Review by Gary
Editor's Note: In addition to being a ballpark aficionado and all around good fellow, Gary is a skilled graphic designer and painter. I can only assume that it was his desire to showcase these talents that led him to provide these impressionist oil paintings of Chukchansi Park rather than photographs...
Chukchansi Park, or Grizzlies Stadium when I visited it in 2003, is the home of the Fresno Grizzlies of the California League. Built in 2002, this huge ballpark holds 10,500 fans and is located in downtown Fresno, California. The stadium is now the anchor of a larger commercial development in the area, but when I visited, it was in the middle of nowhere. The ballpark now offers dramatic views of the downtown skyline and nearby Sierra Mountains.
This stadium was another of the retro ballpark designs by the same firm that built Camden Yards and Petco Park. I thought it was a bit extraneous for a Triple-A (now Low-A) team to install 600 club seats and 32 luxury boxes, but what do I know? Chukchansi Park also serves as the home facility for Fresno FC of the professional United Soccer League.
The ballpark is unique among Minor League facilities with its four-level, three-tiered grandstand design. Each of the stadium's seven street-level gates enters onto the main concourse and there are great sight lines throughout.
I visited Fresno as part of a week-long California road trip of stadiums that ranged from Single-A to the two bay area MLB teams, so Fresno’s lavish ballpark was unique in its own right as a Triple A ballpark.