We have another repeat winner in the 2018 Best of the Ballparks fan vote, as TVA Credit Union Ballpark, home of the Johnson City Cardinals, defended its crown in the vote for Rookie-league ballparks, defeating Suplizio Field, home of the Grand Junction Rockies.
The final tally: 58 percent for the Appalachian League’s TVA Credit Union Ballpark, and 42 percent for the Pioneer League’s Suplizio Field. Almost 11,000 fans voted for their favorite Rookie-level team—a rise of some 40 percent over 2017—and overall 416.000 fans have participated in this year’s Best of the Ballpark fan vote for MLB, MiLB, independent and summer-collegiate facilities.
“In the past it’s been virtually impossible for an MiLB team to repeat, and this is the first time a Rookie-level ballpark has repeated in the fan vote,” said Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard. “TVA Credit Union Ballpark is certainly one of the great ballparks of the minors, combining a scenic locale with great management from Boyd Sports, and fans really respond to the emphasis on great family entertainment.”
“We couldn’t be more excited about winning this award for the second year in a row,” said Zac Clark, Johnson City Cardinals General Manager. “This community continues to show us unbelievable support with everything that we do and that means the world to us. Our staff takes a lot of pride in making sure that we provide the best experience possible for our fan base so I would like to say thank you to them for their dedication. We can’t wait to celebrate this award with our fans the rest of the year!”
TVA Credit Union Ballpark opened in 1956 and has been renovated in recent years under the management of Boyd Sports. As noted, the ballpark is a repeat winner in the Ballpark Digest Best of the Ballparks fan vote; other prior winners include Melaleuca Field (Idaho Falls Chukars, 2015) and Dehler Park (Billings Mustangs, 2016), both of the Pioneer League.
“One of the big stories in Minor League Baseball in recent years has been the upgrades in the fan experience in both Rookie league—the Appalachian League and the Pioneer League,” Reichard added. “TVA Credit Union Ballpark has been a big part of those upgrades.”
Other winners in the 2018 Best of the Ballparks vote: