Review by Mike
Just north of downtown Billings, nestled near the foot of the Rim Rocks, is little Dehler Park, home of the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League. This may be the shortest professional ballpark I've ever seen. There only about 10-12 rows of seats and the concessions and souvenir shops are housed in low brick buildings along the concourse. Even the press box hunches down behind home plate, as though trying not to be noticed. This park sits so low that the Perkins sign across the street rises above it.
Height considerations aside, this is about as straightforward as a modern stadium gets. The thin grandstand wraps from foul pole to foul pole and the concourse circles the entire stadium, allowing for 360 degree views of the action. The most visually arresting feature is the half-dozen canvas "roofs" that cover isolated areas of seats. I suppose these are the "luxury boxes". They do look kinda cool, though.
Parking is a hazardous enterprise as the main parking lot is behind the right field fence. Ample street parking all around the park lies less than 100 feet from the field, placing every vehicle in the surrounding neighborhood in peril from foul balls and long home runs. All of the parking is, I am happy to say, free, so one doesn't pay for privilege of a shattered windshield.
Dehler Park is certainly not cut from the familiar mold of low minor league parks. The view of the Rim Rocks, a line famous local cliffs, is wonderful and the park is open, airy and sparklingly clean. There was a good crowd for late in the season and everyone was quite pleasant.
And then there is that great logo and team name. Except for a few years in the 1960s, the Billings Mustangs have played in the Pioneer League since 1948. The logo is a simple silhouette of a horse rising up on its hind legs. No cartoonish horse with a nose ring, snorting fire. It's classic and it's awesome. Dehler Park is not awesome, but it's nice and comfortable, a little bit different, and just right for the Pioneer League.