpark," said Peoria Chief's President Rocky Vonachen.
A new era for Caterpillar, and a new era for Chiefs baseball that will go down in the history books for the River City.