Tampa Bay : Legends Field Ballpark Review
Here€™s my first of three ballpark reviews from my recent trip to the Tampa/Clearwater area of Florida. Along with the ballpark reviews, I will post a couple of articles based around the players & observations of this week, including Freddy Garcia, Tabata, Maybin, and a few major leaguers.
Note: For this review, I’m referring only to catching a High A, Florida State League game. I’m sure many have caught a Yankees spring training game and due to such, have experienced a vast difference in costs, parking, etc.
The ballpark is located basically right across the street from Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s about two minutes off of a main highway (275) and it would be about a five minute drive from Tampa Bay International Airport. All in all, the location is very convenient.
Costs Associated (Gate, Parking, Concessions)
The parking for TB Yankees games is free, so you can’t beat that. The ticket prices are also low, even by minor league standards. A seat in the lower bowl is $5 & general admin (2nd bowl) is $3. But the ballpark has a vast number of $1 admission promotions throughout the week. In-fact, three out of the seven days include a $1 admission promotion. On my visit€”a Monday–, the Promo was $1 admission with a donation of 1 canned good to the local food bank. As far as concessions, this was again minor league fare, with $3 for a hot dog, & $5 for a beer. The menu didn’t have anything to diverse on it, but what can one expect? On Fridays the ballpark runs a $1 soda, hotdog, and beer promotion. That must make for an interesting crowd come the sixth or seventh inning. Overall, the value at this park is an A+.
For a new park I found the architecture somewhat bland. The park consists of two bowls, an outfield with no seats or grass, and a smattering of boxes above the home plate seating area. George & the boys tried to bring a little bit of Yankee stadium with them when they added the classic wood style overhangs on the roofing areas and by spelling out the word Yankees along both sides, but all in all, I found this park rather uninspiring. Take in mind that this facility is built primarily for spring training. Adjacent to the ballpark itself is the standard fare of diamonds, practice areas and pitching mounds. This would make for a nice environment to watch the Yankees during the spring, but it doesn’t add much when going to catch a minor league game. On top of this, there is a small €œWalk of Fame€ outside the park honoring past Yankee greats, yet it only includes a numerical plaque and a small, two paragraph write up and a few key stats. Outside of this, the only other thing that’s memorable is the light up walk way to the front gate. As for underneath the stands, there weren’t too many individual concession stands, but there was plenty of walking rooms and the bathrooms were clean & large. Overall, I would say that the Architecture was average and perhaps even a bit sub-par for a newer facility.
I don’t know if I can pass a fair judgment here due to the size of the crowd. The €œofficial€ minor league baseball attendance keepers counted the crowd as 795, yet I used a rough €“and rather generous€”count and came up with about 150 fans. This allowed for a rather informal type of viewing experience, with players & coaches instructions being heard by all, not to mention a NY Yankee fan yelling €œHolla€ every time a TB farm hand made a play. €œHolla!€
The overall experience was pretty decent when all things were considered (cost, seating, ballpark, atmosphere). With a maximum gate charge of $5, I don’t think you can go wrong by taking a visit to this park if you find yourself in the Tampa area. The Yankees have a couple of top level prospects, and the Florida State League is usually home to many top-end players. You can’t go wrong here.
Recommendation: Hit It Up