Saturday, February 8, 2014


2013 Minor League Baseball Stadium Rankings

By Paul Swaney -- October 01, 2013 9:55 AM EDT

Over the past three seasons we have visited every ballpark in Minor League Baseball with the exception of the Mexican League, Venezuelan Summer League, Arizona League, and Gulf Coast League. We present our rankings of the overall experience. Factors we include in our ratings are food and beverage in the ballpark, overall atmosphere, the neighborhood, the fans, access (which includes parking, traffic, restrooms, and concourses), return on investment, and an "extras" category for any unique or bonus points. We use our official ratings when determining the ranking with "crowd reviews" - those reviews from our members - as our primary tiebreaker. Without further ado, our 2013 Minor League baseball ballpark rankings along with an excerpt from each review:
  1. A gem sitting on the waters of the Gulf Coast, Pensacola Bayfront Stadium provides a setting that is hard to replicate at any level of any sport in the United States.
  2. Our winner as Minor League Ballpark of the year in 2011 and 2012, Ft Wayne's Parkview Field remains near the top. It is clear that the team is committed to continuing to offer one of the best fan experiences, not only in the minors, but in all of sports. If you love going to games, then get Parkview Field in Ft Wayne, Indiana on your upcoming to do list.
  3. The club combines a great product on the field with a beautiful facility in a hard-to-beat location. Visiting the amazing South Carolina coast should not require a violent twist of the arm, but if you are enjoying the sun, surf and sand with your family, make the short trip to a Pelicans game. The salty air and the ocean breeze are truly the best complement to baseball.
  4. One of the most stalwart franchises of the minor leagues, the Columbus Clippers moved into their new 12,000 seat digs at Huntington Park in 2009. It was quickly judged to be one of the best parks in their AAA International League, and even beat out some major-league parks for design award honors that year.
    And it surely deserved every one. While a little on the pricey side in some aspects, Huntington Park is simply a jewel of a park no matter what the league, providing an amazing breadth of options and experiences to its visitors--and a great place to watch a game.
  5. With Jackson's history of Minor League Baseball, it should not come as much of a surprise that many fans have readily adopted the Mississippi Braves as their squad. All throughout a game, a buzz can be heard and felt in the stadium. Rarely is there a quiet moment.
  6. Sometimes you arrive at a ballpark, and you just know that you are someplace that you are going to fall in love with. Turning on to Main Street in Midland, Michigan on a sunny spring or summer evening, and you’ll see people sitting outside having a burger and a beer at one of the local eateries. Continue down Main Street and around the bend and you’ll see Dow Diamond, one of the jewels of the minor league baseball world.
  7. The River Cats have enjoyed unprecedented success, earning 12 Division titles, 2 PCL titles and 2 Triple-A World Series titles. As the AAA affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, patrons have grown accustomed to seeing future major leaguers play at the highest level. As a result, in 2012 Forbes Magazine named the River Cats as the most valuable franchise in Minor League Baseball.
  8. There is a reason why Sports Illustrated's Peter King loves to mention IronPigs games and why the park was voted as one of the best by Ballpark Digest. The entire package is there. Kids' zone, great food, involved fans, attentive staff all in a great ballpark. If you are anywhere between New York and Philadelphia, we highly recommend a stop at Coca-Cola Park.
  9. There's a definite excitement and sense of energy throughout the park, but they do a nice job of keeping the focus on the field. Vantage points abound from the open concourse, and the seats down the left field line extend below the level of the bullpen mound, which is a pretty unique angle. There are numerous group events and party decks being utilized, and the park is immaculately clean.
  10. The 5,700-seat stadium debuted on April 6, 2006 and borrows many elements from its parent club, the Boston Red Sox, and their homeFenway Park. It’s near identical dimensions with Pesky’s Pole in right field, the Green Monster, and the singing of “Sweet Caroline” have made many refer to the park as “Little Fenway”. However, there are also attributes inspired by the city of Greenville as many of the bricks used to construct both the stadium and the apartments in back of the outfield were reclaimed from local textile mills. Also, famous players and past teams are highlighted throughout the concourse with “Shoeless” Joe Jackson being paramount. Some even say his ghost is in the outfield.
  11. FirstEnergy Stadium is the oldest park in minor league baseball's Eastern League. Starting life as Reading Municipal-Memorial Stadium in 1951, the 9,000-seat stadium began hosting Reading's AA affiliate in 1952. And since 1967, that affiliate has been the Reading Fightin Phils (renamed from the more grammatically correct "Reading Fighting Phillies" this year), marking the longest such association in MiLB. For the last decade, it has also called itself "Baseballtown" -- and if you're going to make a boast like that, you had better back it up.
    And it does, hands down. This is the easily one of the best parks in the minor leagues at any level and by nearly any criteria. It is a poster child for how an old stadium can keep its character while still being a modern success. Every inch of the place is packed with a celebration of its history and crammed to bursting with activities, concessions, and character that should please any fan.
  12. It's the best minor league park in Canada. Western Canada might not seem like an obvious destination to enjoy America's pastime, but 61-year-old Nat Bailey has enough charm to put it on any baseball fan's 'must-visit' list. The setting is gorgeous and the recent renovation has made the ballpark an impressive balance of character and comfort.
  13. Spending the day or night at MCU Park is an integral part of the Coney Island experience and comes highly recommended from someone who has experienced the ballpark dozens of times.
  14. Baseball dates back as far as 1883 in Toledo. In 1884, Moses “Fleetwood” Walker played for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association, and became the first African-American player to play in the major leagues. He went on to play in only 42 games professionally. The corner near the main entrance to Fifth Third Field is known as Moses Fleetwood Walker Square, and there is a plaque to honor the pioneer.
  15. The stadium was opened in 1992 at a cost of around $20 million and has enjoyed a prosperous run ever since. Since its debut, the venue has snagged the record for single season attendance among the California League, has been purchased by an investment group that includes former Royal-great George Brett, and has had a renovation in 2008.
  16. Unique is the key word that seems to define Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, and it doesn’t end with the “The Simpsons”-themed team name and statues around the park. From the concave center field berm in front of a right field family fun park to a New Mexico Green Chile Dog from Pecos River, a 'Topes game offers a wide variety of attractions for the whole family.
  17. The Portland Sea Dogs experience is minor league baseball as it was meant to be. Located in the beautiful coastal city of Portland, Hadlock Field, with a capacity of just over 7,000, has something for everyone. While the Sea Dogs were strangely a Marlins affiliate from their founding in 1994 through 2002, their 2003 switch to the Red Sox made perfect sense in terms of both their geography and fan base. Now Red Sox fans who want to see the big league team's up-and-comers can get to Hadlock in a quick 2 hour drive from the Boston area to see the Double-A club. This switch also allowed the Sea Dogs to build the "Maine Monster," a 37-foot replica of Fenway's Green Monster, complete with Coke bottle and Citgo sign sitting atop it.
  18. Since its opening in April 2000, Fifth Third Field, home of the Dayton Dragons, has attracted crowds that have filled the park. In fact, they have led Single-A minor league attendance each year since the stadium opened, and surpassed the consecutive sellout streak in North American sports in July 2011 (the record belonged previously to the Portland Trail Blazers at 814 consecutive home sellouts).
  19. Home plate in Kannapolis is within a half-hour of uptown Charlotte, but it feels light years away. This is by no means a bad thing. This all starts with the park's surroundings. Though the entrance is less than five minutes from Interstate 85, the road to the stadium is lined with trees and feels as though it is set in a city park. This makes for a very relaxing - and unusual - night out at the stadium.
  20. Jerry Uht Park is a classic minor league ballpark in both location and design. Placed in the confines of an Erie, PA city block, “The Uht” has hosted the SeaWolves franchise since day one in 1995. Currently, the AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers call home a stadium that has one of top ten seats in all of minor league baseball. The stadium has undergone one major transformation in 2006 that added two picnic gardens, club boxes and concession stands. This 2013 season, the SeaWolves underwent a facelift with a new logo leading to new banners and designs.
  21. If there is one thing we know as sports fans, we know how difficult it can be to replace a legend. Most of these legends are on the field or in the booth, of course, but Winston-Salem found itself with the task of replacing their North Carolina home before the 2010 season. Ernie Shore Field played host to the Winston-Salem entry in the Carolina League from 1957-2009, replacing South Side Park, which was lost in a fire. Professional baseball in the Twin City dates back as far as 1905, when the city hosted a partial season of Virginia-North Carolina League play.
  22. Werner Park is one of the most unique baseball ballparks in the country. It looks nothing like a traditional minor league ballpark. When fans walk in they immediately see the field. It is open with much of it in direct sunlight and the Storm Chasers have taken the "family experience" to a new level with tons of activities and games for all fans.
  23. One odd tradition worth mentioning is "Mr. Celery." This healthy mascot only makes appearances when the Blue Rocks score, and when they do, and he appears, the crowd goes absolutely crazy. Kids, adults, and otherwise lose their heads when he finally shows up.
  24. The views from the stadium are simply amazing. From the third base side, there is a perfect view of the Centennial Bridge which is lighted up at night. Between the bridge and the Mississippi River beyond the center and left field fences, you would be hard pressed to find many stadiums with a better view.
  25. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains (literally built into the mountains) you’ll find McCormick Field, home of the Asheville Tourists. Baseball has been around in Asheville since the Asheville Moonshiners played in 1897 and McCormick Field has been a huge part of that rich tradition. The ballpark opened its gates in 1924 and has been home to baseball almost continuously since. Easily dismissed as a quirky, old Single A park with the benefit of a cool location, McCormick Field definitely requires a second look to see its best characteristics. Baseball history is engrained all around the park and is combined with a top notch minor league baseball atmosphere to make this park a must see for baseball purists, Saturday drinkers and Sunday families alike.
  26. There are great aesthetics that go along with the stadium. To start is the beautiful red brick that greets you on your way in. The word "Altoona" is spelled out very nicely in left field, and the best view of the stadium looks out over right field. A roller coaster from nearby Lakemont Park sits in right field and is a great backdrop for the stadium.
  27. Baseball has been an integral part of Louisville since the 19th century: Louisville Slugger bats, Honus Wagner’s, the National League, and the first minor league team to attract 1 million people. The current AAA baseball team, the Louisville Bats have called Louisville Slugger Field home since 2000. The 13,131 seat stadium has not only been one of top draws in the International League, but throughout minor league baseball. The ballpark successfully incorporates the rich history of Louisville baseball with the present day amenities expected by today’s ballpark traveler.
  28. Being a ballpark built in the early part of last decade, the quality of the facility is still top-notch. Everything still seems to have a cleanliness about it that you'd normally find only in the newest of parks. Plus, with the amount of seating options available (seats, picnic areas, berms, and party decks), everyone who attends would be satisfied.
  29. The family fun starts with Bumble, the Bees' mascot. He does just enough to get and keep the fans' attention while not dominating the game or calling excessive attention to himself. There is a play area beyond left field, but the top kiddie attraction is the "Bumble Express," a small passenger train that gives rides to kids along the sidewalk behind the berm for most of the game. The rides, which once cost $1, are now free.
  30. Hammons Field has been called the centerpiece of Springfield’s midtown development project. The Field shares a beautiful area with Jordan Valley Park, The Creamery Arts Center, Jordan Valley Commons, the Springfield Expo Center and the Jordan Valley ice arena. It should be a baseball stadium and area to be shared with generations to come. It was fortuitous that a large parcel of land was available near downtown and the field has none of the quirks of inner city parks. Hammons Field is a delight to the eye and to the game.
  31. The end result is a beautiful new stadium with many unique features that will rival the finest minor league ballparks in America. There is nothing “cookie-cutter” about Regions Field, from the stands, to the terrace to outfield picnic areas to the General Admission “berm seating” across much of the outfield. And although many questioned whether the price tag would draw more fans, the Barons finished their inaugural season just shy of 400,000 in attendance – i.e. tickets sold – which was the 4th highest in team history (the record being 1994 which a certain 3-time NBA MVP tried his hand at baseball) and a record for a Southern League team playing in a new stadium.
  32. The Cubs games are actually one of THE places to go when you live in Daytona Beach now. The fans show up and they are actually cheering for the home team. Part of it is probably because it's the Cubs; the Chicago Cubs have some of sports' most loyal fans. Part of it, though, is they do a great job with the promotions such as "Belly Buster Mondays" and "Thirsty Thursday". Once you get people in the park and you don't break their wallets, they come back.
  33. The home of the Seattle Mariners' rookie-level Appalachian League affiliate, the Pulaski Mariners, Calfee Park is a beautiful gem nestled away in the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside the charming town of Pulaski, Virginia. Constructed in 1935 as part of the post-depression Works Progress Administration, Calfee Park is the ninth-oldest professional ballpark in the United States, and it hasn’t changed much in the past few decades. The stadium is an ode to baseball parks of old, with a gate that looks like it belongs to a castle, not a ballpark.
  34. Like many cities in the industrial northeast, the City of Rochester boasts a long and proud baseball tradition. Professional baseball has been played here going well back into the late 1800s, and the city has hosted various incarnations of teams and nicknames in various leagues over the decades.
    The Rochester Red Wings have been a mainstay of the International League. They are actually a community owned baseball team, with shareholders and a local board of directors. The fortunes of the franchise have been shepherded by the Silver family. The namesake stadium, Silver Stadium, was a neighborhood ballpark in use for a generation, until the franchise relocated to their new downtown ballpark, Frontier Field, in 1996. This venue is truly one of the jewels in all of AAA baseball.
  35. In 2013, the ballpark undertook a host of additional renovations, most of which resulted in a more enjoyable experience for fans. The formerly concrete general admission sections in the grandstands have been replaced with fixed seats, creating much-needed comfort and a more attractive look.
    In addition, approximately 100 field-level seats have been added immediately behind home plate, offering an optimal view for a limited number of fans. Further, a “family fun zone” pavilion has been created beyond the right field fence, including bouncy houses and other inflatables, which has not only improved the environment for such activity, but eliminated congestion in the concourse where the inflatables were previously housed. Other improvements, such as renovations to dugouts and relocation of bullpens, may not be readily noticeable by fans, but are undoubtedly welcome changes for the players and coaches.
  36. Volcanoes Stadium is a place that is among the pinnacle in fan-friendly environments. The staff is friendly, the food is fantastic and the drinks are top notch. If you ever find yourself in Portland, it is a short 40 mile drive south to Keizer.
  37. Opened in 2000 and ushering in both a new century and a new era of professional sports in Memphis, TN, AutoZone Park is, simply put, one of the finest minor league baseball stadiums in America. From its neo-traditional design (based on iconic Camden Yards) to the Bluff out in left field, everything about AutoZone Park is designed to provide a unique, thoroughly enjoyable baseball experience.
  38. Through the years, upgrades have been made to the stadium, including adding sky boxes in left field and, later, skyboxes on the first base side. In 2006, new seats and a new video board were installed along with a fountain beyond right field. The latest renovations occurred prior to the 2013 seasons when the locker rooms were upgraded along with a small patio area beyond left field that now plays host to musical acts prior to and after selected games.
  39. There is tons of history at Avista Stadium. There is a wall of history for the Spokane Indian tribe who originally inhabited this area of the Pacific Northwest. There is the Rim of Honor that pays tribute to individuals who have influenced the Spokane Indians, as well as a Hall of Fame Plaza at the entry way that recognizes former Spokane Indians players, managers, and owners' with plaques in their honor.
  40. The Suns play out of the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, an extremely accurate if somewhat wordy appellation. Opened in 2003 as part of the Better Jacksonville Plan, the ballpark is part of the sports complex that includes Everbank Field and the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. It may be smaller than these other two venues but it is certainly worth visiting.
  41. Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium debuted in 2004 and returned minor league baseball back to Alabama’s capital city for the first time in 25 seasons. The 7,000-seat stadium partially incorporates an old Civil War building as part of the stadium that sets it apart from the rest of the league and industry. The unique design blends in nicely to the historic downtown buildings and offers an interesting day or night at the ballpark. You are more than likely going to have a good time at this wonderful ballpark.
  42. The atmosphere is easily most enhanced by Bernie. A rather colorful mascot, Bernie emits a "WHOO" sound constantly throughout the game that is sure to annoy a handful of fans, but is beloved by most of the fan base. The sound becomes quite contagious and before long, all of the fans are making the same sound whenever they spot Bernie. He often stands atop the dugouts taunting the opposing players and generating excitement from the 66er fans during live game-play. If you couldn't already guess, Bernie wears #66.
  43. There's a rather fun atmosphere to be found at The Diamond. There are children are playing down the right field side, fans are mingling in the concourse, and others are enjoying drinks or a meal at the Diamond Club. It seems that there is something for everyone and all are happy to be there.
  44. "Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell; It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell; It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat, For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat."
    The above excerpt from the poem "Casey At The Bat" by Ernest Thayer was published in the San Francisco Examiner in 1888 under the pen name Phin, the same name Thayer used when writing for the Harvard Lampoon. The fictional team depicted in the poem was called the Mudville Nine and the people of Stockton believe this is a reference to the team that played on Banner Island, otherwise known as Mudville, during that time. Thayer too, supposedly covered the Stockton team in the late 1800s and due to the proximity to San Francisco the assumption that the "Mudville Nine" were based on his experience with the Stockton baseball team, has some bearing.
  45. USA Today declared, after the 1993 renovations, McKechnie Field is "the Fenway Park of spring training", and thus the park took on the nickname of Florida's Fenway. This moniker is well-deserved as the history and look all have the same turn-of-the-century feel of Boston's venerable park. It's a park that has both aged gracefully and not aged at all.
  46. This place is alive and kicking, even with no one in the house. The audio system is crystal clear, though not loud enough to feel like you need to shout over the person next to you. The scoreboard in left-center is large and clear, and even has a video board attached. And, in case you forget, the Phillies name is everywhere, reminding you who the parent team really is.
  47. Beginning the 2013 baseball season, the Bisons are AAA minor league affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Bisons play in the International League. Located right in downtown Buffalo off the I-190, the venue is one of the original "retro ballparks", with an original capacity of 21,500 seats, and was designed with the idea of being expanded for an eventual Major League Baseball expansion team. Since that dream ended, numerous renovations and enhancements have shrunk the capacity to 17,679 seats, still one of the largest at the AAA level.
  48. Ballparks do not get much cozier than Smokies Park, home of the Tennessee Smokies. It’s nestled just a short drive away from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the stadium is very impressive for a minor league team at the AA level.
    Smokies Park first opened in 2000 and has always drawn a great group of fans. The official capacity of Smokies Park is over 6,000, but there have been a few occasions when the attendance eclipsed 7,000 fans.
  49. If you're not even marginally-proud to be American, not only should you probably stay away from baseball (and maybe even apple pie) in general, but definitely keep your distance from Joker Marchant.
    Thanks to the history of the site, the theme is mainly military and specifically Air Force interspersed with typical Floridian Mediterranean flair. There are three (!) tiger mascots, and one of them wears a WWII fighter pilot's jacket. Some of the food kiosks have camouflage motifs and military-named food. There's even an "Officers' Club" for groups of 25 or more.
  50. Aces Ballpark is easily accessible off of I-80 which stretches as far west as San Francisco. The stadium is only a few blocks from the freeway exit. Though the downtown area of Reno looks dense, it's really quite easy to get around, just be mindful of one way streets.
  51. A part of the small town atmosphere of Salisbury on Maryland’s eastern shore just south of Delaware, Arthur W. Perdue Stadium is the hub of a proud tradition of eastern shore baseball. On the first floor of the stadium is a unique Eastern Shore Hall Of Fame that will tell you all about the history of lower level or “sandlot” baseball (as the ex-baseball player Kirkland Hall and Hall Of Fame board member will tell you) in Delaware and eastern Maryland. Although baseball went dormant in the area for a long time, it returned to the area in 1996, as Perdue Stadium opened its gates with a Single-A affiliate of the Montreal Expos. Just one year later the Shorebirds, or ‘Birds, became the Orioles' Single-A team and started their own tradition of Maryland baseball, with two South Atlantic League titles and boasting notable MLB alumni like Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts and Javier Vazquez.
  52. NewBridge Bank Park was built where it now stands, in large part, to encourage revitalization and development in a part of downtown Greensboro that was mostly comprised of office/government buildings. Very little was happening in terms of entertainment, restaurants/bars, etc. in this area and a new downtown ballpark, even at the minor league level, is often viewed as one of the quickest sure-fire ways to inject momentum into a neighborhood. So far it appeared, at least to the casual observer, that the area immediately in and around the stadium has begun to show signs of increasing life, yet work remains to be done.
  53. The LumberKings are the last remaining original member of the original Midwest League, which began in 1956. For fans of stadiums with an old-time feel, Ashford University Field is right up your alley. Additionally, Clinton is a mere 90 minute drive from Dyersville, Iowa, home to the Field of Dreams movie site.
  54. Bowling Green Ballpark is unique with its home plate and grandstand being in the middle of the plot of land it's on instead of the corner of the lot. As a result, fans enter the ballpark from the first base and third base sides rather than through a large rotunda behind home plate like many other ballparks. This unique design also makes for great views down left and right field of the short porch walls that divide traffic from the ballpark.
  55. The city of Appleton, Wisconsin first saw minor league baseball in 1891, and they have continuously had a team since 1958 (first as the Foxes, and then the Timber Rattlers as of 1995). Over the years the team has seen its share of affiliations to Major League Baseball, including ties to the Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Browns, Boston Braves, Washington Senators, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, and Seattle Mariners. Since 2009, the Timber Rattlers have been affiliated with their natural geographic parent club, the Milwaukee Brewers. If you are a Brewers fan and want to see some of the up-and-coming talent, or if you just like your baseball, then a trip to Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium should be on your to-do list.
  56. Williamsport is probably most famous in the baseball world for being the home of the Little League World Series. However, it is also home to historic Bowman Field, a classic, old school stadium that is a true landmark of America's pastime, located in a town as throwback as the field. How many parks can claim that Babe Ruth played there or even Nolan Ryan! Or simply, how many parks offer free parking, have free attendance nights and then have buy one get one free soda and half priced beer the same night as the free attendance!
  57. Situated on the banks of the Merrimack River, Edward A. LeLacheur Park, home of the Red Sox Class A affiliate Lowell Spinners, presents a truly American scene: the national pastime being played out with the backdrop of a historic American town, one that has risen and fallen with the ebbs and flows of industry. The mill towers hovering over the third base line are a constant reminder of the identity of the city, connecting the team, the park and the locale in a rare and harmonious fashion.
  58. The Captains keep it simple and they maintain a good balance between focusing on the game and all the goofy peripherals that people have come to expect from a minor league ballgame. "Tuesdays are usually slow," according to Neil Stein, the Assistant GM. To compensate, every Tuesday is "Dog Night" where you can bring your pooch for an extra $5 and hang out on the right and left field berms.
  59. Burlington, Iowa has a rich baseball history dating back to the late 1800’s. There have been a few starts and stops along the way but Burlington has fielded a team in one professional league or another for the majority of the last 100 years. Burlington has also seen its share of great players. Cubs Hall of Famer Billy Williams played in Burlington in 1958. Fellow Hall of Famer Paul Molitor played in Burlington as well. Vida Blue, Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Larry Walker, and Mark Buehrle are just a few other names that played in Burlington. The Bees began the 2013 season with a new affiliation. For at least 2013 and 2014, the Bees are a single-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
  60. Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, Maryland is the third oldest minor league stadium in the country. It is currently home to the Hagerstown Suns, a Single A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Built in 1930 (in SIX WEEKS), it bleeds history, and without any of the modern doodads and what not, gives a much better experience than some of your fancy pants new stadiums, with upscale accoutrements, like digital clocks, or digital anything for that matter.
  61. As you would expect, the major league Braves have made sure their top farm team feels as close to the big leagues as possible with amenities which help the players adjust to major league life. In attending a game at Coolray Field, fans get to enjoy major league entertainment when they come to see the Gwinnett Braves play.
  62. For the price you'll pay, this park is absolutely worth it. The food is great, the atmosphere is very enjoyable and the venue itself is clean and comfortable. If you ever find yourself in the Fayetteville and Springdale area during baseball season, you are doing yourself a disservice by not visiting Arvest Ballpark. It is a really great venue especially for families with children.
  63. Whitaker Bank Ballpark has a lot of distinctive and unique features that keep fans coming through the turnstiles. Behind home plate is a restaurant sponsored by Maker's Mark that is open to guests with special passes. Down the first base line is the “Budweiser Pavilion” which allows guests to enjoy a cold beer while having a nice view of the game as well. Down the third base line, guests will find a wide variety of entertainment options for young Legends fans. The most notable of these options is a carousel which comes with a great view of the game as well. Lastly, guests can rest on the “Pepsi Party Deck” which is behind right field. Once more, this area provides guests with great entertainment with a great view of the game at the same time.
  64. In 2005, the fledgling Provo Angels of the Pioneer League moved down the road to the newly-built Brent Brown Ballpark on the campus of Utah Valley University in Orem. Thus began the Orem Owlz, rookie affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Owlz have won three Pioneer League titles since then, a tradition of excellence reflected in their high-quality home.
  65. The park is certainly family-friendly. Kids roam free, but are not a nuisance. There's a nice area under the radio booth for disabled seating that has fantastic views of the action at home plate. Reserved seats are $6, and are bucket seats attached to bleachers, raised above field level. General Admission prices are lower, and are all bleacher-only, or bring-your-own chairs.
  66. In 2001 Mandalay Sports Entertainment purchased the Shreveport Captains, and did so with the intent of moving them to the beautiful Dallas suburb of Frisco, just 35 miles from the Ballpark of Arlington. Dr Pepper Ballpark is where the Texas Rangers Double A affiliate Frisco RoughRiders play their home games. Absolutely unique and unlike any other are just a few phrases that I could use to describe this amazing ballpark. From the moment you walk under the huge Dr.Pepper Ballpark sign you will notice just how unique this park is from its bullpens built in the stands to the swimming pool in center field.
  67. AT&T Field is located in a great area that is full of places to eat and things to do. The stadium sits just above the Tennessee River near and among one of the cleanest and nicest downtown areas in the minors. The neighborhood near the stadium is also home to the Tennessee Aquarium as well as an IMAX Theater and some really nice museums.
  68. What sets this ballpark apart from most others are the desert winds that occur in the region. The winds often bring dust and cold, and often send many batted balls over the fences. The JetHawks have embraced this challenge with ticket prices based on the previous day's wind speed and even offered a giveaway "dust dome" rather than the typical "snow globe."
  69. The Charleston RiverDogs of the Single-A South Atlantic League have called Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Park home since 1997. The 6,000-seat stadium features a field that is among the best manicured in the minor leagues. The organization has also been noted for having some of the most unusual promotions in all of baseball making headlines across the country. The theme throughout the stadium is to have fun and that is easy in a place like Charleston.
  70. If there was ever a coolness factor given to a minor league ballpark, then Victory Field in Indianapolis would be the Fonze. It does not scream minor league baseball as much as its counterparts across the league, but is where the populace congregates during the hot summer months in downtown Indianapolis. Victory Field becomes a meeting place for all sorts who welcome the warm weather, sunny days and a strong sense of friendship. The home of the Indians since 1996 is a ballpark that has something to offer every type of individual who buys a ticket and sets forth through the gates.
  71. Metro Bank Park's location is a historic one for baseball in Harrisburg. The site on City Island has been the home for Harrisburg's baseball teams since 1907. The current ballpark was built as Riverside Stadium in 1987, and it was renamed to Commerce Bank Park in 2005 and finally to Metro Bank Park in 2010 (after the completion of its last big renovation). The facility now seats 6,187 and houses the Harrisburg Senators, the AA Eastern-League affiliate of the Washington Nationals.
    The many other family-friendly activities on City Island Park make it an easy choice for families looking to spend a day outdoors before taking in a game, and its unique location and great fans make it a nice venue to catch a game.
  72. As of 2012, Four Winds Field bears little resemblance to the rundown ballpark that stood in its place just a year or two ago. In January 2012, the sale of the team was approved to Swing-Batter-Swing LLC, and sole shareholder Andrew T. Berlin. For a mere $4 million, the ballpark now has outdoor suites, a new home plate suite, a splash zone water fountain in right field, a new inflatables play area in center field, and a new team store in left field.
  73. “The Joe” sits on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College, and is also the home park of the school’s baseball team. It is named for former New York State Senate Majority Leader, Joseph L. Bruno, as he helped secure funding needed to build the ballpark. The stadium also hosted the MAAC baseball tournament in 2012. Being able to hold 4,500 fans plus additional berm seating and luxury boxes, Bruno Stadium is generally in the upper half of the NYPL attendance ranks. Measuring 325 feet down the lines, and 400 feet to dead center, the Joe provides a good minor league experience.
  74. The stadium was just rehabilitated in 2009, so everything is still gleaming with that new-park sheen. From the comfortable chairs to the clear and clever signage (men's and women's bathrooms are the standard silhouettes, but depicted as hitters with batting helmets and bats), everything glows with a certain pride. The sound is superb and clear throughout the park, no matter where you are.
  75. The Jackson Generals have been playing America’s pastime in West Tennessee since 1998, and the Ballpark at Jackson has proved to be a great home for the Seattle Mariners affiliate during that time. It has 6,000 seats and has been good enough to host two Southern League All-Star games during its short lifespan.
  76. Opened in 1939, Dwyer Stadium is home of the Batavia Muckdogs, the short season Class-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Batavia's baseball history actually goes back to the late 1800's, and the city has been a mainstay of the New York-Penn League for decades. The old Dwyer was actually largely demolished in the mid 90s, and a new $3-million facility was built in its place.
  77. Pfitzner Stadium may be on its last legs (a new stadium has been proposed for 2015), but despite somewhat spartan accommodations, this can still be a great place to see a ballgame. As the big club Nationals have improved, interest in the farm teams has grown, as well. This park is less than 30 miles southwest of Nationals Park, and offers an outstanding value for the baseball fan who perhaps can’t afford good seats in DC.
  78. PNC Field, which was originally a huge hulking structure that opened as Lackawanna County Stadium, was almost completely rebuilt for the 2013 season. This came after a few years of legal wrangling between the team and the counties (Luzerne and Lackawanna), which were the ones who actually owned the team. In order to finance the cost of essentially rebuilding the park, the counties sold the team to Mandalay Baseball (who had been operating the team since 2007) and used the proceeds.
    Besides the field and lower bowl, very little remains from the old park. While the old park was state of the art when it opened in 1989, nobody could have foreseen the building boom that was to come in the minor leagues during the 1990's which would make the place obsolete by the 2000's. Along with the new park came a new nickname for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise - a name the team contest resulted in the RailRiders being picked, but because the Porcupines names finished second it is featured prominently in the team's logo. Attendance had been dwindling ever since 2007 (when the Yankees first affiliated with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise), so the rebuilt park will surely have a huge impact.
  79. Nestled next to the vista of Billings’ famed rimrocks, Dehler Park is arguably the jewel of the Pioneer League. Dehler (pronounced ‘Dee-ler’) opened in 2008, replacing the historic, but dilapidated, Cobb Field, which had been in use since the 1940s. Built at a cost of $12.5 million, Dehler Park is used for concerts (Bob Dylan performed there in 2010), American Legion baseball, Montana State University Billings baseball, and Billings Mustangs baseball. Billings businessman Jon Dehler purchased the naming rights for the stadium and named it for his father, a lifelong baseball fan.
  80. Located smack dab in the middle of downtown Tulsa you will find an absolute gem known as ONEOK (Pronounced WUN-ohk) Field. ONEOK Field is the home of the Tulsa Drillers which are the AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. ONEOK Field was built in 2010 and has the capacity to hold just over 7,800 visitors.
    ONEOK Field is located in Tulsa the second largest city in Oklahoma and is one of only two sources of professional baseball in Oklahoma, so games are well attended. It also does not hurt that ONEOK is an absolute beauty of a ballpark, with plenty of extras to keep every fan smiling from ear to ear.
  81. Opened in 1998, Roger Dean Stadium is one of four spring training complexes that houses two MLB teams. Both the Marlins and Cardinals play here in March and their Florida State League affiliates then share the stadium during the summer, making Roger Dean the only ballpark to host two minor league teams on a permanent basis. When the stadium originally opened, it was home to the Expos and Cardinals, before the Expos moved to Space Coast Stadium as part of the deal reached when Jeffrey Loria bought the Marlins. The Cardinals call themselves as from Palm Beach, while Jupiter is the farm team of the Miami major leaguers, retaining their own identity with the Hammerheads nickname.
  82. The atmosphere is absolutely amazing here, since Austin is the biggest city in the United States without a professional sports team (A little fun fact for everyone), fans routinely make their way from Austin to catch Round Rock games. This flow makes for high routine attendance and a great atmosphere for minor league baseball.
  83. Since 1996, the Lansing Lugnuts have been part of the sports landscape in the state capital of Michigan. The Lugnuts were named in honor of the state's long history of automobile engineering, and originally played at Oldsmobile Park. The ballpark has since been renamed Cooley Law School Stadium, but the moniker has remained. As a Class A minor league affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, the Lugnuts are members of the Midwest League and have won two league championships (1997 & 2003).
  84. Adding to the atmosphere is the "Toast Man" who is almost always behind home plate. Always cheering light-hearted cheers, the "Toast Man" also has an outlet by his seat so he can plug in his toaster during the games. Whenever an opposing player strikes out, the "Toast Man" will burn two pieces of bread and loft the smell towards home plate while yelling ,"YOU ARE TOAST!" After burning two pieces of toast, he will usually find a child in the crowd to throw the toast to (not that you'd let the child eat the toast).
  85. Medlar Field at Lubrano Park is a beautiful stadium that opened in 2006 and is the shared home of Penn State baseball and the short-season class A affiliate for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the State College Spikes. The park was built in the shadows of Beaver Stadium and the Bryce Jordan Center at the edge of the Penn State campus in State College, PA.
  86. If you are a baseball fan you have to love a ballpark located on Mickey Mantle Way. They have done a nice job of honoring Oklahoma's baseball heritage with beautiful statues of Oklahoma's very own Johnny Bench, Warren Spahn and Mickey Mantle located right outside the ballpark. Those statues should get any fan in the mood for baseball, in this case, Pacific Coast League AAA baseball. There are also plaques honoring many other MLB players that are from Oklahoma, which are a unique feature.
  87. What do plantations, horse racing, and baseball all have in common? If that question either confuses you or seems like a trick, you're obviously neither a Minnesota Twins fan nor someone who's been to Fort Myers, Florida. Those people know the answer is quite simple: Lee County Sports Complex' centerpiece, William Hammond Stadium.
  88. Everyone knows going into minor league baseball, especially Single-A ball, not to expect the flashy incarnation of America's Pastime that's seen on TV every night from April to October; this is much different. This is gritty, no-frills, back-to-basics baseball, and Dunedin's Florida Auto Exchange Stadium delivers that perfectly.
  89. NYSEG Stadium is located on the eastern edge of downtown Binghamton, NY. The 6,000-seat facility is entering its third decade hosting the Binghamton Mets, the AA Eastern League affiliate of the New York Mets. Bordering the main rail line through a depressed area of town, the location and stadium layout leave something to be desired, but NYSEG Stadium offers a good value for your dollar and features some of the best food in the minors.
  90. The stadium was built in 1987, but for the most part still looks as good as the day it opened. The façade has a fresh and modern look with the all-glass press and suite elevator, and the landscaping around the park is simply breathtaking. Plus, the design of the park allows for a breeze almost nonstop, something that is welcome with the summer temperatures.
  91. AA baseball by and large is well-played baseball, and you are almost sure to see a player who will one day be participating as a starter in the Majors. The Aeros do a good job of providing a game experience that does not overly distract from the action on the field. If you're able, bring along a radio to listen to the outstanding play-by-play of Jim Clark.
  92. Veterans Memorial Stadium doesn't have the big video boards or the most up to date stadium around. It does have a pleasant atmosphere, a good value, and nice people. Simply put, Veterans Memorial Stadium is a nice place to sit back, enjoy a drink, and watch a ballgame.
  93. Although New York City area ballparks have been romanticized over the decades, with its grand architecture and quirky dimensions, Richmond County Bank ballpark has arguably the most beautiful skyline view in the history of Big Apple baseball. Upon entering the ballpark, it will be impossible to miss the New York Harbor just beyond the outfield walls, combined with the downtown Manhattan skyline in the distance. Throughout the game, your eyes will wander towards Manhattan and its ever-changing views, depending on the time of day, or maybe you'll catch a glimpse of the massive cargo ships making their way across the harbor. If you're fortunate enough to see a home run, chances are that baseball will become a splash hit.
  94. The Mobile BayBears do an excellent job of honoring baseball in Mobile throughout the venue. Whether it is their Hall of Fame at the entrance, seats and photos from various stadiums connected to the players from Mobile, or reproductions of sports pages about baseball and Mobile, the team makes sure that fans know how special Mobile finds baseball.
  95. If you like your baseball in the forefront without a lot of excess distractions, Five County Stadium is your kind of place. There is no question you're watching the game in a small town, and the people in the park live up to that. Everyone is really nice and the focus is on the fan.
  96. The park is very pleasing to the eye. It is a very good deal for your entertainment dollar, even if you have to endure the drive through the industrial park to get there. Good food and fun for the whole family makes for an enjoyable visit to Dodd Stadium.
  97. The fans and those pesky loud speakers bring the experience down a little bit, but it's still a beautiful stadium that provides a fantastic baseball experience. Everett Memorial Stadium is certainly a good park to visit if you're in the area.
  98. The Rawhide call Recreation Park its home and it is one of the senior citizens of minor league baseball. It was built back in 1946 and has undergone several extensive renovations. The capacity is one of the smallest in the minors at just 1,888 fans. The grass berm found in right field, allows the capacity to stretch to 2,468.
  99. The Hops have their own beer brewed special for the ball club and its fans. The Bridgeport Long Ball Ale was made just for this 2013 summer and got its name from a vote by the Hops fans. The beer is a fan favorite with its distinctive lemon smell. The Hops have their own beer brewed special for the ball club and its fans. The Bridgeport Long Ball Ale was made just for this 2013 summer and got its name from a vote by the Hops fans. The beer is a fan favorite with its distinctive lemon smell.
  100. Huntsville, also known as the Rocket City, is located in northern Alabama and is home to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center as well as the Redstone Arsenal Military complex. It is also the home of Joe W Davis Stadium and the Milwaukee Brewers' double A affiliate Huntsville Stars. Previous to that the Stars were operated by the Oakland Athletics from 1985 to 1999. Many of Major League Baseball's stars once graced the field at Joe W Davis Stadium. Those names include Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Tim Belcher, Jason Giambi, and many others.
  101. Although nearly 20 years old, Space Coast Stadium appears brand new, likely due to a large number of improvements that have been recently implemented. Wide-open and the home of good fans, this ballpark is recommended as a good place to begin a Florida State League stadium journey.
  102. When most people think of San Antonio, the first thoughts that come to most of their heads are the Spurs or the Alamo, but there is another hidden treasure. That hidden treasure is the San Antonio Missions. The Missions play in the Texas League and are the AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The Missions play in Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium, located on the outskirts of San Antonio. Opened in 1994, the park seats just over 6,200 fans and with the grass berms can hold over 9,000.
  103. On the banks of what looks and feels like a quiet, lazy river, Lake Olmstead Stadium is a quiet, peaceful ballpark. It comes with all the basics and a few clever additions which make it unique to the area. Just down the road from the famed golf course of Augusta National, a quiet evening or afternoon to see an Augusta GreenJackets game is well worth your time.
  104. Opened in 1999, Eastwood Field is a modest ballpark located in the midst of a stretch of chain hotels and restaurants in eastern Ohio, just about 15 miles from the Pennsylvania border. The ballpark is the home of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the New York-Penn League, a short season A league in MiLB.
  105. Seats offer plenty of leg room and there are cup holders available. No bleachers, just green plastic seats throughout the seating area until you get to the berm down the lines and in the outfield. There seems to be more staff than most minor league ballparks, and they are all very attentive to the fan experience.
  106. The entry through the gates into L.P. Frans Stadium provides a view of a lot of brick. This is a great thing, because all of the brick around you really lends a "homey" southern feel to the park. It is also a bit of a bad thing, because the "money shot" of the expanse of the park opening before you is not available as you enter the park. The day's lineups are straight ahead of you on one of the aforementioned brick walls, which is one of the traditional touches found in many minor league parks in the Carolinas.
  107. Marylanders are happy to support the Baysox, attending games in hopes of seeing the next Baltimore Orioles star player. You'll be paying good money at the game, but the entertainment level is high, especially if you have younger kids. Minor League Baseball can be a hard sell for the marketing departments, because the rosters frequently change and the good players always end up moving up and away. Despite this, it would be a mistake not to at least catch one Baysox game. The focus isn't as much on the players; it's on you, the fan.
  108. The only real seats are located on the newly renovated 1st base side. The rest of the seating is aluminum benches (some with backs, the first few rows without). There is a net above the seating area from the far end of the first base dugout to the far end of the third base dugout so sit beyond that if netting is an obstruction for your viewing experience.
  109. Idaho Falls has had a team in the Pioneer League since 1940 with various nicknames over the years, often just borrowing the mascot of their parent major league club. In 2004, the fans of Idaho Falls voted to permanently call their team the Chukars. A chukar is a game bird, also known as a partridge, that was introduced from Europe and thrives all over Idaho. As a mascot, it is only slightly less intimidating than a previous Idaho Falls incarnation, the Russets (a type of potato). But Chukars is also a very unique mascot not likely to be duplicated, plus it sounds kind of tough if you don’t know what it is.
    Melaleuca Field can hold up to 3,600 loyal Chukar fans during the Pioneer League’s short, but very pleasant June through September season.
  110. While few things can survive in the desert, single A baseball certainly seems to be succeeding. Pulling fans from nearby towns such as Victorville, Apple Valley, and Hesperia, the High Desert Mavericks have corralled quite a following in Adelanto, CA.
  111. You wouldn't expect a place like Ogden, Utah to be rich in baseball history. Until, that is, you explore the names of those who have played or coached here over time: Frank Robinson, Tommy Lasorda, Prince Fielder, Chad Billingsley, Russell Martin, Ben Sheets, J.J. Hardy, and scores of others.
    Since its inaugural season in 1994, the Ogden Raptors have been one of the Pioneer League's premier franchises. Thanks is due, in large part, to its historically high fan support, buoyed by ownership's efforts to thank fans by giving away upwards of one million free general admission tickets at local restaurants.
  112. Kindrick Legion Field exemplifies all the positive qualities of Montana, and then some. Nestled under Montana’s famous “Big Sky,” the stadium is encapsulated by the picture perfect landscape that is Montana. While in attendance, a fan gets a glimpse of the glorious northern side of Mount Helena, a mountain that overlooks the southern side of the Queen City.
  113. Come for the food, stay for the baseball. It's an offensively-minded park with little foul territory, and short home runs down each line (317 in left and 327 in right). There are two scoreboards, neither real inspiring. In left field, you'll find player information and replays. In center field you can find the line score, and be inundated with advertisements.
  114. Lynchburg City Stadium, as it was originally known, opened in 1940 and has been through many renovations through the years. The latest one was in 2004 and this final remodel brought the stadium up to modern standards with amenities such as skyboxes, a remodeled press box and picnic areas. Calvin Falwell stadium is a solid investment for a night out with the family and/or friends.
  115. The Cougars proudly display their new affiliation's logo (Cubs) on both grassy berms / field seating areas. If your preference is to sit and converse with family and friends while a baseball game is going on in the background, I'd recommend the Leinie Lodge in right field. This area contains picnic tables with umbrellas and has a nice deck. It is a perfect setting for sisters-in-law who want to meet up and socialize but are not necessarily interested in the game.
  116. Prior to 2002, the tiny city of Aberdeen, Maryland was likely most known for being the birthplace of Cal Ripken Jr. and the location of Aberdeen Proving Ground, a U.S. army weapons testing facility. All of that changed when their favorite son bought the Utica Blue Sox of the New-York Penn League and moved them to Aberdeen in 2002. The Ripken Family and Cal’s business have their fingerprints all over the franchise as evidenced by the team name, stadium name and surrounding complex. While the on-field production has been a struggle (the IronBirds have yet to reach the playoffs in their team history), the overall Ripken Stadium experience is generally a good one.
  117. Cheney Stadium is your classic Triple-A stadium. It has that community feel to it as well as a clean and friendly atmosphere. There are various seating options, which offer different perspectives to the game. All offer great sightlines so that you can catch all of the action up-close and personal. The left field foul territory offers picnic seating on risers so that each table can catch the action. The right field foul territory offers grass seating on a nice hill. Behind the plate you will find the seated bronze statue of Ben Cheney, who is just part of the crowd.
  118. If you're a regular or are reading this review, you will know ahead of time to bring a seat cushion or folded seatback chair, but most others simply choose to sit on the concrete. Also, the steps are a little bit steep and don't feel particularly safe, so use caution when sitting in this area. Behind the third base side are metal bleachers, which are laid out similar to most sandlot or high school ballparks. Also located behind the general admission seating on the third base side is a grassy hill, which offers fans the opportunity to bring folded chairs and/or blankets to relax and watch the game. If you're not purchasing reserved seating, this would be the preferred way to enjoy the game.
  119. There's a large net behind the plate that extends between each bullpen, as well as additional netting from the screen to the roof. This in and of itself is not a huge hindrance, as it's similar to many other ballparks. Unfortunately, if you take a seat further down the line there's a chain link fence to contend with. What this means is that there is literally no unobstructed view in the ballpark.
  120. The field was completed in 1996 right next door to The Beehive, and the new stadium certainly fit the mold of the retro ballpark design era. As for the Red Sox, they wanted to move their franchise closer to home base in Massachusetts and after owner Joe Buzas became a bit of a local hero by saying no, the Red Sox took their team to Trenton, while Minnesota came in as the affiliate. This is a partnership that is now approaching two decades, and in a state that has torn allegiances to Major League teams, there is another team in the Twins that folks in Central Connecticut also keep an eye on. As for the stadium experience, they are doing some good things in Hardware City, and though the ballpark is not the top of the class in the Eastern League, it is very much a worthy place to visit.
  121. The Diamond is home to the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the AA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The Squirrels play in the Western Division of the Eastern League and have called Richmond home since the 2010 season. Before relocating, they were known as the Connecticut Defenders. The stadium is shared with the Virginia Commonwealth University baseball team, whose campus is located in downtown Richmond.
  122. The stadium is located in the Taliferro Sports and Entertainment complex, which also houses a football field, civic center and the fairgrounds. Although the stadium has only been open for 17 years, minor league baseball has been played in Salem for almost 60 years and has seen many future major-leaguers play in their town; Orlando Cepeda, Moises Alou, Dave Parker, Art Howe and Tim Wakefield are a few of the stars that honed their craft in Salem.
  123. Centene Stadium, recently renovated in 2002, has existed since 1956, but baseball has been played in Great Falls since the beginning of the 20th Century. The stadium is stationed south of the mighty Missouri River and just miles away from the Great Falls, from where the city derives its name. Up until 1982, the stadium had a view of one of the community’s proud landmarks, the Anaconda Copper Mining Co. Big Stack, a giant smokestack billed as the “world’s tallest smokestack.” Centene Stadium, the giant, galvanizing concrete structure holds close to 4,000 baseball fanatics and boasts one of the larger fields in the Pioneer League, with field dimensions of 335 to right field, 328 to left and 415 to center field, a home run – at times – is hard to come by in Centene.
  124. Baseball has been a staple in the Midland community since 1972 at which time they were a Double A team for the Chicago Cubs. Walking around the stadium and looking at the banners of players that have worked their way through Midland on their way to amazing careers, you can understand why there's a special nostalgia in Midland. From Fernando Valenzuela to Bruce Sutter, there have been many great players that at one time have called Midland their home.
  125. The home of the Missoula Osprey is located near the center of Missoula on the south bank of the Clark Fork, a large river that bisects the city. It just so happens that there’s an actual active osprey nest on a platform just beyond the outfield fence, making this ballpark one of the few that offers habitat for the creature chosen as the team mascot. I suppose the Savannah Sand Gnats have the same distinction, but I would assume their critter is not nearly as welcome.
  126. Formerly known as Posse Stadium, Tri-City Stadium, and Dust Devils Stadium, Gesa Stadium opened in 1995. In 2007, a 137 foot high sunshade was added down the first base line. There is no cover from rain in the seating area. Seats were mostly aluminum benches but there were four or five rows of real seats with backs available.
  127. NBT Bank Stadium has a design that essentially copies Norfolk's Harbor Park. There is a lower-level of seats split by a walkway that extends nearly from foul pole to foul pole. An upper deck of seats is located on the first base and third base sides, while behind home plate there is the press box and suites. The upper-deck seats provide a good overview of the play and are a bargain at $8. The outfield view however, is much different from Norfolk as all you see in Syracuse are overgrown parking lots and trees. On the field, there is a big improvement as they got rid of the turf and went to grass a few years ago. Overall, there is nothing special about the ballpark, but it is still a fine place to watch a baseball game.
  128. The stadium is beautiful, built with a Mediterranean feel of stucco and clay typical to most newer buildings in Florida. Its proximity to Interstate 95 and Florida's Turnpike also makes it easy to get to, meaning it's about as centrally-located in the area as possible. Also, the sound and video board are clear, loud, and easy to read.
  129. H.P. Hunnicutt Field was extensively renovated in 2000 on the same grounds as the last park, which opened in 1988. It is the home of the Princeton Rays who have played in town since 1988, first affiliated with the Reds and then the Rays. The stadium seats approximately 1,700 fans; with the chair back seats near home plate being under cover while the left and right field bleachers are uncovered.
  130. Established in 1989, the Frederick Keys have served as the Class A affiliate for the Baltimore Orioles for over twenty years. The ‘Keys’ nickname, likely a unique one throughout all major sports, is a homage to poet Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and poet most famous for writing the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner" in 1814. Located about 50 miles west of Baltimore, the Keys are a four-time champion of the eight-team Carolina League, the most recent title coming in 2011.
  131. In some places, the stadium is the star. Others, it's the product on the field. If you're lucky, you might get both; if you're unlucky, you get neither. More often than not, you land somewhere in the middle. McCoy Stadium, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, falls into that middle category. Built in 1942, there's nothing glaringly wrong with it. While it's a perfectly adequate and comfortable place to see a game, you won't find any particularly special perks that differentiate it from other parks. The Pawtucket Red Sox, AAA affiliate of the Boston team that resides 45 miles to the northeast, have been playing here since 1970.
  132. The Sky Sox organization honors all military personnel, as Colorado Springs is very much a military town as it is sometimes referred to as the "nation's military space capital." The organization is also focused on family and there certainly are a lot of kids who attend Sunday home games, as those are Family Days at Security Service Field.
  133. With the exception of the cosmetics of Greer Stadium, there is a lot to enjoy about attending a game at this historic ballpark. Greer Stadium has been around for over 30 years now and still gets jam packed full of baseball fans on a consistent basis.The only thing holding this ballpark back is it needs to be updated, but the product inside the old walls of Greer Stadium is still a good one for baseball fans.
  134. Just outside of New Orleans in the suburb of Metairie you will find what's known as the "Shrine on Airline," Zephyr Field. Zephyr Field features 10,000 chair-backed seats with cup-holders, plus seating for nearly 1,000 on The Levee in center field. Most people when they think of New Orleans think of Mardi Gras, parties and good Cajun cooking. Well all of this and more can be found at and around Zephyr Field.
  135. In 1995, Baseball America named two-year-old Harbor Park the best minor league stadium in the United States. The ballpark turned 20 in 2013, and while it is still a solid place to see a game, the Tides' home is starting to show its age a little, and is not a place that would be considered a 'must-see' on our stadium list.
  136. Since 1994, the Renegades have become a summer staple in the Hudson Valley region of New York State. Short season NY-Penn League teams only have 37 home games and fans make sure they fill "The Dutch" for each one of them. Although the ballpark is not anything special, the Renegades make up for it with a great selection of concessions and an interesting variety of promotions. The Goldklang Group owns the team and one of the owners is Mike Veeck, son of Bill who set the standard for bringing fans out with promotions. Despite the distractions, fans still have interest and passion for their team and the game.
  137. It is said of many parks – usually in a derogatory fashion - that they could be picked up and placed in any other city. Burlington Athletic Stadium is one of the few parks in history that actually WAS picked up and placed in another city. Originally built in Danville, Virginia, the stadium was trucked 50 miles or so to the south for its 1958 “rebirth” in Burlington.
  138. This stadium draws a lot of mixed reactions. If you're a Yankees fan, this is basically where your team is born, being the Single-A farm team, and it's a privilege to see them before they're stars. If you're a resident of Tampa that beams with civic pride, you may actually be a bigger fan of this team (and its parent, by proxy) than the MLB team bearing the Tampa Bay brand across the Bay. If you're neither, however, it can come off as a loud, crass, and painful experience.
  139. The stadium is now over 70 years old and much of the main structure has remained unchanged. However, the organization continues to make improvements to the venue which include the new entryway, a resealed main bowl of seating and an awning down the first base line.
  140. If you want to experience the typical minor league atmosphere in the typical minor league ballpark, there is no place better to visit than Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (a mouthful of a name, no pun intended) where you will definitely find both. While many fans who only frequent their hometown park may enjoy this, for the traveler who visits many ballparks each year, there is nothing to distinguish this park from numerous other new parks built since 2000.
  141. In 2004, Ryan-Sanders Baseball, decided to relocate their Texas League team to beautiful Corpus Christi. Built on an old cotton farm, Whataburger Field has a new ballpark feel, while still keeping some old Corpus tradition with a few cotton farm buildings in left field.
  142. Baseball returned to Boise in 1987 with the Boise Hawks. Currently they are the Short Season A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and play in the Northwest League of Professional Baseball. Memorial Stadium opened for operation in 1989. There are three separate concrete seating structures at this stadium with the concession area underneath and behind the stands.
  143. There's a reason why this is called John Thurman "Field" and not "stadium" or "ballpark", but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's a very nice place to catch a game but the atmosphere needs to improve a good deal.
  144. Las Vegas is not considered a sports destination, unless you believe gambling, drinking, and eating to be sports. But there are over 2 million people who live here and they need some distractions of their own. In the summer, the Pacific Coast League's Las Vegas 51s provide the entertainment out at Cashman Field, an older facility that still offers ball fans some quiet enjoyment away from the lights and noise of the casinos.
  145. Walking the tree-lined paths of Daffin Park you’ll approach a historic Georgia home for America’s pastime. Built in 1926, Grayson Stadium is home to the Savannah Sand Gnats and one of the oldest ballparks in all of baseball. Baseball has existed on and off in Savannah since 1926 with occasional breaks with the current product being the Sand Gnats of the South Atlantic League, a Single A affiliate of the New York Mets.
  146. There is a distinct feeling at State Mutual Stadium that baseball is not the most serious of sports. Whether that's good or bad will depend on what kind of a fan an attendee is. Expect the regular gags - people in costumes throwing out freebies, races between young audience members between innings - but also some extra-goofy additives, along the lines of sound effects when foul balls land and "Henry the Hot Dog," who dances on the dugout for a little too long while throwing miniature, edible versions of himself to onlookers whether they want food or not. Perhaps those distractions are meant to make up for the lack of scenery - you're certainly not going to get caught up in any beautiful vistas over the fences.
  147. 2013 is the final year in Tucson as they will move to a brand new ballpark in Downtown El Paso in 2014.
  148. Kingsport is one of the newer and more modern parks in the Appalachian League, at less than 20 years old. While still a small park, it has enough capacity to host regional tournaments, as well as college tournaments, like the NAIA World Series. Kingsport does a nice job of mixing more modern conveniences with the charm of traditional neighborhood sponsored Rookie level baseball.
  149. Over the last decade, the Trenton Thunder have become the class of the Eastern League, which is fitting for a team that is affiliated with the New York Yankees. The Thunder have made the playoffs seven of the last nine years and have taken home the league championship three times, including their most recent title in 2013. During that time, many Yankees (like Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez) have made rehab appearances in Trenton. The only home Thunder players have ever known was built in 1994 as Mercer County Waterfront Park (now known as Arm & Hammer Park), and it finally opened after several construction delays. It was an odd start for the franchise, as they spent many of their first years oddly affiliated with the Boston Red Sox, a team not particularly liked in the State Capital. Now, the team is in a good spot paired with the Yankees and racking up the wins. Their 6,000-plus seat ballpark is typical of many across the region built in the same era and it offers a decent experience.
  150. There are several minor league ballparks located in the gorgeous region in East Tennessee, but if you blink then you might overlook Pioneer Park. Pioneer Park has been home to the Greeneville Astros, the Houston Astros' affiliate in the Rookie Appalachian League, since 2004. The team also enjoyed their one and only league championship in 2004. You’ll get a cozy feeling the instant you walk up to Pioneer Park, but the experience gets somewhat bare after that initial feeling of walking up to the entrance gates.
  151. PK Park is the dual home for the University of Oregon Ducks baseball team and the Single-A Northwest League Eugene Emeralds. The $19.2 million dollar stadium debuted in 2009 for the university. The 4,000-seat covered grandstand facility replaced the iconic wooden Civic Stadium-home to the Ems since their inaugural season in 1969. PK Park is a first class facility for Single-A baseball, but there is a heavy nod to the university; however, the team continues to make this the place for a great night out of baseball during the summer months in the area. Also, Eugene is a pretty hip town to visit, making for an enjoyable trip to stadium travelers.
  152. After years of discussion and legal wrangling, the Knights finally received approval to move back across the border, with the proposed BB&T Ballpark – the second such named in North Carolina – scheduled to be completed in Charlotte's Third Ward for the 2014 season. The new facility would seat 10,000 fans, and the Knights hope it will revive fan interest in baseball in Charlotte.
  153. Dickey-Stephens Park is a good experience. The atmosphere is an adult one, especially with features such as the Beer Garden. If you are a fan who really enjoys baseball stadiums for the sake of baseball, this probably is not the park for you. But if you are a casual fan just looking to have a good time, then this park will provide an enjoyable evening at the ballpark.
  154. Auburn, New York, located upstate in the Finger Lakes region, has been a host city to the New York Penn League since 1958. The team has almost had as many different nicknames as there are years. Since 1996, the team has been known as the Auburn Doubledays, saluting the great Abner Doubleday. The team has been playing at Falcon Park, a ballpark which has been in existence since 1927, but was demolished and totally rebuilt following the 1994 season.
  155. There is nothing about Pohlman Field that would even hint at "must-see" or leave you with a once-in-a-lifetime feeling, but there is something very attractive about the sparseness that you find when you arrive at a Beloit Snappers game.
  156. For a family night out or if you want to check out future stars of the game, it's not a bad option for an evening's entertainment. If you're looking for a full day of fun - come early, bring your own food and make use of the amenities in the park surrounding the stadium.
  157. On this very website, fans can find reviews of all of the California League teams. Bakersfield is home to the oldest stadium of the group and is quickly falling behind its competitors in terms of amenities.
  158. Chukchansi Park has very similar qualities to many of the ballparks built around the same time. It has great sight lines, an open outfield, and refreshing misters on the concourse. The two deck layout with luxury suites gives the ballpark a major league feel. There is just something that is uncomfortable about a 12,000 seat stadium that sits almost entirely empty. It makes it feel even more quiet than it even is.
  159. The Blue Jays are members of the Rookie level Appalachian League. Like many of the ballparks of the Appalachian League, Bowen Field is a no frills experience. The small venue has a capacity of 3,000 and was originally constructed in 1939, although much of what is seen today was part of a reconstruction completed in 1975.
  160. Russell E. Diethrick Jr. Park is the oldest ballpark in the New York Penn League. Built in 1941, the ballpark has hosted professional, collegiate and local baseball games since it was opened. Owned by the city of Jamestown, the stadium name has changed from Jamestown Municipal Stadium to College Stadium. In 1997, the name was officially changed to its current moniker in honor of Jamestown’s “Mr. Baseball” as Diethrick was involved in local baseball as a player, coach, manager and organizer.

No comments: