Stadium Review: Classic Park of the Lake County Captains
- Updated: March 12, 2009
The Lake County Captains have only been around since 2003, but the Indians A club made sure they had a nice stadium before they took the field. The stadium is located in East Lake, Ohio, which is about half an hour outside of Cleveland. Having a team in such close proximity to the major league club means that a number of major leaguers have done rehab assignments at the A level, even though most clubs prefer rehabs to happen at AA or higher.
If one thing is for sure, the name of Classic Park should bring a smile to traditionalists across baseball.
The park is truly by itself with the only things really within walking distance being a business building, a work out complex and a good number of parking lots. The good thing about this is that there usually isn’t any trouble finding a parking spot, even when the Captains make the playoffs, but it does create a problem for those who like to hang out at an eatery before or after a game.
Classic Park features the same layout as many parks built during this time period. When walking up to the stadium, fans will see a nice brick wall in the middle of the Captain’s parking lot that commemorates the stadium which is a nice touch to an already classy park.
Past the left field wall, the Captains have a large baseball structure with the team’s logo on it that passers by can see. It reminds some of the Cleveland Indian figure that used to stand over Municipal Park all those years ago not far away.
The ballpark’s team shop is quite large, but the team could probably use the space more wisely. There doesn’t seem to be as much selection of merchandise for all people as there are at some shops.
The park traditionally seats 7,000 people, all of whom have a completely unobstructed view of the field. There is also a suite level above the normal stands with 20 luxurious boxes for people to eat catered food and view a game of baseball. Despite the capacity listed above, the Captains have had as many as 10,000 people inside their ballpark at a single game.
The concourse is quite wide for this type of ballpark and gives fans a chance to stretch their legs while still getting a great view of the action on the field. The stadium also features stables throughout the concourse that are tall enough for fans to put their drink down and still be able to stand up, or lean on the table, while watching the game. If they do wish to sit down, these tables also have taller than normal chairs that accompany them.
The food selection is much more diverse than at most A ballparks. They have a diverse menu of food options to go along with a number of selections of beverages. The concession stands also have other alcoholic options besides beer for those who are not afraid to test the waters of wine coolers.
As many minor league teams do, the Captains also do a good job coming up with creative giveaway promotions. For instance, when the Mitchell Report came out last year, a few lucky members who attended Classic Park were to receive photocopies of the entire report.
While some of the concourse is exposed to the elements, a good portion of it is covered because of the suites, so if the sun is too bright or the rain becomes too hard, fans can have a place to save themselves from the elements.
Overall, Classic Park is a good atmosphere to watch a game in. While it doesn’t have many of the bells and whistles that a lot of parks do have these days, which are usually best for children, it is a great park for a baseball traditionalist.
Minor League Stadium Grade: 4/5
Overall Stadium Grade: 3.75/5
Bill Jordan is a contributor to BaseballReflections.com. He can be reached by e-mail at BillJordaniv@yahoo.com.