Another close vote, another winner: In Double-A Best of the Ballparks voting, fans voted for Regions Field, home of the Birmingham Barons, over Riverwalk Stadium, home of the Montgomery Biscuits.
The vote was close — 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent — in the all-Alabama polling, as the winner was announced last night at Riverwalk Stadium during the Southern League All-Star Game. It was the tightest polling in our competition for any final round, and it certainly reflects the strength of ballparks in all of Double-A.
“We are extremely honored that Regions Field has been named ballparkdigest.com’s AA ballpark of the year and thank all voters who participated in this contest,” said Barons GM Jonathan Nelson. “It is fantastic that both AA ballpark finalists are from the state of Alabama and congratulate Montgomery. This recognition reflects what a special place Regions Field is and we look forward to continuing to provide fun, memorable experiences for all fans in the future.”
“Over a million fans have visited Regions Field since its opening, and it has spurred needed economic development in Birmingham,” said Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard. “It’s a great place to take in a game, and no wonder Barons fans voted it the winner.”
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 Double-A ballparks, combining Texas, Southern and Eastern League facilities:
1. Regions Field (Birmingham Barons; SL)
2. Pensacola Bayfront Stadium (Pensacola Blue Wahoos; SL)
3. Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco RoughRiders; TL)
4. Dickey-Stephens Park (Arkansas Travelers; TL)
5. FirstEnergy Stadium (Reading Fightin Phils; EL)
6. Smokies Park (Tennessee Smokies; SL)
7. Whataburger Field (Corpus Christi Hooks; TL)
8. ONEOK Field (Tulsa Drillers; TL)
9. ARM & HAMMER Park (Trenton Thunder; EL)
10. Riverwalk Stadium (Montgomery Biscuits; SL)
11. Canal Park (Akron RubberDucks; EL)
12. Metro Bank Park (Harrisburg Senators; EL)
13. Hammons Field (Springfield Cardinals; TL)
14. Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville (Jacksonville Suns; SL)
15. Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (New Hampshire Fisher Cats; EL)
16. Arvest Ballpark (Northwest Arkansas Naturals; TL)
17. Trustmark Park (Mississippi Braves; SL)
18. Peoples Natural Gas Field (Altoona Curve; EL)
19. MGM Park (Biloxi Shuckers; SL)
20. Hadlock Field (Portland Sea Dogs; EL)
21. Security Bank Ballpark (Midland RockHounds; TL)
22. The Diamond (Richmond Flying Squirrels; EL)
23. The Ballpark at Jackson (Jackson Generals; SL)
24. AT&T Field (Chattanooga Lookouts; SL)
25. Wolff Stadium (San Antonio Missions; TL)
26. Jerry Uht Park (Erie SeaWolves; EL)
27. Prince George’s Stadium (Bowie Baysox; EL)
28. Henry Aaron Stadium (Mobile BayBears)
29. New Britain Stadium (New Britain Rock Cats; EL)
30. NYSEG Stadium (Binghamton Mets; EL)
Thanks to the Montgomery Biscuits and the team’s great front office for letting us make this announcement at last night’s Southern League All-Star Game.
The results of the voting are shown in percentages.
Photo by John Shadrick.