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9 Minor League Ballparks You Should Catch a Game At

9 Minor League Ballparks You Should Catch a Game At

Whether you’re recalling a memory with your dad or helping your kids create memories of their own, there’s nothing like taking in a ballgame with your loved ones. The event is filled with the atmosphere of friendly competition and the smell of hot dogs, beer, and peanuts that makes a lasting impression. But you don’t need to be in a Major League Baseball park to have an incredible amount of fun. There are plenty of great minor league ballparks for you to catch a game at. Often, they’re equally great and a helluva lot cheaper than their big league brothers.

Modern Woodmen Park – Davenport, IA

Modern Woodmen Park—aka Davenport Municipal Stadium, aka John O’Donnell Stadium—is the home of the Quad Cities River Bandits and the oldest stadium used continuously by a current minor league baseball team. Woodmen has received more than a few “best of” accolades over the years, and one look at the amenities makes the reasons obvious. Swivel-chair seats. 105-foot tall Ferris wheel. 30-foot tall Drop’N Twist. NASA-inspired gyroscope. 300-foot long zipline. Arcade. River Rocker. Bumper cars. Double-Decker carousel. Kids roller coaster. Cornfield. There’s even a hot tub deck and a tiki village, because of course there is. Link

BB&T Ballpark – Charlotte, NC

One of the newer ballparks on the list, BB&T is only celebrating the 5th season of being the home of the Charlotte Knights (the White Sox AAA affiliate). But in that small amount of time, it’s become one of the most visited venues in all of Minor League Baseball. It’s widely considered one of the best ballparks around because it feels like a major league park. In addition to picturesque views of the Charlotte skyline from almost every seat in the state-of-the-art facility, BB&T features upscale concessions in the form of multiple Queen City Q barbecue stands and plenty of craft beer options—including their own signature brew from NoDa. Link

Louisville Slugger Field – Louisville, KY

It should come as absolutely no surprise that the ballpark a mere mile from the maker of one of the most iconic baseball bats ever would be called Louisville Slugger Field and be the home of the Louisville Bats (AAA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds). The retro-classic stadium has everything you want in a ballpark, along with a former train depot incorporated into the stadium that’s home to one our bucket list breweries. That’s right folks, Against the Grain—makes of Bo & Luke, Citra Ass Down and The Brown Note—is actually in the train station that’s part of the stadium. Want something a little stronger after a day of build your own nachos, fried bologna sandwiches and Graeter’s ice cream? The Angel’s Envy distillery is literally across the street. Link

Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, Texas

About 30 minutes outside of Dallas is where you’ll find Dr Pepper Ballpark, one of the most interesting and unique ballparks in all of baseball, not just the Minor Leagues. Home of the Texas Rangers’ AA team, the Frisco RoughRiders, Dr Pepper Ballpark is a vinyl-sided stadium designed and built as a collection of smaller structures with plazas and concourses connecting them that feels more amusement park than ballpark. In terms of noteworthy features outside of the multiple building design, the bullpens are actually built into the stands on the first and third baselines and a lazy river in the outfield. Yes, you read that correctly. Just above the right-field wall is the Choctaw Lazy River, a gently-flowing lazy river that measures longer from end-to-end than an Olympic-size swimming pool. We can’t think of a better way to take in a game. Link

Northwestern Medicine Field – Geneva, IL

Located on the western side of the Chicago suburbs in the city of Geneva, the home of the Kane County Cougars is one of the best kept secrets in all of minor league ball. In less than an hour from the city proper you can be having a major league ball experience at a fraction of the cost. Lawn seats elevated above the field can be yours for less than $5 quite frequently. Thirsty Thursday promotions mean you can get select beers, small sodas and dogs for a buck. There’s also a KidZone with slides, skeeball, a bounce house, and plenty of other activities for kids that can’t sit through a whole game. The athletes are world class which makes for a great game, but it’s the prices, convenience and concessions (Two Brothers have a special beer there) that make it one of our favorite places to take in a game. Link

Durham Bulls Athletic Park – Durham, NC

Durham Bulls Athletic Park (pronounced “d-bap” according to Wikipedia) that is home to the Durham Bulls, Tampa Bay Rays AAA affiliate. It’s a 10,000 seat ballpark that shares tenancy with the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Central Eagles college ball teams, but is famous because of the movie Bull Durham, which they just celebrated the 30th anniversary of with two weeks of festivities at the park. You’ll also find special kolsch and wheat beers from Bull Durham Beer Co., the Blue Monster hand-operated scoreboard with giant bull on top, and plenty of modern amenities. Link

Blue Wahoos Stadium – Pensacola, FL

The Blue Wahoos Stadium, aka Admiral Fetterman Field, is all about location, location, location. Bordered on the south by the beautiful Pensacola Bay, the stadium has one hell of a view, and an experience similar to what you’d get at a Giants game because dingers to left field can end up in the water. In addition to the views and the breeze you’ll get being so close to the bay, the ballpark is part of Community Maritime Park which also includes a waterfront public park and amphitheater. Everything from tickets to beer is affordable, which is great, but it’s the focus on hospitality and community that surrounds every aspect of this place that will make you want to become a season ticket holder, even if you don’t live in Florida. put together a whole story about the “uniquely different” ballpark that we highly recommend checking out. Link

Coca-Cola Field – Buffalo, NY

Coca-Cola Field, home of the Buffalo Bisons, has a history dating back more than two decades and through many different owners. There’s a lot to love about this retro-classic ballpark. The downtown location with the skyline behind the grandstand. Four-tiered Bully Hill Party Deck in right field. One of the largest HD video boards in all of minors. A fantastic collection of fans that continuously pack the park. But we always keep coming back to that retro-classic design. Designed by HOK Sports (now known as Populous), this was the first of its kind and served as the proof of concept that would ultimately lead to major league spots like Oriole Park at Camden Yards, AT&T Park and Busch Stadium III. Link

McCormick Field – Asheville, NC

Asheville, North Carolina has one of the largest collections of breweries per capita in all of America, so the fact that the home of the Asheville Tourists has plenty of craft beers throughout the park shouldn’t be surprising. With more than two dozen beers available at any time—we’re talking Sweetwater, Foothills, Catawba, New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, Hi-Wire, Magic Hat and plenty of other options—the beer selection rivals the best beers at major league ballparks and includes more variety than you could hope to sample in one outing. Bonus points because the big time park with the small town feel skips the boxes and club seats in favor of a focus on the game itself, and most of Bull Durham’s baseball scenes were filmed here despite having a park essentially named after it. Link