Chronological Tour: Stop 119

A Diamond on the Ashley

Entryway into Riley Ballpark (down the left-field line), Aug-2012.

A look at the seating bowl from down the left-field line.

The park looks out upon the lower Ashley River beyond right field.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
The Charleston RiverDogs moved into this scenic park on the banks of the Ashley River in 1997, after spending over two decades (under different names) at College Park.

The facility is located near The Citadel, the military college, but not close enough for it to get in the way. (The Citadel does play its home games here.) The park has two decks, of a fashion, but every seat is accessible from the main concourse. One minor problem is that kids can’t stand around outside the park and retrieve foul balls, because most of them (at least the ones hit by right-handers) land in the swamp.

As of a return visit in 2012, the park has additional issues that caused me to lower its rating from four to three baseballs. I had forgotten that all the seating above the cross aisle is aluminum benches, and those seats are not sold at much of a discount to the lower bowl. In addition, there is no lineup board, and stats are not made readily available; the $2 for a program gets you a player poster with perhaps outdated rosters.

The RiverDogs have always been known for innovative marketing, but in 2002 they ran one of the more counter-intuitive promotions. On “Nobody Night”, they allowed no fans into the ballpark until after the fifth inning, so they could set a professional baseball record for lowest paid attendance, with zero. While the game played on, and the staff fired promotional objects into the stands between innings as they always do, the fans were entertained with a picnic outside the park, and some fans watched the game from outside the fence. When the staff opened the gates once the game was official, fans streamed in and scooped up foul balls, t-shirts, and so forth.

Game # Date League Level Result
274 Thu 14-Aug-1997 South Atlantic A CHARLESTON SC 7, Asheville 6
1210 Thu 9-Aug-2012 South Atlantic A CHARLESTON 4, Hagerstown 3
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