Originally Posted by Battra
Is the ballpark in Traverse City as cool as everybody says it is?
I've heard it's just awesome.
Here's my thoughts that I previously posted on a different message board:
Physically, it's very nice. Blue-grey aluminum siding. It looks like a hotel
from the outside, definitely different from anything I've seen although I've
been told the ballpark in Frisco, TX is similar.
Inside it has a 360-degree concourse, the first in the FL. There are picnic
tables for rent on the concourse behind the box seats and also some bar tables with beach chairs, very resort-looking. The GA section is in the outfield grass;in fact there is a sign at the top of the grass that states "Lawn Seating". The upper level contains air-conditioned suites and the press area.
There is a video board that shows player pictures and such, but I was under the impression that you could see replays, but I guess that's not in place yet.
The concessions were interesting. They had some good local ice cream from Moomer's and pizza from Mancino's. The most intersting thing was pie. It was good but it was different to me to be enjoying a slice of cherry pie and a cup of coffee at a baseball game.
The biggest disappointment for me, of course, was the beer. There are the usual selection of Anheuser-Busch products, and Heineken, Corona and Labatt's in bottles. But with Mackinac Brewing and North Peak Brewing in Traverse City and a couple of other microbreweries in the area, I hoped for more.
For those of us with ties to the players, there is good news. The players and
coaches raved about the clubhouse and facilities, which are by far the best in
the league, and they were treated well by the Beach Bums' management. We were also treated well except for the upper level incident. One of the ushers made a point of asking us about our trip and suggesting some local attractions to check out.
Parking fee is $2 but you get coupons for free sodas if you come four to a car. Getting out was a pain, but apparently there are a couple of faster exits that I didn't know of.
The ball does not carry well at all. The field is about average size for the FL, 320 down the lines and 400 to center. Despite the almost constant breezes, the ball seems to hang up. It reminds me in that aspect of Marinelli Field in Rockford. Also, since it so far north, the sun sets late. The first base line runs west to east, meaning the rightfielder is staring into the sun until about the seventh inning. This will definitely be a pitcher's park.
The grandstand is pretty roomy. I suspect the place can hold about 7,000 if it's jam-packed.
In short, I think physically it may be the best ballpark in the FL. It definitely is for the players. But I still think the overall gameday experience is better at Gateway.
I have posted pictures on my site at http://flhistory.0catch.com/TraverseCityBeachBums.htm