With Avista, Gesa stadiums in the running, ballpark fan contest draws out Brett brothers’ competitive streak

Spokane Indians fans look on while the team takes on the Everett AquaSox during a Northwest League game on Sept. 3, 2017, at Avista Stadium. (James Snook / Courtesy)

It’s an unlikely battle, really.

A website that focuses on the minutiae of baseball ballparks around the world held a contest to see what stadiums fans loved the most at each level.

Ballpark Digest’s contest is now focused on the short-season A leagues. The bracket started with 32 stadiums across the nation. And the finals have two teams from Washington: Spokane’s Avista Stadium and Gesa Stadium in Pasco.

Avista isn’t a huge surprise. It was seeded No. 7 in the initial bracket. It’s typically listed as one of the Crown Jewels of Minor League Baseball. Heck, in the first round, Baseball Digest gave the home of the Indians a bye.

But as the No. 20 seed, the home of the Tri-City Dust Devils was a bit of long shot.

With just a couple of days left in the online voting, Gesa is beating Avista with 56 percent of the votes as of press time. The contest runs through Monday early evening.

To make things even more interesting, both teams are owned in part by the Brett brothers. Bobby Brett is the majority owner of the Spokane Indians, while younger brother George Brett is the majority owner of the Dust Devils.

Bobby was at Friday’s game at Avista, which happened to be against Tri-City.

He also was confident the Indians would win the battle of the ballparks.

“They started early with social media and got way ahead, but I’m feeling confident the Indians will come from behind,” Bobby said.

“We deserve it. They have a fine ballpark at Tri-City, but it’s not this,” he said. “We have the old pipe-rail seating, we have the original roof from 1958. There’s a lot of foul ground here, which is unique from the historic ballparks. It’s just a cool, old ballpark that’s been renovated through the years.”

And, as Bobby pointed out, Gesa Stadium holds 3,800 … and that’s about what Avista gets on an off night. Avista has already sold out its 6,800 seats five times this year. On Friday, there were 5,541 at the game.

You can vote once a day in the Ballpark Digest contest. Bobby knows. Because he does. “My wife, too.”

He wasn’t sure if George is voting each day, but “George is definitely rooting for Tri-City.”

Saying that made Bobby laugh.

“We’ll catch ’em,” he said. “It’s classic. It’s just like the old times. George versus Bobby.”

Fans can vote by going to ballparkdigest.com and clicking on the link that says “Best of the Ballparks 2018: Short Season-A Finals.”