Dodd Stadium
Norwich, Connecticut
Year Opened
1995

Current Team
Connecticut Tigers

Affiliate
Detroit Tigers

League
New York-Penn League

Capacity
6,000

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium A- Atmosphere A- Concessions A-

Photos taken in 2003
When Dodd Stadium opened in 1995, it definitely was one of the nicest of the new minor league ballparks. A decade later, it is still a fine park, but has been outdone by many newer parks. Fortunately, there are many positives still to Dodd Stadium. I really don't think there is a bad seat in this park - I know this is a cliche heard often, but in this case it's really true. With only 20-25 rows of seats all around the park, no seats are far from the playing field. As with all new parks, none of the seats are covered. The concourse area is above the seats, so fans must always walk down to their sits. The concourse area is not enclosed so the game can be seen while fans are waiting in line at the concession stands. The concession stands are numerous and provide a good variety of choices. A large scoreboard is located in right-center field. The park is located in an industrial park, which can make for a difficult time coming out of the ballpark, since all traffic goes the same way. There is ample parking which is free of charge. Picnic areas are located above the stands down both the right field and left field lines. The only aspect I don't like about Dodd Stadium is the video arcade room they have for kids. This is totally unnecessary at a ballpark, and something that looks out of place at an otherwise great minor league park. Norwich was nicknamed the Navigators up to 2006 when the team changed their name to the Defenders. For the northeast, the atmosphere is surprisingly tame - no sound effects, limited music, and only a few on field contests. Despite its lousy location, the relaxing atmosphere and layout of the park make it one of my favorites. Unfortunately, after the 2009 season, the Defenders were forced by the Eastern League to move to Richmond, a market the league coveted. So now Norwich is forced to scramble to find a replacement team. While I'm sure they will find one, it's a shame that AA baseball didn't last here longer. Sure enough, the Oneonta Tigers will be moving here in time for the 2010 season. While they will keep the Tigers nickname for their first year in Norwich, most likely they will have a new name come 2011.
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