Nat Bailey Stadium
Vancouver, British Columbia
Year Opened
1951

Current Team
Vancouver Canadians

Affiliate
Toronto Blue Jays

League
Northwest League

Capacity
6,500

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium A- Atmosphere A Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2007
There is just something different and refreshing about attending a minor league ballgame in Canada. As I noticed in Quebec City, the fans seem to be coming out to watch baseball and not all the other nonsense that goes on at most minor league parks. At Nat Bailey Stadium, this also holds true. Just like Quebec, Vancouver is blessed with a classic, no-frills ballpark that seems to suit the fans just fine. Located in a residential area, adjacent to Queen Elizabeth Park and south of downtown, the Nat's exterior is beautifully adorned with photos and quotes of famous ballplayers. Because of some construction on site, parking in 2007 is limited to on street, which could be a problem with large crowds. Fans enter into a brightly lit and immaculately clean concourse located underneath the grandstand. The concourse area is filled with small food kiosks, a souvenir store, and some displays of Vancouver baseball history. Concessions are a bit pricey (due to the Canadian dollar being so strong), but the quality is quite good. Along with normal ballpark fare, the Canadians offer Sushi, bratwursts, and burgers. As well, you can get a foot long hot dog which is one of the biggest (and best) I've ever had. Several portals lead from the concourse into the covered grandstand. Seating is split into two basic types - the box seats (green fold downs) and the general admission (wooden/metal benches with backs). Box seats will run you $15, which seems a but high for a short season A game, so you'll probably just want to buy the GA seats. The grandstand is quite large, so unless there is a big crowd, you'll get to sit wherever you want. A picnic area is located down the RF line and is open to the public when no groups have rented it out. In the left field area there is a small play area for kids, but since the fans here have come to watch the game, I didn't see it getting much use. As mentioned already, the atmosphere is not what you'll find at most minor league parks in the U.S. The team does do a couple between inning games and there is some music blared between innings, but there is no mascot and overall the emphasis is on baseball. And that's what the fans seem to want. Even on a cold June night, with the game running 3.5 hours long, most fans stayed until the game was over. The fans are here to watch a game and won't leave until it's over. For hardcore baseball fans, Nat Bailey is a real treat. Not only do you get a classic ballpark, but you also get a great atmosphere. It's nice to know that the American minor league experience has not seeped into Canada too much yet.
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