We have the final decision in Triple-A Best of the Ballparks voting: fans selected Huntington Park, home of the Columbus Clippers, over Durham Bulls Athletic Park, home of the Durham Bulls, in a battle of the heavyweights.
The final margin: 57 percent for Huntington Park, 43 percent for Durham Bulls Athletic Park. It certainly was a hard choice for voters, as there are a number of great ballparks at the Triple-A level. But Clippers fans turned out in force to support their team and their ballpark, leaving Huntington Park as the winner.
“We are honored that Huntington Park has been selected as the winner of the “Best of Ballparks” for Triple-A Baseball,” said Ken Schnacke, Clippers President and GM. “Our award winning ballpark, while in its seventh season, continues to win accolades for its uniqueness and attention to detail. Our fans continue to support us in record numbers, and the theme we had originally of creating an “outdoor park where baseball is played” continues to serve our community, and the baseball industry, very well. We are very proud to be selected to represent the Triple-A Ballparks; and we humbly accept this award on behalf of our community and our fans.”
“Huntington Park is truly a community resource, a ballpark with a great design run by a front office committed to the fan experience,” said Kevin Reichard, publisher of Ballpark Digest. “The Clippers are a top-notch organization, and the fans showed their commitment to their team and their ballpark in what was the toughest bracket in our competition.”
Huntington Park is a past winner of the Ballpark of the Year honors from Ballpark Digest, and along the way it’s accumulated a slew of other honors as well.
About Best of the Ballparks: we structured the voting by classification, so the competition is broken down into Triple-A, Double-A, High A, Low A, short season A and rookie. The summer collegiate and independent brackets will encompass what we consider to the top 32 ballparks in their classifications. And, of course, the MLB parks stand on their own.
We know from our marketing/user research a third of our readers work in the baseball industry, so we’re tapping into that collective expertise. And we know from our research that a third of our readers sell to the baseball industry, so that expertise will be valuable as well. The remaining third — fans, media, government — will certainly have a different view on things as well. We can’t wait to see what our readers — whom we consider to be the smartest folks in baseball — say about the best of the ballparks.
Here’s our ranking of Triple-A ballparks, combining International League and Pacific Coast League facilities:
1. Coca-Cola Park (Lehigh Valley IronPigs; IL)
2. BB&T Ballpark (Charlotte Knights; IL)
3. First Tennessee Park (Nashville Sounds; PCL)
4. AutoZone Park (Memphis Redbirds; PCL)
5. Huntington Park (Columbus Clippers; IL)
6. Durham Bulls Athletic Park (Durham Bulls; IL)
7. Southwest University Park (El Paso Chihuahuas; PCL)
8. Fifth Third Field (Toledo Mud Hens; IL)
9. Aces Ballpark (Reno Aces; PCL)
10. Victory Field (Indianapolis Indians; IL)
11. Isotopes Park (Albuquerque Isotopes; PCL)
12. Dell Diamond (Round Rock Express; PCL)
13. Frontier Field (Rochester Red Wings; IL)
14. Werner Park (Omaha Storm Chasers; PCL)
15. Coca-Cola Field (Buffalo Bison; IL)
16. PNC Field (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders; IL)
17. Raley Field (Sacramento River Cats; PCL)
18. Cheney Stadium (Tacoma Rainiers; PCL)
19. Coolray Field (Gwinnett Braves; IL)
20. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Oklahoma City Dodgers; PCL)
21. Principal Park (Iowa Cubs; PCL)
22. Louisville Slugger Field (Louisville Bats; IL)
23. Chukchansi Park (Fresno Grizzlies; PCL)
24. Harbor Park (Norfolk Tides; IL)
25. McCoy Stadium (Pawtucket Red Sox; IL)
26. Smith’s Ballpark (Salt Lake Bees; PCL)
27. Zephyr Field (New Orleans Zephyrs; PCL)
28. NBT Bank Stadium (Syracuse Chiefs; IL)
29. Security Service Field (Colorado Springs Sky Sox; PCL)
30. Cashman Field (Las Vegas 51s; PCL)
The results of the voting are shown in percentages.
Images courtesy Columbus Clippers.