Clipper Magazine Stadium
Review by Mike
Clipper Magazine Stadium is the home of the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League. With most new minor league ballparks built on the same basic template (foul pole to foul pole grandstand with luxury boxes above and concourse in between), the challenge for each organization is to find a way to make their facility unique. This can be done with quirky features or, as with Lancaster, that greatest of all intangibles... atmosphere.
First things first, though, the ballpark. It's a real nice one. I'm not always a fan of the forest green, but it works here because they totally went for it. The whole interior structure is dark green and as a total theme, it works nicely. Although there is no real outfield seating except for a berm and a party porch in right field, they built walkways and ramps so fans can circle the ballpark. It's good for guys like me who want to see the park from all directions and great for parents with restless kids. It's nice to able to walk a few laps to wile away those middle innings and burn off the ice cream.
There is a bumper boat pool behind the right field fence. Yes, that's right. Bring your swim suit and go bumber-boating at the ballpark. Not really my thing, but people seemed to be enjoying it. Speaking of ice cream, it was top notch and plentiful.
One unusual feature is that the park is oriented so that the sun sets over the left-center field fence. Generally speaking, it is preferred that the sun sets behind home plate so it's the outfielders who get the glare and not the batter and fans. They placed the scoreboard strategically to shade the batter a bit, but that did nothing for all of the fans on the first base side who had to squint straight into the setting sun. Wonder why they did it that way? Did they not scout the location at sunset or look at a map or, perhaps, own a compass?
Everything here is nicely done, clean and friendly. What set Lancaster apart, though, was just a great atmosphere. I don't know what it was, maybe I was just in a really good mood and it was a beautiful evening, but about midway through the game I looked at Gary and said, "I love this place." He agreed. Oh, and if you go to Lancaster, eat at the Neptune Diner just down the street. The Neptune Benedict (with crab meat instead of Canadian Bacon) is worth the trip all by itself.
"I really like the seating section down the right field line that directly faces the infield & home plate, where most of the action is. When I attend games at the similarly designed Regency Furniture Stadium in Southern Maryland, I like to grab these seats, which are right behind the visitors' bullpen. They provide a great sight line!”