Highlighted by a new hospitality deck, the Down East Wood Ducks (High A; Carolina League) are slated to debut some new features at Grainger Stadium in 2018.
Grainger Stadium is coming off its first season hosting the Wood Ducks, and will undergo some changes in the time leading up to year two. The most notable amenity on tap is a new two-tiered, 15,000-square-foot hospitality deck that will be located down the right field line. There will be some player facility improvements as well, including a new weight room.
The total cost for this phase of upgrades is expected to be $930,000, and it is anticipated that work on the project will start in the middle of October. The hospitality area in particular is expected to help reshape the fan experience at Grainger Stadium, according to Kinston/Lenoir County Parks & Recreation director Bill Ellis. More from The Kinston Free Press:
The bottom 7,500-square-foot section will be for groups of 50 to 400 people with three levels of patios and picnic areas in front. The top 7,500-square-foot section will be open-air space covered by a roof and will be for the general public. There will also be food and a bar available, Ellis said.
“It will just be a unique place to watch the game from,” he said. “They can eat and drink while they watch the game. A lot of big ball parks have this kind of thing.”
Other improvements in the second phase of work will include relocating the maintenance building and providing a weight room and an inside area for the Wood Ducks to work out in at the large warehouse building between Vernon Avenue and the side of the stadium, Ellis said.
Although bids came in a little higher than expected for the work and a request for funding the projects was pulled at this week’s City Council meeting, Ellis said he is working with the low bidder to change some initial things around to see if the price can be lowered.
Prior to the 2017 season, Grainger Stadium received a new concession stand as part of some of the changes made in advance of the Wood Ducks’ arrival. We visited the ballpark in July.