Though it will not open until 2017, the club level expansion at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park is taking shape, as the Charleston RiverDogs (Low A; South Atlantic League) released a few details over the weekend.
When the project was announced in March, it was clear that the RiverDogs wanted to leverage the space as a year-round venue. At 6,000 square feet, the club area is large enough to host non-baseball events—including weddings—and provide enough hospitality amenities to attract gatherings on a year-round basis.
One of the major selling points is expected to be the view. With its positioning on the first base side, the new club area will have an overlook of the playing surface on one side, and a view of the Ashley River on the other.
While the underlying goal is to make Riley Park a more sought after event destination, the club area will be used for game days as well. Early plans called for the space to be available to select season ticket holders, as well as groups.
These details have been addressed in the early phases of the planning process, and the preliminary designs lead the RiverDogs to believe that the club level will become a popular year-round destination. More from the Post and Courier:
“The interior designers are designing the space based on the principle of Lowcountry elegance,” said Marv Goldklang, principle owner of the RiverDogs. “That’s the defining concept. The objective being the space will work for our 70 home games, but also for 100 other — at least 100 events — during the year, weddings to corporate events.”
The $3-million facility, which the Goldklang Group is financing, will be glass enclosed from the ground up with a view of the ballpark on one side and the Ashley River on the other.
Goldklang said it will have a banquet-style seating capacity of 235, up from an original mark of 200 for functions.
The overall capacity is around 300, but the RiverDogs plan to limit the game day capacity to about 175 so that people can move around freely without being too crowded.
The venue, which is being designed by the LS3P architectural firm in Charleston, will have a bar, a kitchen and high definition flat screen televisions, as well.
“When you mention clubs in other ballparks, it will be comparing apples and oranges,” Goldklang said. “This will be a special place.”
Thus far, the RiverDogs are receiving positive feedback on the expansion. Goldklang told the Post and Courier that he expects that reservations for next year will start being booked over this summer. According to the current timeline, construction will begin at the conclusion of this season, setting up a potential March 1 opening.