The Vermont Lake Monsters (short season; NY-Penn League) unveiled upgrades to the University of Vermont’s historic Centennial Field that include permanent seating in the grandstand areas along with new field-level seating, dugouts and bullpens.
Centennial Field is the oldest venue in affiliated baseball, a truly historic ballpark. The site has been home to baseball since 1904, and officially opened on April 17, 1906 with University of Vermont’s 10-4 victory over the University of Maine. The current concrete and steel main grandstand was erected in 1922, to replace the original wooden bleachers which had burned in 1913.
Fans will not only see, but also feel, the differences in the ballpark this season. The hard concrete general admission sections in both the first and third base grandstands have been replaced by 1,500 brand new permanent fixed seats to give fans a more comfortable and enhanced view of the game.
The backstop behind home plate has been moved out 12 feet closer to home plate and roughly 100 seats have been created in the Curtis Lumber Diamond Deck Seating Area to give fans a field level view of the action. In addition, a seating area has been created next to the visitors dugout in front of the third base grandstand.
Both the home and away dugouts have been demolished and replaced with larger and more modern dugouts that are approximately 50% bigger with more amenities than the previous dugouts.
The fences surrounding Centennial have been moved 10-20 feet closer to the playing field, decreasing the foul territory while enlarging the BBQ section down the leftfield line to create more fan space for a better viewing experience.
With the foul territory down both lines shortened, both the home and visiting bullpens have been moved from down each foul line to out behind the right-center field fence.
The Vermont Frames right field pavilion area, located just beyond the Lake Monsters clubhouse, has been enlarged and will include the “Family Fun Zone” with speed pitch, wiffle ball, bounce castle and obstacle course inflatables.
Finally, the entrance to Centennial Field has been improved, with the road leading from Colchester Avenue down to the parking lot smoothed out and paved.
Above: the former grandstand at Centennial Field.
The Lake Monsters would like to acknowledge that none of these improvements or renovations to Centennial Field would have been possible without the help of CSE Steel Work, Vermont Custom Concrete, Sargent Concrete, Middlebury Fence Company, American Seating Company, Lakewind Construction, Vermont Frames, B.A.B. Excavating, Melody Electric, Vermont Irrigation, All Seasons Excavating, ECI, Inc., Got That Rentals, Fournier Landscaping, Alpha Testing, the City of Burlington, the State of Vermont, the University of Vermont and the Centennial Field neighbors.
Other changes and additions made to Centennial Field since 2011 include a new 27-foot-by 16-foot videoboard, new light towers, new visiting clubhouse and renovated home clubhouse, along with a regraded and resurfaced infield. The Vermont Lake Monsters have spent roughly $2 million in upgrades and renovations to Centennial Field over the past three years.
Images courtesy of the Vermont Lake Monsters.
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