After an imaginative upgrade that both allowed the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to meet Major League Baseball’s new facility standards and once again enhance the fan experience, Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium is Ballpark Digest’s 2023 Ballpark of the Year.
“It’s been a delight watching the Timber Rattlers and Rob Zerjav’s ownership group go the extra mile in creating a great ballpark experience both for fans and players,” said Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard. “It’s no secret the last four years have been a challenging environment for MiLB teams, both because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the changing expectations from MiLB on the ballpark front. The renovations to Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium excel on both levels.”
“We are deeply honored to be named Ballpark Digest’s Ballpark of the Year and we thank Kevin and his team for this tremendous recognition,” said Timber Rattlers CEO and Managing Partner Rob Zerjav. “We take a lot of pride in our almost 30-year-old stadium and have been very strategic with our renovation plans over the years to ensure we are providing the newest amenities while keeping some of our old-school charm. Our recent renovation couldn’t have been received any better by our players and our fans. To have that hard work noticed by Ballpark Digest is the cherry on top.”
On the fan side, Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium renovations featured new seating areas, an expanded 360-degree concourse featuring new outdoor suites above the left field wall and a three-story slide in homage to the slide Bernie Brewer zips down after a homer at American Family Field, home of the Timber Rattlers’ parent, the Milwaukee Brewers.
On the player side, the new space is a dramatic overhaul of clubhouses and team workspaces. The new home clubhouse is double the size of the previous home clubhouse, featuring a new circular locker room, two indoor batting cages, two player-focused areas for nutrition and relaxation, expanded offices for coaches and a dedicated female locker room, an expanded training area, and a large weight room connected to an outdoor player agility field. A southern orientation to the addition allows for plenty of sunny, well-lit spaces while also providing flexibility to meet a variety of needs.
Since opening in 1995, Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium has seen several upgrades, including the addition of a second-level grandstand structure after the 2012 season that includes a club space and suites, as well as new group spaces on the concourse and an expansion of the outfield concourse featuring even more group spaces.
“In many ways Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium was a pretty typical Midwest League ballpark after opening, with a very basic design and needing more on the fan side,” said Reichard, who has visited the ballpark at every stage of its development. “Today Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium is a model of what a great community-focused ballpark should be, with plenty of fan amenities, and the new player spaces are a model of what every MLB team should expect in the minors.”
Another accomplishment to note: This is the first Midwest League ballpark to be named Ballpark of the Year by Ballpark Digest.
Photos of new interior player spaces courtesy Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
Previous Ballpark of the Year Recipients
2022: Atrium Health Ballpark, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
2021: Condron Family Ballpark, University of Florida
2019: Las Vegas Ballpark, Las Vegas Aviators
2018: SRP Park, Augusta GreenJackets
2017: Truist Park, Atlanta Braves
2016: Segra Park, Columbia Fireflies
2015: CHS Field, St. Paul Saints
2014: Southwest University Park, El Paso Chihuahuas
2013: PNC Field, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
2011: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Arizona Diamondbacks/Colorado Rockies
2010: Target Field, Minnesota Twins
2009: Huntington Park, Columbus Clippers
2008: Coca-Cola Park, Lehigh Valley IronPigs