Veterans Memorial Stadium II
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Year Opened

Current Team
Cedar Rapids Kernals

Minnesota Twins

Midwest League


Location Map

My Grades
Stadium B+
Atmosphere C-
Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2005
If you enjoy being bombarded by advertisements, like watching television commercials, and want to hear "shout-outs" from the PA announcer between every pitch, then the new Veterans Memorial Stadium is the place for you. Of all the parks I've been to, there aren't many that can match it in terms of blatant commercialism. And it's a real shame since the old Vet's Stadium was loaded with charm and had a nice laid back atmosphere. There is nothing inherently wrong with the new ballpark - it has good sightlines, tasty concessions, and plenty of fan amenities, but something just feels off about this place. It is located adjacent to the old ballpark site, which now serves as the parking lot (fortunately the parking is free). The exterior is grayish in color, which makes for a unique, although not entirely attractive look. The main entrance to the park is located on the let field side, which makes sense since this is where the bulk of the parking is. Fans enter onto the concourse which overlooks the field. Unfortunately, the concourse does not wraparound the whole park as it does at many of the new stadiums. The seating is made up mostly of red fold down chairs. In addition there are bleachers along the right field line. Picnic areas are located in the left field corner and in the upper deck along the first base side. One nice feature of the grandstand is the large overhang (similar to Wolff Stadium) which provides cover for a good portion of the seating area. While not architecturally interesting, the roof is probably there more as a nod to the old ballpark. Numerous concession stands line the concourse and a grill is located along the 3rd base side. Concessions are well varied (brats, pizza, Mexican, burgers, chicken sandwiches), though prices are a bit on the high side (especially compared to the old park). Fortunately, the quality of food (especially at the grill) is very good. There is also a large team store which has a good variety of merchandise as well as a hall of fame with some memorabilia from famous Cedar Rapids players. As mentioned already, the atmosphere is the area where I have the biggest complaint. Instead of on-field games between innings, commercials are shown on the scoreboard. And while no sound effects are played, the PA announcer more than made up for it with his seemingly endless amount of shout-outs (Happy Birthdays, Happy Anniversaries, etc.) Usually these are reserved for between one of the innings, but here they are announced between pitches. Adding to the annoyance of this is the fact that the PA system is garbled at times, which makes the announcer hard to understand. If the team would just tone down the commercialism a bit, the new Vet would be a much more enjoyable place to see a game. But as it is now, while comfortable enough, it is simply more irritating than it is fun.
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