We have a winner in Best of the Ballparks competition for independent ballparks. In heavy voting, fans chose TD Bank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots, over CHS Field.
The competition among independent ballparks was among the most highly contested in all of the Best of the Ballpark categories, and in this case two exceptional ballparks were showcased.
“We are very proud, excited and honored to be voted as the Best Ballpark in all of Independent Minor League Baseball by Ballpark Digest, the most respected industry leader in ballpark news and coverage in the world,” said Steve Kalafer, Founding Chairman of the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club. “These results reinforce what our fans, marketing partners, and our entire community knows — that TD Bank Ballpark is a very special place for families, businesses, organizations, and friends to enjoy quality time together. We may be locally family owned, but our brand is nationally known.”
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.
“This is not just an honor for our ballpark, but also for everybody that works here in every capacity to make TD Bank Ballpark and the Somerset Patriots experience the best it can be all season and year long,” said Jonathan Kalafer, Vice Chairman of the Somerset Patriots.
Somerset Patriots Vice Chairman Josh Kalafer added, “We were honored to be in the discussion with all the great ballparks and teams involved in the competition. We know what a great job all the other organizations in minor league baseball do to provide affordable family entertainment and America’s favorite pastime. To come out on top is extraordinary and we are proud to receive this honor on behalf of our community.”
TD Bank Ballpark, the “Jewel of the Atlantic League,” officially opened its gates in June of 1999, and has been the premier family and community destination in Central New Jersey since that time.
The 6,100-seat ballpark is owned by Somerset County and managed by the Somerset Patriots, who have consistently drawn over 5,300 fans per game and 370,000 fans per season since 1999.
“We want to thank all of our fans, marketing partners, and the entire community that continue to show their unwavering support of the Somerset Patriots and our home TD Bank Ballpark. After 17 years, we continue to grow and be an important part of our community and beyond. We are very proud of this honor and thank Ballpark Digest and everyone that participated in the contest. We would especially like to thank the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders for having the vision to build our ballpark in Bridgewater at no tax payer expense, and their continued partnership to provide affordable family and community entertainment to Central New Jersey residents,” said Patrick McVerry, President/General Manager of the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club.
Here’s our list of the top 32 independent ballparks:
1. CHS Field (St. Paul Saints; AA)
2. Shaw Park (Winnipeg Goldeyes; AA)
3. Constellation Field (Sugar Land Skeeters; AtL)
4. U.S. Steel Yard (Gary SouthShore RailCats; AA)
5. Le Stade Municipal (Quebec Capitales; Can-Am)
6. QuikTrip Park at Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie Airhogs; AA)
7. Boomers Stadium (Schaumburg Boomers; FL)
8. All Pro Freight Stadium (Lake Erie Crushers; FL)
9. Newman Outdoor Field (Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks; AA)
10. Provident Bank Park (Rockland Boulders; Can-Am)
11. Clipper Magazine Stadium (Lancaster Barnstormers; AtL)
12. Santander Stadium (York Revolution; AtL)
13. Haymarket Park (Lincoln Saltdogs; AA)
14. Rent One Park (Southern Illinois Miners; FL)
15. TD Bank Ballpark (Somerset Patriots; AtL)
16. Wuerfel Park (Traverse City Beach Bums; FL)
17. Bosse Field (Evansville Otters; FL)
18. Community America Ballpark (Kansas City T-Bones; AA)
19. Bethpage Ballpark (Long Island Ducks; AtL)
20. Lawrence-Dumont Stadium (Wichita Wingnuts; AA)
21. Sioux Falls Stadium (Sioux Falls Canaries; AA)
22. T.R. Hughes Ballpark (River City Rascals; FL)
23. Regency Furniture Stadium (Southern Maryland Blue Crabs; AtL)
24. Skylands Stadium (Sussex County Miners; Can-Am)
25. Stade Fernand-Bédard (Trois-Rivières Aigles; Can-Am)
26. Uni-Trade Stadium (Laredo Lemurs; AA)
27. Yogi Berra Stadium (New Jersey Jackals; Can-Am)
28. GCS Ballpark (Gateway Grizzlies; FL)
29. The Corn Crib (Normal Cornbelters; FL)
30. Silver Cross Field (Joliet Slammers; FL)
31. Potter County Memorial Stadium (Amarillo Thunderheads; AA)
32. Albert Park (San Rafael Pacifics; PacAssn)
Figures refer to percentage of votes cast.