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Oldest Ballparks by League: 2019 Update

Cheney Stadium, Tacoma Rainiers

A year ago, we presented a rundown of the oldest ballparks by league, from the majors down to the rookie level. There have been some changes since, as some ballparks on last year’s list are no longer used by Minor League Baseball teams, while a few others are on their way out.

What holds true to a great degree, however, is that there is still a wide variance when it comes to the age of ballparks. While the makeup of some leagues is that of mostly new ballparks, others have seen their older facilities age with grace and remain viable professional venues. What follows is our list of oldest ballparks by league as updated for the 2019 season, including information on renovations.

MLB: Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox (1912)
One of the most venerable venues in all of sports, Fenway Park was almost replaced at several points in its history. Under the ownership of owner John Henry, however, the Red Sox have completed numerous improvements over the last decade to ensure the team remains there for the foreseeable future.

International League: McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket Red Sox (1942, renovated 1999)
McCoy Stadium holds the distinction of being the oldest active Class AAA facility, but its future is uncertain now that the PawSox will move to Worcester, MA after the 2020 season. It will continue hosting the team in the interim, but officials will have to decide whether to leave it up in some form after the PawSox depart or consider alternate uses for the site.

Pacific Coast League: Cheney Stadium, Tacoma Rainiers (1960, renovated 2011)
Cheney Stadium remains one of the most classic ballparks within the Class AAA ranks, even after the 2011 renovation. It is more than 30 years older than the second-oldest ballpark in the Pacific Coast League, Principal Park, which opened for the Iowa Cubs in 1992.

FirstEnergy Stadium

Eastern League: FirstEnergy Stadium, Reading Fightin Phils (1951)
In a league full of 1990’s-era ballparks, FirstEnergy Stadium holds up well against newer facilities, thanks to the numerous improvements it has received over the years. The Fightin Phils also continue to draw fans in high numbers, assuring a unique game-day experience.

Southern League: Hank Aaron Stadium, Mobile BayBears (1997)
The Southern League experienced a ballpark boom in the 2000s, leading to the replacement of many facilities that predated Hank Aaron Stadium. The 2019 season will be its last for the BayBears, however, as the club will relocate to Madison, AL after the upcoming campaign and become the Rocket City Trash Pandas. Once that move takes effect, the Jackson Generals’ The Ballpark at Jackson will become the league’s oldest, having opened in 1998.

Texas League: Security Bank Ballpark, Midland RockHounds (2002)
A year ago, this distinction belonged to San Antonio’s Wolff Stadium, but with the Double-A Missions shifting to Amarillo and a Pacific Coast League franchise assuming their place, Wolff Stadium is no longer a Texas League facility. As a result, Midland becomes the only ballpark on this list that opened in the 21st century. It helped to usher in a boom period for new ballparks in the circuit, as seven of the league’s eight teams opened new facilities between 2002-2010.

California League: San Jose Municipal Stadium, San Jose Giants (1942)
Constructed as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, San Jose Municipal Stadium has been home to baseball in the city for decades. The Giants have been affiliated with the San Francisco Giants since 1988, giving San Jose a strong connection to the nearby major league club.

Carolina League: Calvin Falwell Field, Lynchburg HillCats (1939, renovated 2004)

With the assistance of the WPA, Lynchburg completed its new City Stadium in 1939 and a 1940 exhibition between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers marked its first game. It has been renovated at various points throughout its history, with the most recent and most dramatic occurring before the 2004 season, when the ballpark received a new concourse, new suites and a press box, improved seating, a new scoreboard, and other improvements.

Florida State League: Jackie Robinson Ballpark, Daytona Tortugas (1914)
In this case, the site of the ballpark dates back to 1914, though much of the current facility is the result of renovations that were completed over the ensuing decades. That has been the case with many Florida State League ballparks. For instance, LECOM Park, home of the Bradenton Maruaders and second oldest in the league, has been overhauled several times since its opening in 1923.

Midwest League: Modern Woodmen Park, Quad Cities River Bandits (1931, renovated 2004)
In a league with a notable mix of classic and modern facilities, Modern Woodmen Park merges both. While renovations, including an extensive one completed in 2004, have led to major changes on the interior, the distinct red brick façade is original to 1931. The various improvements to the ballpark have also been done with the view of the Mississippi River and the Centennial Bridge in mind.

South Atlantic League: Municipal Stadium, Hagerstown Suns (1930)
Very little of the existing Municipal Stadium dates to its original form, but none of its changes have led to the facility being dramatically modernized. As a matter of comparison, the site of McCormick Field—home of the Ashville Tourists—has hosted baseball since 1924. However, the current seating bowl and many other areas of the facility were built as part of a project completed prior to the 1992 season.

New York-Penn League: Centennial Field, Vermont Lake Monsters (1906)
Centennial Field holds the distinction of being the oldest ballpark in the minor leagues, with its concrete and steel main grandstand dating to 1922. The Lake Monsters have helped to make the facility more viable in recent years, thanks to renovations to player facilities, a new videoboard, and improved lighting.

Nat Bailey Stadium

Northwest League: Nat Bailey Stadium, Vancouver Canadians (1951)
Truly a ballpark with a classic look and feel, Nat Bailey Stadium has been well preserved over the years and recent upgrades have modernized the facility. The Canadians, meanwhile, have built a strong following and a reputation for providing a good fan experience. The Everett AquaSox play at Everett Memorial Stadium, which is part of a park that was dedicated in 1947. While the park has traditionally included a baseball field on its site, the facility was not home to a professional team until 1984 and was expanded in the late 1990s.

Appalachian League: Calfee Park, Pulaski Yankees (1935, renovated 2015 and 2019)
Thanks to recent upgrades and a renovation that includes new third baseline seating on the way for 2019, Calfee Park retains a classic look while offering more modern amenities. The ballpark was originally constructed as a WPA project, and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

Pioneer League: Centene Stadium, Great Falls Voyagers, (1940, renovated periodically)
First know as Legion Park when it opened in 1940, the current Centene Stadium has undergone some changes over the years, including some renovations in the 21st century. Among the highlights of the renovations completed since the beginning of this century include the addition of an office building wing in 2003, an expanded concourse in 2010, and a new outfield wall in 2014.

Image of Cheney Stadium by Mark Cryan. Image of Nat Bailey Stadium courtesy Vancouver Canadians.

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