|Chronological Tour: Stop 252|
Main entrance to Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Ballpark, Aug-2003.
Peering in from the center-field concourse.
The view from behind the plate.
You can tell that the ballpark is different from the moment you pull up, and itís a pleasant difference. The stadium is unique. It consists of nine different buildings, some of which connect. For instance, there is a foot bridge connection between the two administrative buildings that form the outer ring of the ballpark.
The bittersweet reaction comes when you reach the ticket windows and find out that the Frisco Roughriders charge the highest prices in all of Minor League Baseball. Seats go for $18, $15, and $9 (in 2003). General admission can be had for $5, but someone said they only sell those tickets after the park sells out. Thatís on top of $3 to park.
But then, once you overcome that obstacle, itís as if you have walked into a town square, perhaps something from a re-created Old West town. You have a main street, with the two administrative buildings on the outside (one of which contains Roughriders Mercantile, the souvenir shop) and seven buildings on the inside. The most central of these buildings is the largest, four stories tall with a walkway in the center allowing fans to reach the stadiumís main concourse. That building contains the Founderís Club, a private area for season ticket holders, as well as concession stands, sky boxes and the press box. Each of the other six buildings (three on each side, first base and third base) is two stories high and contains more sky boxes as well as concession stands and restrooms.
The seating bowl does have a unique feature as well: the bullpens are right in the middle of the seating bowl, halfway up, with about a dozen rows in front of them and two rows behind, rather than being behind the fence or in the field of play. Otherwise, it is a typical minor league configuration, 24 rows of seats on one level with no cross aisle leading to a field sunken from street level. The field dimensions are fairly typical, and a full concourse and outfield seating berm completes the setting. There is more room to walk around the concourse than there is at Round Rock, from which I'm sure the designers got some of their ideas.
There is one other minor drawback besides the sticker shock. The team doesnít have a whiteboard or other display system for the gameís starting lineups, so fans who keep score (not that there are many) have to wait for the public address announcer. Still, the place was so refreshingly unusual that I donít hesitate in awarding it my highest rating.
|616||Fri 8-Aug-2003||Texas||AA||Wichita 4, FRISCO 1|