Review by Gary
You’ll have no problem getting to and from Harbor Park. Located just outside downtown Norfolk, Virginia. You can take planes, trains, automobiles, light rail, Amtrak and even a ferry to get to the stadium. The Tides have played in the Tidewater area since 1969 when they were a Mets farm team playing at a long-since gone ballpark near the Norfolk airport. The Tides have called Harbor Park their home since 1993. I have seen a few games here and the crowds are always pretty good, mainly due to the world’s largest naval base about 10 miles away.
Despite it’s location on the shores of the Elizabeth River, the view isn’t the best as the area caters more to industry than recreation. A spectacular railroad drawbridge can be seen beyond the outfield fence and the trains it serves run right behind the left field fence. This bridge was lowered to let a train pass during the game and then raised to allow a ferry to bring fans to the game from downtown. The exterior of the park sports a battleship gray to emulate the navy ships in the region along with brickwork more akin to the skyscrapers of the nearby city. Outside the main entrance, a mermaid sporting a classic Tides jersey greets fans coming off ‘The Tide’, the light rail service that stops nearby. These mermaids of varying décor are seen through the Norfolk area.
The Tides’ latest logo and mascot is a hideous green and orange seahorse that even Aquaman would scorn. Averting my eyes from the mélange of mascot color, I found the best unobstructed view to be the upper rows of the first and third base stands where a cool breeze blew on a warm August evening.
The park has no shortage of places for fans to dine on the great selection of food. Half-circle tables and chairs are amongst the right field level seats while a covered porch sits beyond the right field fence next to an air-conditioned restaurant with huge windows. Down the left field line, many fans seemed to enjoy standing along the foul-line fence as they sipped their beers. Those in groups ate-all-they-could at a myriad of picnic tables up and behind the left field wall.
As I often do, I sampled a local concession item unique to the stadium. Today’s gastrointestinal fare was The Oriole Hot Dog, named after the mother team, and a must for any seafood and tube steak fan. A regular or jumbo beef hot dog is festooned with a scoop of macaroni-and-cheese and then topped with a goodly portion of crabmeat. Unsure which condiment should or could compliment this startling creation, I feasted on the meal as it was and thoroughly enjoyed it. Give this dog a try when you’re at the ballpark. Perhaps with a nice Chianti…