What was a close vote turned into a runaway, as fans chose The Diamond, home of the Lake Elsinore Storm (California League), winner in the 2022 MiLB Single-A Best of the Ballparks vote.
It’s the second win in three years for The Diamond and the Storm, with the ballpark snaring High-A honors in 2020. After we saw virtual ties in the first few days of voting in the finals, the Storm and The Diamond surged ahead to secure the win by a 58%-42% margin.
The vote included all 29 Single-A ballparks across 30 teams (the Palm Beach Cardinals and Jupiter Manatees share Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium) in the California League, Carolina League and Florida State League. The Diamond opened up in 1994 as home to the Storm, an affiliate of the San Diego Padres since 2001.
“As a repeat winner, The Diamond enter a small group of honorees in this annual competition,” said Ballpark Digest Publisher Kevin Reichard. “The Storm has always been a flagship franchise in Minor League Baseball, and this win shows how well the team connects with the community.”
“Our fans express what we already know, Lake Elsinore Diamond Stadium is the BEST MiLB stadium in the Cal League, Carolina League, and Florida State League,” said CEO | Co-GM Shaun M. Brock and CFO | Co-GM Christine Kavic. “We could only do it with generous support from the city of Lake Elsinore, our ownership Gary and Len, the city council and the award-winning staff here at the Diamond Stadium. Since getting the nod to take over, Christine and I have worked tirelessly to resurrect the spirit of hospitality and to put on a good show. It is an honor to be recognized!”
“Diamond Stadium is an amazing ballpark because of the commitment of a first-class Minor League Baseball organization, the Lake Elsinore Storm, to the facility,” said Lake Elsinore Mayor Timothy J. Sheridan. “But also because it has become a focal point in Lake Elsinore because of the Storm’s work in our community. Stated differently, it is more than a ballpark, it is a community gathering place where everyone feels at home!”
Overall, around 27,000 fans voted at least once in the Single-A fan vote, with over 41,000 fans participating in the first two votes for MLB and Single-A. This competition comes in the second year after MLB’s contraction of Minor League Baseball, but this is the first vote under the Single-A moniker; last year the team played under the Low-A name. As noted, Lake Elsinore is a previous winner, coming in the 2020 High-A vote.
Other fan favorites in the 2022 Best of the Ballparks votes: PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB).