Bowling Green Ballpark
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Year Opened
2009

Current Team
Bowling Green Hot Rods

Affiliate
Tampa Bay Rays

League
Midwest League

Capacity
4.500

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium B Atmosphere A- Concessions B

Photos taken in 2009
As of the summer of 2009, when Bowling Green Ballpark first opened, it was about as plain as its name would indicate. But to be fair to the Hot Rods, the ballpark was not 100% finished upon my first visit, so I'm sure it will be better in future years. Located on the edge of a rundown section of the downtown, the exterior is made of the familiar red brick and features just two small signs with the name of the ballpark. While usually the main entrance is behind home plate, here it is along the first base side, probably because that's where most of the fans will be arriving from. Parking is available in small lots (for $3-5) and along the street (for free). The biggest part of the ballpark which isn't complete is the building near the main entrance. It will include team offices as well the ticket windows and a large team store. Inside, the ballpark follows the usual template with a concourse overlooking the field and a second deck featuring luxury boxes and the press box. Interestingly, the press box is not located directly behind home plate here, but instead along the third base line. Besides the out of place press box, however, there is little to distinguish the grandstand from numerous other parks. Because of the tight space in which the ballpark was squeezed, the architects were unable to include a wraparound concourse. This makes a ballpark feel cozier, though I'm sure also more crowded when there is a sellout. It is possible however to stand behind the right field fence where there is small walkway. And behind the left field fence there is a picnic area. A small grassy berm will eventually be available in center field as well. The dimensions here are not symmetrical as much of the outfield fence curves with the road that runs behind it. Seating here is all green fold downs, most of which are angled nicely towards the infield. Unfortunately, sightlines are not the best here. The slope of the seats is a bit too gentle, meaning that fans sitting in front of you might obscure your view. Also, the netting extends past both dugouts, giving the park a bit of a caged feel. Concessions at Bowling Green Ballpark include bratwursts, chicken sandwiches, philly cheese, and burgers. Prices are reasonable and the quality is about what you'd expect at a minor league park. Because the team doesn't have all the concession space they will eventually have, they may be limiting the selection. With only three concession stands, however, lines seemed to get a bit long during the game. For a new park, the atmosphere at Bowling Green Ballpark is surprisingly laid back. There is not a lot of sound effects or music and there is also no annoying on-field DJ. Lots of between inning games were competed on the field including sumo wrestling, the dizzy bat race, race the mascot, and build a burger. The Hot Rods mascot, Axle, is also on hand to entertain the kids. The only complaint I had about the atmosphere was with the PA announcer. She seemed to be very new and didn't know how to announce lineups. Bowling Green Ballpark is a typical new facility with many modern amenities, but right now is completely void of any character. Hopefully once the park is completely finished, it will be a bit more memorable.
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