Chronological Tour: Stop 344

Crushing Lake Erie

The main entrance to the ballpark at Avon, Jul-2009.

Except for the suites and party boxes, all the seating is on one level here.

Everything is artificial turf except for the mound and the circle at home plate.

Quick Facts: Rating: 2 baseballs
Following the 2008 season, the Chillicothe Paints turned in their Frontier League franchise. It was picked up by a new ownership group in Lorain County, west of Cleveland, which had a new park built in Avon (the city is pronounced like the cosmetics company rather than the British river). Officially, the Lake Erie Crushers were a new franchise for 2009.

The park itself is presentable. Fans walk up a short flight of stairs to a reasonably wide concourse, from which they can access all the seats except for the party decks and the suites, which are elevated. The concession stands and team store are right there on the main concourse. The stands extend the entire length of the foul lines. There is a berm beyond left field which is used as a seating area; the area beyond right field is taken up by the kids’ play area.

So what made me not give this park a high rating? To start with, there is only one road in and out of the park. This makes for horrible egress from the parking lot. The lot itself would not be so bad, except that it is mostly gravel (except for the paved premium parking area for season ticket holders and handicapped access) and the Crushers get $3 per car to park there.

Then there’s the game presentation. The pre-game music is way too loud, as is the announcer, who seems rather full of himself. At least twice a game, he gives out useless information because, he admits, he’s the PA guy and so he can. Meanwhile, he fails to announce fielding substitutions when they happen, and he doesn’t acknowledge a pinch-hitter as one. On top of all that, there is no lineup board in the park. I did see a fair number of people keeping score at the game (mainly Indians fans – the park is only about 20 miles from the Jake), and I know they would appreciate those in-game touches as well.

For 2017, Sprenger Health Care Systems took over the ballpark naming rights. The provider has been a sponsor of the Crushers since their 2009 debut.

Game # Date League Level Result
999 Mon 27-Jul-2009 Frontier Ind. LAKE ERIE 6, Kalamazoo 5
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