Modesto Nuts Will Not Return To John Thurman Field In 2025


The city of Modesto, Calif., and the Seattle Mariners announced on Wednesday that this will be the Modesto Nuts’ final season in Modesto. 

The Low-A California League team’s current lease at John Thurman Field expires at the end of the 2024 season. The Nuts and the city of Modesto both announced that the team and the city have been unable to come to an agreement on a lease extension.

The Nuts are owned by the Mariners.

“We’re disappointed we were unable to agree upon an extension,” Modesto GM Veronica Hernandez said. “I know we and the city worked very hard to find common ground and unfortunately were unable to accomplish our goal.

“We are thankful for the legacy the Modesto Nuts leaves behind and we wish them the very best success in their future endeavors,” Modesto mayor Sue Zwahlen said. “Negotiations can be very challenging, and we worked diligently over the last year with the Modesto Nuts to explore various solutions.”

The failure to come to a lease extension comes at a time when MLB’s improved facility standards for minor league stadiums is coming due. Teams are expected to be fully compliant with upgraded facility standards beginning in 2025. Teams must have fewer than 10 points on a grading standard. There are several “must-haves,” including locker room facilities for female staff, two covered batting/pitching tunnels, suitable locker room dimensions and lighting standards.

There are concerns that some minor league teams, especially on the West Coast, are unlikely to get the necessary upgrades to meet those standards. Modesto seems to be the first team to make that official.

John Thurman Field was opened in 1955. It would need significant renovations to meet the new tougher MiLB facility standards. At one point, there was a proposal for a new stadium in Modesto, but that proposal has not gained traction.

What this means for the Mariners’ Low-A affiliate going forward is not yet clear. According to Baseball America’s reporting, there is not a finalized solution for where the Nuts will play in 2025.

Generally, minor league team owners want some sort of public funding or tax subsidies for stadium construction. California has proven to be the least willing state to do so in recent decades.

At this point, it’s unlikely there is enough time to build a stadium in compliance with MLB standards for 2025. There are also not a surplus of available, compliant facilities within the California League’s footprint.

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