Review by Mike
ECTB Stadium, formerly Bicentennial Park, was the home of the Allentown Ambassadors of the Northeast League. It is now home to the Allentown Railers of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. I visited the stadium in 2004 shortly after the Ambassadors departed for New Haven, Connecticut. With the advent of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in beautiful Coca-Cola Park, it is unlikely that the stadium will ever see another professional tenant, but it is perfectly suited for collegiate summer league action.
Originally built in 1939 and extensively renovated in 1976, Bicentennial Park is a very basic stadium. A concrete grandstand behind home plate and erector set grandstands down each line form the structure of the park. When I visited in 2004, it was looking well worn, but Gary stopped by in 2019 and found it much upgraded and improved. These photos are from that 2019 visit.
The outfield configuration is interesting as a row of houses runs beyond the outfield fence, compressing the lot on which the ballpark stands. The result is a very short center field and big screens all around to protect the windows of the neighbors. The stands are very close to the field and I imagine that it is hard to feel more on top of the action than you do here. It seems a very intimate place.
Neither of us saw a game there, but I am pleased that the air of slow decay and inevitable doom that surrounded the place in 2004 has been replaced with the fresh paint and feeling of optimisim that collegiate ball brings. The quirkiness and intimacy give it a distinctive character and makes me think I would like to see it on gameday sometime.
"After attending an Iron Pig game in nearby Lehigh Valley, I stopped by ECBT Stadium, as it’s now known, home of the Allentown Railers. I met Jason, the Renaissance Man caretaker of the ballpark. He graciously let me check out the park he is doing his best to care for and suggested I visit Limeport Stadium just down the road in Coopersburg, PA. Thanks, Jason!”