Eastern League
 
PEOPLES NATURAL GAS FIELD
ALTOONA, PENNSYLVANIA
ALTOONA CURVE            
USRT VISIT MAY, 2003

Altoona's new jewel is a great place to see a baseball game. Check out
the classic architecture and retro look of the building. Even though the
ballpark is only a few years old, this outfield configuration was added just
recently. At ground level is a picnic pavilion, and right above is the left
field party deck, with Uncle Charlie's Grill serving up burgers and
sausages fresh off the fire. Along the outfield grassy knoll,   the words
"Altoona Curve" spelled are out in the landscaping. Far above, at street
level,  is the adjoining residential neighborhood, and yeah, cars are
parked on front lawns everywhere.
 
JERRY UHT PARK
ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA
ERIE SEAWOLVES               
USRT VISIT MAY, 2003

Jerry Uht Park opened in 1995 on the fringes of downtown Erie. Their first
tenant was a NY/Penn League team at the "A" level, but eventually they
moved up to "AA", and today the Seawolves play in the Eastern League
as the Tiger's affiliate. Above is the main entrance to the park, with its
signature cupola and tower. Below is a view of the seating area, the first
level with an open concourse to the field, and a small upper porch.
Beyond the left field wall is the city's hockey arena, and the two facilities
currently share clubhouse and locker facilities.
 
CANAL PARK
AKRON, OHIO
AKRON RUBBER DUCKS                                  
USRT VISIT MAY, 2000

Akron's Canal Park is a real treat if you are making the road trip to see
the Cleveland Indians play, and a great setting for baseball. This ballpark
opened in 1997 and is located on South Main Street in the middle of
downtown Akron. Immediately adjacent to the venue is a pretty hopping
entertainment district, with nightclubs and a Jillian's sports bar and
entertainment complex. The stadium has a one level seating area with a
capacity of a little over 9000 and that includes a small bleacher area in
right field.  A second level on the infield houses 25 luxury suites and
press facilities and they are served by their own climate controlled
concourse.
 
FIRST ENERGY STADIUM
READING, PENNSYLVANIA
READING FIGHTIN' PHILS             
USRT VISIT JULY, 2004

Now the oldest stadium in the Eastern League, this beautiful venue has
all of the modern amenities, yet an old time mustiness, that makes it one
of the elite minor league venues. Being Reading, the railroad theme is
abundant here, and, in fact, a set of tracks bisects the parking lot behind
home plate, and trains do tend to run through there even on game days.
Inside, party decks abound in left field and in right field, with the right filed
one sporting a two level swimming pool and fountain. The first baseline
concourse has the feel of a street festival, with many different
concession stands, games of chance and interactive displays.
 
PRINCE GEORGES STADIUM
BOWIE, MARYLAND
BOWIE BAYSOX               
USRT VISIT JULY, 2004

You can find this stadium in one of the bedroom communities between
Baltimore and DC, but finding the ballpark itself can be a bit of a chore.
Tucked behind a bunch of strip shopping plazas and nestled next to a
forest, Prince Georges Stadium is pretty much your boiler plate type of
minor league ballpark. Lots of billboard ads along the outfield walls, a
predominant number of bench seats throughout the seating bowl, pretty
nice concourse where one can view the game from anyplace in the yard,
and a children's play area and carousel down the right field line. A nicely
appointed restaurant with tiered tables overlooks home plate from the
second level.
 
METRO BANK PARK
HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA
HARRISBURG SENATORS        
USRT VISIT: JULY, 2006
Post renovation visit: AUGUST, 2010

The newest incarnation of this stadium contains all the modern
amenities, picnic areas, suites, ribbon boards and video board, yet still
retains quirks of the old stadium which stood in its place. It is located in
the pastoral City Island Park, accessible via a bridge from downtown
across the Susquehanna River.
 
ARM & HAMMER PARK
TRENTON, NEW JERSEY
TRENTON THUNDER                      
USRT VISIT MAY, 2005

When Mercer County's new ballpark opened its doors in 1994,
professional baseball returned to Trenton for the first time since 1950.  A
beautiful canopied marquee greets visitors at the main entrance behind
home plate, and a grand staircase takes you to the main concourse,
which has a view of the field throughout. Beyond right field is the
Delaware River, but no nice docks or parkland there, just a lot of brush.
Plus a three tiered outfield wall with lots of ads obstructs this venue's
best natural attraction, a real design flaw.
 
HADLOCK FIELD
PORTLAND, MAINE
PORTLAND SEA DOGS                      
USRT VISIT AUGUST, 2008

A newer venue with a classic look, Hadlock Field takes full advantage of
its tight geographic confines to still offer a regulation size ballfield. An
arena along the right baseline almost juts out onto the field itself. Out in
left field, the "Maine Monster" replicates its more famous wall at Fenway.
Loud and passionate fans pretty much fill this place night after night.
 
NORTHEAST DELTA DENTAL STADIUM
MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
NEW HAMPSHIRE FISHER CATS
USRT VISIT AUGUST, 2008

Opened in 2006, this ballpark can be seen right off the I-293 expressway
downtown. The bright and sparkling venue offers all the modern day
amenities, and great food offerings in the bright and wide concourses. A
"Ted Williams Museum" is located on the main level right behind home
plate. The signature of the venue is a tall Hilton Garden Inn right beyond
center field, and it isn't even part of the stadium itself!
 
NYSEG STADIUM
BINGHMATON, NEW YORK
BINGHAMTON METS            
USRT VISITS JULY, 1999, JULY, 2009

With a capacity of 6000 seats, this stadium's worst feature is its cramped
and dark concourse underneath the seating area. A rail yard can be
found beyond the left field wall, and trains go by from time to time so that
adds to the ambience of the place. The park is located in a  
quietneighborhood, and parking abounds both in stadium lots and the
surrounding streets. Try a "Spiedie" sandwich, a delectable Binghamton
treat.
 
THE DIAMOND
RICHMOND VIRGINIA
RICHMOND FLYING SQUIRRELS
USRT VISIT JUNE, 2003

The Diamond in Richmond.....what a great name! The name was chosen
as part of a name the stadium contest, and quotes from the winning
letter appear in a concourse display.This is an older facility, opened in
1985 built predominantly of precast concrete and erected over a seven
month period on the sight of its predecessor, Parker Field. This
stadium reeks of being exactly what a minor league facility should be. An
outfield fence with two levels of ads from foul pole to foul pole, simple
metal bench seating for about 12,000.
  FORMER VENUES
 
 
YALE FIELD
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
NEW HAVEN RAVENS
USRT VISIT: AUGUST, 2003

A classic old ballpark located on the campus of Yale University,
Historic Yale Field saw its last double A game in 2003 as the Ravens
relocated to Manchester, New Hampshire for the 2004 season. A tight
concourse can be found under the metal floored seating bleachers,
and a timeline exhibit celebrating the venue's baseball history and its
greatest players runs from third base to first base. An old hand
operated scoreboard doesn't work too well, and small dot matrix
boards are about the only contribution to modernity here. Interestingly,
when new seats were installed here they kept one row of the old
wooden seats in the top row of the seating bowl. Lastly, plan for a long
wait in the concession lines here... service is absolutely brutal! But all
in all a great throwback to a bygone era.
 
NEW BRITAIN STADIUM
NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT
NEW BRITAIN ROCK CATS    
USRT VISIT JUNE, 2008

Great fan support, lots of energy, and a happy place to attend a
baseball game. The New Britain Rock Cats keep the fans entertained
with great promotions, mascots, music bumps including the Hartford
Whalers old anthem "Brass Bonanza". Although this stadium is a new
one, opened in 1995, it has a real old time traditional feel to it, with
nicely decorated concourses, banners and flags all over.