Rating the Sun Belt Ball Parks – #4 – From the Bird’s Nest
THE GOOD—This is one of the more aesthetically pleasing ball parks in the entire league. The back of the right field wall gives fans a big welcome to campus. There’s plenty of parking available. Grandstand renovations provide chairback seating. I LOVE the monster in right field. It was done professionally and looks “big time.” And, it at least gives pitchers a fighting chance despite the short dimensions. They’ve got an area above the home dugout for fans and they left the area in left field open to give fans a chance to grill and drink out in the outfield. Those people are among the friendliest fans in the Sun Belt and if you go to visit, they’ll feed and water you and you may make a lifelong friend. I’ve always thought the fans in Troy were among the friendliest in the league. Beer is sold and the concession area is adequate. They have banners honoring the all-time great Troy players. This place just screams BASEBALL to me. While it may not seem like a big deal, Adam Prendergast takes scoring a game seriously and he’s as knowledgeable and fair as it gets in this league. And, nowhere else in the Sun Belt does the play by play guy sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Barry McKnight is better looking than Harry….and he sings on pitch.
THE BAD—The press facility. There are no separate booths for radio and television wasn’t a thought when it was built. There are two rooms on either side of the press facility and television uses one when applicable. They need to move Barry into the other one, leaving visiting radio in the main facility if they aren’t going to renovate. But renovation is a better option. The press facility and small grandstand takes away from the “big time” feel of this place.
ANALYSIS—I like going to this ball park more than any other in the league. Like I said, it just says baseball. While improvements can (and should) be made, let’s not forget they’ve put a lot of money into this park over the last 6-8 years. The latest word is there are plans for a serious renovation of the grandstand and press facility. If that happens, this place will be near the top of the league. Personally, if I were going to buy season tickets to a team in this league, it would be Troy. Good people, fun facility and good baseball. Oh, and Barry McKnight.