For the third time in four years, a national publication has named Parkview Field in Fort Wayne the best Minor League ballpark in America. The home of the TinCaps is joined on this year's Stadium Journey list by two other venues in Indiana. Four Winds Field, home of the South Bend Cubs, ranked 62nd and Victory Field, where the Indianapolis Indians play, is 69th.
October 15, 2014
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The place for BIG FUN is No. 1. Stadium Journey magazine has ranked Parkview Field No. 1 out of 160 ballparks in Minor League Baseball in 2014. This is the third time in the last four years the home of the TinCaps has been tabbed as the best Minor League ballpark in the country. Before finishing second to Pensacola in 2013, Parkview Field was also rated No. 1 in 2011 and 2012.
“The experience at Parkview Field is what all Minor League baseball teams should strive for,” according to Stadium Journey. “Great food, great seating options, a great neighborhood, great entertainment, and great customer service are all present here on a nightly basis. Parkview Field on its own would be one of the finer facilities in Minor League Baseball. Couple that with a Major League organization and customer service, and you have an unbeatable combination.”
Stadium Journey rated Parkview Field a 4.7 out of 5.0. The magazine's “FANFARE Score” is a metric device for rating each stadium experience that covers food and beverage, atmosphere, neighborhood, fans, access, return on investment, and extras. Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite is the “FANFARE Score.”
Parkview Field received a 5 in food and beverage, atmosphere, fans, return on investment, and extras. The Downtown Fort Wayne ballpark was given 4s for access and neighborhood.
“This is a truly amazing honor and one that our entire region should be proud of,” TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. “We certainly appreciate the accolades that have come to our city, ballpark, staff, fans, sponsors, MLB affiliate, media, and supporters. To be No. 1 for the third time in four years is very special.”
Fort Wayne and Parkview Field beat out ballparks in some of America's largest cities, such as San Jose, Jacksonville, Columbus, Charlotte, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Louisville, and Las Vegas.
“We take a lot of pride in Parkview Field and never stop appreciating the way our team has been embraced in our community,” Nutter said.
In 2014 – Parkview Field's sixth season – the ballpark set new records for overall (411,028), regular season (406,715), and single-game (9,182) attendance. The TinCaps also made the Midwest League Playoffs for a sixth consecutive season.
Fort Wayne's six-year postseason streak is the longest in the league. The team’s success at Parkview Field comes after the Wizards had eight postseason appearances in 16 years at Memorial Stadium before moving Downtown and becoming the TinCaps.
“The TinCaps are the best affiliate in the Midwest League, hands down,” said Randy Smith, San Diego Padres Vice President of Player Development. Fort Wayne has been affiliated with the Padres since 1999 and will be through 2016. “Parkview Field has the best facilities and the best fans.”
During Parkview Field's tenure, the TinCaps have produced more Major League players than anyone else in the Midwest League. Fort Wayne has had 30 big leaguers come through Parkview Field so far over the last six years while the league average in that time is 17. Fort Wayne’s 2009 team, which won the Midwest League title, has set a Single-A record for most MLB players produced (17).
“Our staff is highly motivated to make 2015 the best year yet,” Nutter said. “We'd also like to thank the folks at Stadium Journey. They are an unbelievable resource in our industry and we appreciate the opportunity for them to review us. To receive such an amazing grade is truly awesome.”
Parkview Field will open up the 2015 season on Sunday, April 12, at 4:05 p.m. when the TinCaps host the Lansing Lugnuts.
Fort Wayne TinCaps Baseball