Regions Field named Baseballparks.com’s “Ballpark of the Year”

(WIAT-CBS42 Sebastian Posey)
(WIAT-CBS42 Sebastian Posey)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Since opening in April Regions Field has been a big hit with fans. Now it has been named the “Ballpark of the Year”.

The honor is given annually by Baseballparks.com to a “new baseball stadium with the best combination of superior design, attractive site selection and fan amenities.”

You can read the full release below.

And with a little less than a month left in the season, you still have plenty of time to catch a game at the new park.

Check out our Regions Field Parking Guide to find the best places to park.

Interest has been incredibly high in the ballpark that opened in Birmingham, Alabama in April. Locals have been keenly interested in all aspects of the new park, so much so that the server that hosts

Baseballparks.com crashed when so many Alabamans flocked to read the site’s in-depth ballpark review the day it was posted.

Now they can focus their excitement on a new story: the Birmingham Barons’ Regions Field is Baseballparks.com’s Ballpark of the Year for 2013.

Joe Mock, president of Grand Slam Enterprises which owns and operates the website, made the announcement today. This marks the 14th straight year that Baseballparks.com has presented such an

award. The honor is given annually to the new baseball stadium with the best combination of superior design, attractive site selection and fan amenities. The plaque representing the award will be presented by

Mock at a Birmingham Barons home game in April of next season. The Barons’ front office was thrilled with the news. “The 2013 season and the opening of Regions

Field has been an incredible moment for the Barons organization and the Birmingham community,” the Logan family, owners of the Barons, said in a statement. “To receive this national recognition is

quite an honor. There are so many people and organizations that have contributed to the development, design and construction of this ballpark, and this award along with the local support and reaction

definitively proves that Regions Field is a one-of-a-kind ballpark that offers something for everybody.” “We are so excited (over) the success of Regions Field,” said Birmingham’s mayor, William Bell.

“To see the diverse crowds, the excitement and the good old-fashioned fun at the stadium has really generated a sense of community. We look forward to many years of success for this field.”

Regions Field is the second straight Southern League park to win this honor, as Pensacola Bayfront Stadium earned the award in 2012. This fact isn’t lost on league president Lori Webb. “I’m looking

forward to attending another plaque presentation ceremony,” she exclaimed when told of the news.“It was exciting to learn that Regions Field was chosen by Baseballparks.com as the 2013 Ballpark of the Year,” Webb

added. “Regions Field is a beautiful, tremendously functional park and one that our league, the Barons and the entire Birmingham community can be very proud of. They have definitely raised the bar, once again, in the

Southern League and throughout Minor League Baseball.” Chiefly responsible for the ballpark’s design was HKS Architects. “HKS couldn’t be more excited by the news,” said Andy Henning, Associate Principal at the firm.

“Our experience working with the Birmingham Barons and City of Birmingham was incredibly rewarding because it was based on a shared passion for creating a ballpark ofBirmingham. We are so pleased with the results and

thrilled to see how well the facility has been received by fans of the Barons and those throughout the Birmingham area and beyond.” HKS is no stranger to this award, as their ballparks have won three times in the last seven

years. The others are Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas in 2007 and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Arizona in 2011. “HKS believes (the) Ballpark of the Year is the award that says we’ve succeeded in

designing a park that pushes the boundaries and creates a unique and immersive patron experience that doesn’t exist at other facilities,” Henning added. “We are also enormously proud to have contributed a facility that fits

seamlessly into the context of the great city that Birmingham is.” Regions Financial purchased the naming rights for the facility, so they were pleased to see the ballpark’s achievement. “Regions is proud to have been a part of

the team that brought Regions Field downtown,” according to Bill Horton, North Central Alabama Area President for the financialservices firm. “Its development and the growth we’re seeing around it has been great for this

community. We applaud the citizens and fans of the Barons for coming out and making this great venue a success.” The other finalists for the award were PNC Field, home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders of

the International League and Hillsboro Ballpark in the Portland suburbs. The Hillsboro Hops of the

Northwest League play there. “The architects of the parks that were the finalists all did outstanding work,” Mock said. “In the end, Regions Field was the one that was ground-breaking. Its views of the skyline and Red

Mountain, incredible banquet hall and steel-mill exterior are just a few of its outstanding features. Truly, Minor League parks of the future will be measured against the new facility in Birmingham.”

And what about the server crashing? “The day we released our online review of Regions Field, the visitorship spiked,” explained Mock. “It marked the most visitors Baseballparks.com has ever seen in

a single day, and it brought the server that hosts our site to its knees. Our hosting company wasn’t

too pleased with us, but it certainly demonstrates what a hit this ballpark has been in the Birmingham area.”

Copyright 2013 WIAT-CBS42

blog comments powered by Disqus