Chronological Tour: Stop 313

If You Build It ...

Home-plate entrance to Wuerfel Park, Aug-2006.

The seating bowl, from the left-field berm.

The view from behind home plate.

Quick Facts: Rating: 4 baseballs
John Wuerfel, a successful hotelier and resort owner in the Traverse City area, dreamed of bringing professional baseball back to the Grand Traverse Bay region. Traverse City had last hosted a professional team in Class D in 1914.

In the summer of 2005, Wuerfel purchased the Richmond Roosters of the Frontier League and announced plans to move them to Traverse City. He finally secured land about six miles south of the city center, in Blair Township, and constructed this fine facility.

The architecture of the ballpark makes it look more like either a horse racing track (think Churchill Downs) or an outlet mall. The row of luxury boxes above the concourse resembles row houses more than a typical stadium. A site visitor, Bob Quain, advises that the park is designed to look like beachfront cottages; I never did make it to the beachfront in Traverse City.

As of 2006, the main drawback at Wuerfel Park is the limited access to the parking lot. I am told that some section roads do lead to the ballpark, but most traffic approaches on US 31 (which is also M-37) and, on a busy evening like the one on which I attended, the line of cars waiting to enter the lot extends halfway back to Traverse City.

Site visitor Eric advises that the Beach Bums were working on creating a main entrance to the field from Rennie School Road, the township line road just to the north of the park. They were also seeking a traffic light at US 31, which would require approval of the Michigan Department of Transportation. Neither was in evidence when I revisited in 2014; then again, the park was not nearly as crowded eight years later, as the newness had worn off.

The park also received artificial turf for 2012; interestingly, the park has not hosted other events, not even early spring high school and college baseball games, which would be ideal in a climate where it often takes a while for the snow to melt.

Game # Date League Level Result
834 Fri 11-Aug-2006 Frontier Ind. Kalamazoo 7, TRAVERSE CITY 2
1352 Wed 27-Aug-2014 Frontier Ind. Southern Illinois 4, TRAVERSE CITY 3
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This page updated 27-Aug-2014