NewBridge Bank Park
Greensboro, North Carolina
Year Opened
2005

Current Team
Greensboro Grasshoppers

Affiliate
Florida Marlins

League
South Atlantic League

Capacity
7,499

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium A- Atmosphere C- Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2006 & 2007
Can the atmosphere ruin a ballpark ? At First Horizon Park (now known as NewBridge Bank Park), it almost does. This beautiful new facility replaced venerable World War Memorial Stadium in 2005. Apparently the team isn't selling the ballpark or the baseball, but rather an over-the-top atmosphere that seems to attract a very "hip" crowd. While the new park is located in downtown Greensboro, there doesn't seem to be much around it yet in terms of restaurants or stores. The exterior of First Horizon is gorgeous. Done in the familiar red brick, it features a courtyard with fountain on the right field side as well as a large covered entryway. The entryway features a large baseball mural on one side. The interior is very similar to other new parks. There is a spacious concourse which overlooks the field and a grassy berm in left field. Apparently because of the location, the designers were not able to include a full wraparound concourse, however. It's nice to see that the Grasshoppers didn't forget about their old park when designing the new one. The most popular feature, The Grandstand, was recreated in the same spot in the left field corner. The team has also not forgotten about their history, as banners along the concourse tell the story of Greensboro baseball. Unfortunately, you are more likely to remember the obnoxious atmosphere rather than the ballpark itself. While I didn't have the pleasure of experiencing the regular onfield DJ in action ("Spaz", who I had seen previously in Hudson Valley), the PA announcer more than made up for his absence with non-stop chatter and screaming between innings. Apparently he thinks he's the star attraction. The team does on-field games between every inning and also have three mascots to entertain the fans. To top it off, the team has a live dog, "Miss Babe Ruth", that acts as a bat boy and fetches the bats. All this nonsense means that most of the fans are not paying attention to the game. The concessions at First Horizon are well varied (BBQ sandwiches, BBQ nachos, burgers, burritos) and quite tasty, but prices are on the high side and service is a bit slow. One small complaint - the team needs to find a better place to put birthday parties. Currently they set them up in the middle of the concourse which causes unnecessary congestion. Overall I like the design of First Horizon Park, but the atmosphere detracts from the overall experience. If they could just tone it down a bit, it would be much more enjoyable. But while big crowds keep pouring in, I doubt the team will change a thing.
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All Photos Copyright Brian Merzbach
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