|In 2007, the city of Midland (and the neighboring cities of Saginaw and Bay City) got a gift in the form of a new ballpark when Dow Chemical (which seems to own the town) decided to finance the construction of a new venue for the relocated Loons. And even though Dow Diamond is only home to a Midwest League (Low-A) team, they certainly did not skimp when building it. After initially visiting in 2007, I came back in 2018 and was very impressed with how the ballpark had been maintained. It felt like it was still brand new.
- Located just east of the downtown, Dow Diamond is beautifully landscaped and has an attractive red brick exterior. There is some parking ($5) adjacent to the ballpark, but there are plenty of free spots within a short walk of the park as well.
- Once on the concourse, one of the first things you'll notice (if you enter behind homeplate) is the giant fireplace which actually can be lit on cold nights or when other events are hosted in the winter (the concourse can be sealed at both ends).
- The concourse wraps all the way around ballpark allowing for plenty of places for restless fans to wander. Large grassy berms can be found behind the outfield fence as well as down the first base line.
- There is a large covered picnic area, The Northern Lights Pavilion, in the left field corner. It features high tables, but unfortunately is not open to the public even when not in use by groups.
- A new play area, Lou E’s Lookout, opened in 2018. It includes a couple play structures and a nice padded surface.
- Located behind home plate is a large, two-level gift shop stocked with numerous t-shirts, hats, and other gear. It is one of the most impressive team stores I have ever seen at a minor league ballpark.
- A large video board (new in 2018) is probably one of the biggest in the minors.
- The team has two mascots, Lou E Loon and Rall E. Camel, both who were quite active the night I was there.
- Besides the large fireplace, there are also fire pits along the outfield concourse. This is a cool feature, and one that is probably pretty useful as Michigan tends to have a lot of cool evenings.
- The Midland County Sports Hall of Fame is located off the concourse behind home plate. Besides plaques to honor its members, there are also several display cases including various artifacts.
- The team has done a nice job honoring its alumni with a “Road to the Show" exhibit in the outfield which lists all the former Loons players that have made the majors.
- There are plenty of unique seating options including The Cove, a lounge area on the 3rd base side, and Pier 47 on the first base side which features high tables.
- Strangely, this is one of those parks that is not sunk in (probably because of its proximity to the river), so fans must walk up a set of stairs to get to the concourse. This is just a minor annoyance.
- One strange aspect of the seating configuration is that because of an opening (to allow vehicles in) on the first base side, many prime seats are lost. There is also a similar opening in the outfield, so not sure why two were needed at this ballpark.
Dow Diamond does have some unique features, but overall is a rather ordinary new ballpark. I guess when you've seen as many ballparks as I have, there really has to be something new or different about a ballpark to make it standout. And while Dow Diamond is a perfectly fine venue and one that is wonderfully maintained, I just don’t find it that memorable.
- Concessions are definitely a highlight at Dow Diamond. Prices are a bit on the high side, but the portions are big and the quality good.
- Philly steaks ($8.50), boneless wings ($8.50), brats, and build-a-burgers ($10) are just some of the tasty items offered at the numerous stands and kiosks throughout the park.
- At the Smokehouse BBQ stand, pulled pork sandwiches($8), pulled chicken sandwiches ($8), and mac & cheese ($4) are available.
- Mad to order burritos are available at the Tito’s mexican stand.
- Healthy options such as salads and wraps are sold at the Simply Fresh stand.