Fifth Third Ballpark
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Year Opened
1994

Current Team
West Michigan Whitecaps

Affiliate
Detroit Tigers

League
Midwest League

Capacity
10,900

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium B+ Atmosphere A- Concessions A

Photos taken in 2003
Fifth Third Ballpark is actually located in the northern Grand Rapids suburb of Comstock Park, right off the interstate. While the park itself is pretty typical of what has been built over the past decade, the club has obviously gone out of their way to make this a place that fans want to come back to. This is evidenced by the solid crowds they still draw after 10 years. Because the park is built on a flood plain, it had to be built up rather than sunk in as most parks are. This means that fans must walk up a set of stairs to reach the entrance, which is fortunately on the concourse level. Seating is made up of fold down chairs and metal benches with backs. A small center concourse (walkway) splits the seating. There are also four separate picnic areas and a bleacher section in the outfield. Apparently the team has worked each year to improve the ballpark, something more teams should do. The concourse, which is open and overlooks the field, is loaded with a variety of concession stands. The food selection is amazing : meatball and pot roast subs, taco salads, brats, pizza, and fried Twinkies are some of the unique items. Prices are quite reasonable and the quality is good. The atmosphere was also great the night I attended a game. There were several live bands playing as part of a radio station sponsored event, that really made for a very lively atmosphere. During the game, there were a couple between inning contests, but they really didn't go overboard. The team also has one of those annoying on-field DJ's. Programs/scorecards are free here and updated for each series. This is always appreciated and is something I wish more teams would consider doing. Parking is plentiful and a reasonable $2. Unfortunately, egress is very poor after the game. Expect to wait a while to get out as there is only one exit which everyone must use. A couple other complaints I had : the sound system was lousy as the PA announcer was very hard to understand and also they failed to announce starting lineups - a serious no-no in my book, even if they are posted on whiteboards. Overall, I really enjoyed my visit to Fifth Third Ballpark - great eats and a lively atmosphere made for a fun night out.
Major League Parks
Minor League Parks
Places
What's New
Links
Blog
Submitted Reviews
Email Me
All Photos Copyright Brian Merzbach
ballparkreviews.com