Review by Mike & Gary
Coca-Cola Park is the home of the Allentown Iron Pigs of the International League. Wow! You want to know the definition of an upgrade? Go to Coca-Cola Park in Allentown. The last time I came through Allentown and visited a minor league park, it was tiny, ancient, rickety Bicentennial Park, home of the independent Allentown Ambassadors. Since then, Allentown has not only built a new ballpark, but attracted a new team full of players that are just a phone call from the big leagues!
Coca-Cola Park is a very nice facility. It has a large seating capacity, but isn't oversized like some older AAA parks. It's built on the basic template of the modern minor-league ballpark, just a bit bigger in every way. The "Sunken" seats behind home plate were a cool and somewhat original idea.
There are a lot of upper deck seats, but I was disappointed to find that they are exclusively for the use of the luxury boxes and party deck. I wasn't allowed upstairs even for photographs. Still, it has a nice 360 degree concourse and seating/standing all the way around. There are plenty of places to drink beer in the shade and not watch the game, which seemed to be where most adults were on this 94 degree day.
The food was excellent, with lots of great choices, including the first time I've even seen Peanut Butter & Jelly on a ballpark menu! The Iron Pigs Disco Fries were unique and delicious. A cousin of Canadian poutine, waffle fries smothered in White Cheddar Sauce and Brown Gravy.
It has the usual distractions for the kids, but for the most part the focus was on the ballgame, which I found refreshing. We were disappointed to find that the Iron Pigs make NO reference to the steel industry for which they are named. There are, however, an overabundance of references to the other kind of pig; pork roll, bacon and ham signs, along with Oink! and Su-whee! sounds.
All in all, a top-notch facility that was packed on a hot afternoon. Having the parent club just to the south in Philadelphia can't hurt, either. A solid four hot dogs. It might have gotten another half a dog if they hadn't been so grumpy about letting me upstairs to take pictures.