|Chronological Tour: Stop 51|
Left-field (main) entrance to the renovated Metro Bank Park, Aug-2010.
The main seating bowl, as seen from center field on the new wrap-around concourse.
Greenery still obscures any view of the Susquehanna River from the stands.
With the stadium in the middle of the Susquehanna, it has been imperiled by the rushing waters on occasion. During a flood in January 1996, ice floes from upstream knocked out half of the Walnut Street bridge that crosses the island; the section is no longer used. The stadium suffered flood damage as well, but opened in time for the season. The island and stadium also flooded in September 2004, as the remnants of Hurricane Ivan dumped too much rain in the valley for the river to handle. And the ballpark lost the fight against Mother Nature again in September 2011, as the Senators had to play an entire playoff series in Richmond, Va., following the double whammy of Hurricane Irene and the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.
There had been talk of bringing Triple-A baseball to City Island, as the Ottawa Lynx, a Baltimore Orioles farm club, were fixing to move, forcing the Eastern League team to relocate to another Pennsylvania location. As it turned out, though, the Lynx were purchased by an owner who moved them to Allentown, 80 miles to the east-northeast along Route 22.
During 2009, the Senators embarked on a major renovation of the park; it was complete for the 2010 season and the photos you see above are after that renovation.
Another stadium located on a City Island is Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Market Street is closest to I-83, using the first exit on either side of the Susquehanna and heading north toward downtown. It is also accessible from I-81, but that is a longer drive from the freeway. That said, Front Street is a state secondary highway, posted 35 mph through most of Harrisburg, and it is a pleasant ride downstream from I-81.
In an unusual twist, the outfield concourse has reserved bar stools, so you can buy a ticket and be assured of being able to watch the game from a spot along the rail.
Lineups are posted on the wall behind home plate; names of batters and pitchers are also displayed prominently on the video and ribbon boards. The public address announcer is quite proficient and pleasant to listen to. There is a program sold at the game; purchase gives the buyer a chance to win lucky-number prizes. (In 1993, I won a $50 savings bond because my lucky number was called for a Three Up, Three Down promotion sponsored by a local bank, and the Senators pitcher retired the side in order. That particular promotion was no longer in evidence on my 2012 visit.)
All concessions are located behind the stands, out of view of the game, a setup that is not unusual for a late-1980s ballpark. The main seating bowl was not affected by the 2010 renovation, although the areas behind it were modified.
The park now features a walk-around outfield concourse, although the walkway disappears well out of view of the field near the right-field foul pole due to a covered private picnic area. As noted, some of the spots along the rail on the outfield concourse are reserved bar stools.
While the game features plenty of canned music, as usual, the club also hires an organist for at least some games, a nice touch at Double-A. There is also a live organ at North Little Rock.
The view is of the island park itself; the kiddie train can often be heard chugging and tooting around the stadium. There is too much greenery here to allow for any river view.
Insect repellent is not a bad idea here, especially at night games, as mayflies have a tendency to descend on the ballpark as the sun sets.
|101||Sun 29-Aug-1993||Eastern||AA||HARRISBURG 8, Binghamton 3|
|212||Fri 9-Aug-1996||Eastern||AA||HARRISBURG 3, Binghamton 2|
|352||Sat 10-Apr-1999||Eastern||AA||Erie 9, HARRISBURG 6, 1st|
|353||Sat 10-Apr-1999||Eastern||AA||Erie 4, HARRISBURG 1, 2d|
|582||Sat 5-Apr-2003||Eastern||AA||Bowie 4, HARRISBURG 1|
|758||Sun 31-Jul-2005||Eastern||AA||HARRISBURG 10, Bowie 0|
|1067||Sun 1-Aug-2010||Eastern||AA||HARRISBURG 12, Portland 11, 11 inn|
|1232||Sat 1-Sep-2012||Eastern||AA||Bowie 8, HARRISBURG 5, 1st|
|1233||Sat 1-Sep-2012||Eastern||AA||HARRISBURG 4, Bowie 0, 2d|
|1253||Mon 27-May-2013||Eastern||AA||HARRISBURG 3, Reading 1|
|1329||Sun 3-Aug-2014||Eastern||AA||Akron 6, HARRISBURG 5|
|1512||Mon 5-Sep-2016||Eastern||AA||HARRISBURG 5, Hartford 4|