Pete Vonachen Stadium began in 1968 as Meinen Field. Professional baseball had left Peoria back in 1957, and showed no sign of a return. Bradley University was an NCAA Division I rated program and they decided to build a new ballpark for their BU Braves. It was a simple ballfield with a few levels of concrete and no permanent seating. It was named Meinen Field, and it was built specifically for collegiate baseball.