Saturday, December 7, 2013

Time Warner Cable Field - Grand Chute, Wisconsin - Midwest League

Posted by William Lee Coleman III | Saturday, December 7, 2013 | Category: | 8 comments


     I thought these photos were lost but better late then never. Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium is the home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.. The Rattlers are the Midwest League ( Low A Level)  affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. The stadium is located in Grand Chute, Wisconsin. The stadium opened in 1995, under went a name change in 2007, and finally a major renovation in 2012. My visit came about towards the end of the renovation and I enjoyed the simplicity of the stadium. 


Stadium Rating: 4 
 

This stadium was a mess on the outside.


I had no clue until I arrived that this stadium was under renovation.



I do not see the relationship between the Brewers and Wisconsin Timer Rattlers ending anytime soon.


The Main Entrance and it is always nice when gates open an hour and half before game time.

Autographing: 5


It took awhile for the locals to warm up to me graphing on their turf. It helped that I called Brandon Drury over.



I sat behind Ryan Gibbard and had him sign cards in between innings.


Hard to believe that this field was covered in snow two weeks prior to my visit. This was the warmest day on my trip.

 
Pricing: 3 


The food was very expensive in this stadium and disappointing. They did have a souvenir cup.



 This was also the largest crowd from my trip.


The stadium featured a ton of bleacher seating which I dislike. 


Probably the worse seat in the house when your sitting down.


 Baseball Atmosphere: 5

With the way this stadiums draws, I expect the berm to be replaced with more seating sections in the future. The crowd on my visit rivaled many crowds I seen inside Double A stadiums. The attendance was 4,934.


View from the outfield concourse. 


Sadly, the outfield concourse ends midway out in center field.
    

The most absurd thing in the park: The Super Ropes: Beach Area.



The coolest thing I saw on my trip. 



Each bullpen player got the loot in between innings.
 


 They were getting an easy $3.00 to $5.00  an inning.

 

The stadium does feature a boring backdrop.


There really isn't much to this stadium.


The biggest drawback to this stadium is the concourse. Its too narrow.


Its going to cost you $18.00 for this view. The seats are padded !
 

Last year at the time of my visit, this view was not possible.


The best seat in the house in my opinion.
 

 After exploring the stadium, I watched the last three innings from my $12.00 box seat.


This is how you do a team autograph signing. I had enough time to go thru the line several times. Mitch Haniger left early only to return the last five minutes of the signing. Clint Coulter wouldn't sign the one card I had.






Apparently, they do these signings every Sunday after the game.
 

The biggest part of the renovation was the addition of the second level behind home plate.

 



Friday, October 11, 2013

New Veterans Memorial Stadium - Cedar Rapids, Iowa - Cedar Rapids Kernels

Posted by William Lee Coleman III | Friday, October 11, 2013 | Category: | 3 comments

 This stadium visit  has been the hardest to write about and I think the main reason was this visit was a last minute decision that required me to miss a Milwaukee Brewers game. This was the swing day on my trip were I could have drove to any baseball activity and I decided to turn the day into a doubleheader with a night time game at Quad Cities. This was probably the first time I was more interested in seeing a certain player rather then experiencing a new stadium. New Memorial Stadium  is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and is the home of the Cedar Rapid Kernels. The Kernels are entering their first year as the Low A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins after a twenty year history with the Angels, and its another one of those stadiums in the Midwest where Minor League Baseball has been played for a while. This stadium has gone thru multiple renovations but the current model seats around 5,300 total. It features a little bit of everything with  twelve luxury suites, a  mezzanine terrace in the upper deck behind first base, a pavilion in left field, and a pre-game picnic area. The only thing its really missing is a nice backdrop.


With my visits, I never look up anything on the stadium other then the stadiums address and game times. With this stadium, I wished I would have read more about it because I wasted a good forty minutes standing at the wrong entry gate.


Nice colorful main entrance.


 

The Kernels and Twins agreed to a 4 year Player Development Contract in 2012 and it made a lot of sense geographically. Cedar Rapids is the closest affiliated club to the Twin Cities within their market.

I really enjoyed the museum inside the gift shop. The worker that was on duty was the only employee I chatted with any team that really seemed to take an interest in my baseball trip.


This is Twins territory !. The locals and autograph seekers didn't hide their joy with the Angels being gone.


The weather was warm, windy, and comfortable


The stadium looks mammoth on the outside but that feeling quickly goes away once your inside. 


If your going to have a picnic table area in a stadium, this is the best place to put it.


Not much going on out here. It was too windy to enjoy.


One of the few stadiums in the West Division of the Midwest League that required a ticket to explore the majority of the stadium.


One of the larger scoreboards I seen in the Midwest League.


I was impressed with the condition of the playing field considering it snowed two weeks before my visit. 


One of the bigger crowds that I experienced on my trip.


The press box and reserved seating behind home plate.


At times, the atmosphere surrounding the stadium felt like a Major League Baseball game.

The Diamond Shop doesn't look that impressive from the concourse entrance but is a must if you have some spare time.

This was one of the few stadiums that did not offer a souvenir cup. I got a free hot dog and drink  voucher for taking a survey on the customer service during my visit.


                   I spent more time reading all the stars on the Walk of Fame along the concourse then I did autographing. I love this kind of stuff.

Interesting view of the diamond.


Fans of the Kernels have got to enjoy 2 of the 3 best Draft talents of the last 5 years while being affiliated with two different MLB organizations. Of course I am talking about Mike Trout
and Bryon Buxton. 
                                       

I didn't stay in my assigned seating which happened to be the dreadful bleacher planks.

If I ever get to visit again, I will probably pony up some cash and watch the game from up here.






Stadium: 3

In its current state, Veterans Memorial Stadium doesn't offer anything I haven't already seen in a Minor League Stadium with his bland backdrop. I wasn't very fond of all the Major League type moves by management in requiring a ticket to explore the stadium in most places.  The stadium is clean and in good shape.

Pricing: 3

One of the more expensive stadiums on my trip in regards to ticket prices. My ticket was $10.00. Free parking and free items from filling out surveys was nice.

Autographing: 4

 Some of the locals had me graphing in the lower porch area on the Kernels side but this place quickly became a zoo due to the amount of people that showed up for Bryon Buxton. I then decided to graph the Kernels side because the visitors side had way too much game day equipment blocking the players from coming over to me. You really don't have that great of access to either teams bullpen.  I got most of my autographs outside the stadium after the game and from the players charting behind home plate The visiting teams bus parked right beside the home teams parking lot and I was graphing both at the same time.

Baseball Atmosphere: 5

I was shocked at the size of the crowd for a day game and at times their energy felt like I was at a Major League Baseball due to the PA announcer and advertising. I didn't see the mascot all day long on my visit.