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Ballpark Visit: Harry Grove Stadium / Frederick Keys

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When it opened in 1990, Harry Grove Stadium was state of the art when it came to things like suites and an open concourse. Today, despite some TLC from the city and the owners of the Frederick Keys in recent years, Harry Grove Stadium is now just a decent, well-run but low-key ballpark in a very good market.

Harry Grove Stadium

FAST FACTS

Year Opened: 1990
Capacity
: 5,400
Suites: 12
Original Cost: $3 million
Owner: City of Frederick
Dimensions: 325L, 400C, 325R
Website: frederickkeys.com
Ticket Office: 301/815-9939
Ticket Prices (2010): Field Seating, $10; Reserved Seating, $9; General Admission, $8 adults/$5 seniors/children/military
League: Carolina League
Parent: Baltimore Orioles
Surface: Grass
Parking: Free and abundance in adjoining parking lot
Address/Directions: 21 Stadium Drive, Frederick, MD 21703. From Washington, DC: Take I-270 North to Frederick, MD, then take Exit 32 - Route 70 East to Baltimore. Take Exit 54 from Route 70 East, staying to the right on the ramp, and then turn right at second light onto Rt. 355/Market St. Turn left at the first traffic light onto New Design Rd., and then turn right into the parking lot on New Design Rd or continue to Stadium Drive and turn Right to park in the Stadium Drive parking lot. From Baltimore: Take I-70 west to Frederick. Take Exit 54 from Route 70 East, staying right on the exit ramp. Turn Left at the first light, Monocacy Blvd. Continue on Monocacy Blvd across Rt. 355/Market St. onto New Design Rd. Turn Right into the parking lot on New Design Rd or continue to Stadium Drive and turn Right to park in Stadium Drive parking lot.

Click on the image for a larger version.

The layout of Harry Grove Stadium should be familiar to anyone entering a minor-league ballpark built in the last decade or so: fans enter from a main entrance directly to an extended concourse; the grandstand is built into the side of a hill, so the concourse declines to a seating bowl and then the playing field. True, there’s no wraparound concourse here (though one could be easily added), but the layout is thoroughly modern.

And pretty basic. There’s nothing particularly fancy about Harry Grove Stadium, though we think GM Dave Ziedelis and his staff do with the best with the cards they’re dealt. You have your basic seating bowl, with fans entering from the back. The ballpark sightlines are great; it’s an intimate place, and games tend to be low-key affairs, with just enough between-innings shenanigans to keep your interest. The concourse is a busy area during the game, with the concessions the draw. (Picnic tables down the left-field line make for a fine place to watch the game, and you’re closer to the beer.) The concession stands, modernized in recent years, are varied and offer some tasty treats (courtesy of concessionaire Ovations Food Service). Access is easy, and parking is free. Still, there’s no signature ballpark feature past the food offerings, and the whole architectural scheme is in sore need of an update.