Chronological Tour: Stop 61

A Fine Diamond on the Waterfront

Exterior view of Harbor Park, Mar-2001.

The expansive seating area from the first-base upper deck, Sep-2012.

From the stands, one can look out at ships and shipyards along the Elizabeth River.

Quick Facts: Rating: 4 baseballs
Since gaining the New York Mets’ Triple-A club in 1969, the Tidewater Tides had played at Norfolk’s Met Park – named not for the parent club but (like the Mets) as a shortened version of “Metropolitan”.

When it came time to upgrade, the Tides got a gleaming new facility right along the Elizabeth River, where if the game gets boring, the fans can watch the shipping traffic go by as well as take a look at what new construction and repair are on dry dock. On a return visit in 2012, I found the stadium to have held up nicely as it completed its 20th season of service.

In a five-team affiliation swap, the Tides became a Baltimore Orioles affiliate in 2007.

Getting to the Game

Interstate 264, a freeway paralleling US 58 from Chesapeake to Virginia Beach, runs right past the park, and fans can take any of several downtown exits to get to the stadium. On-site parking is $5 as of 2012.

Hampton Roads Transit inaugurated a light rail service, The Tide, in 2011. The seven-mile-long line has a stop at Harbor Park.

In addition, a ferry brings passengers across the Elizabeth River to the field. The ferry landing is next to the first-base entrance.

Watching the Game

Ticket prices have risen recently especially at the Triple-A level, and Norfolk is no exception. There are only two types of tickets available, Box and Reserved, and as of 2012, advance purchases are $11 and $12. The team charges an additional $2 for day-of-game sales, making it impossible for a traveler to get in for less than $13.

The main scoreboard is in left field, surrounded by a picnic area, with an additional video board in right-center field. The starting lineups are handwritten on a backlit whiteboard behind the plate. Between the displays and the public address announcement, there is no difficulty gathering game information.

Enjoying the Game

The park features a split upper deck, with sky boxes taking the place of the upper deck behind the plate. Food stands are located only on the main concourse, but it is possible to see the game from the concourse. There are some tables on the concourse where fans who have just bought food can stand and watch the game.

With the park located directly on the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River, fans, especially in the upper deck, are treated to river views. Since Hampton Roads is a working waterfront, shipyards dominate the view, along with the occasional train crossing the river or running along the opposite side of the river.

The only grass seating area at the park is in the picnic area in left field, which is generally reserved for private parties.

A restaurant, Hits at the Park, is located down the first-base line. Food offerings on the concourse are fairly typical, and priced a little above average for Triple-A.

Game # Date League Level Result
140 Sat 6-Aug-1994 International AAA NORFOLK 4, Syracuse 1, 1st
141 Sat 6-Aug-1994 International AAA NORFOLK 3, Syracuse 2, 2d
1234 Sun 2-Sep-2012 International AAA Gwinnett 7, NORFOLK 1, 7 inn, rain
1492 Sun 21-Aug-2016 International AAA Durham 5, NORFOLK 4, 10 inn
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This page updated 21-Aug-2016