U.S. Steel Yard
Gary, Indiana
Year Opened
2003

Current Team
Gary Southshore Railcats

Affiliate
None

League
American Association

Capacity
6,000

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium A- Atmosphere B+ Concessions C-

Photos taken in 2003
The building of U.S. Steel Yard caused quite a bit of stir because of where it was being built (apparently Gary doesn't have a great reputation) and the high price tag (over $40 million). The park itself is a beauty - now the fans just need to start showing up in bigger numbers to justify it. The exterior is a red brick facade that extends all the way down both streets it is built on. Inside, it is built using the standard 1990's template - an open concourse with luxury boxes stacked on top. Seating is all green fold down chairs. There is also berm seating in right field (next to a small seating section) and a large picnic area in the left field corner. A 360 degree concourse lets fans circle the entire ballpark. A Bennigan's restaurant is located in the brick building in right field, though I don't think it's possible to actually see the game from inside. Behind the batter's eye in centerfield is a play area for kids - exactly where it should be (out of sight). While the ballpark itself gets high marks, the same cannot be said for the concessions. The selection was very limited, the prices were too high, and the quality was average at best. Hopefully the team will consider improving their concessions in the coming years. Also, a few of the concession stands were closed up, giving the concourse a rather deserted and barren feel. The team does have a huge gift store - so big that they don't have nearly enough merchandise to fill it up. I enjoyed the atmosphere of U.S. Steel Yard quite a bit. The PA announcer was amusing, the music and sound effects were kept to a minimum, and the between inning contests didn't seem to be the main attraction as is the case at some parks. Free parking can be found in numerous small lots that are a short distance from the park. While the park is located in a sketchy area of Gary, there is plenty of police presence, so fans should not be concerned for their safety. But I'm sure this is one of the reasons more fans aren't coming out. Hopefully once people find out that U.S. Steel Yard is a safe place to go, they will start coming out in bigger numbers. Because it's hard to find much wrong with the ballpark that would keep fans away.
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