Harbor Yard

Bridgeport, CT

Review by Mike

I love this ballpark. When I lived within an hour of Bridgeport, I adopted it as my second home after Shea Stadium. There is so much to like here it is hard to know where to begin. The setting is great, really urban. The modest Bridgeport skyline and the elevated I-95 are visible to left, while right field is dominated by the giant smokestacks of an electrical plant. You can watch the ferry come and go beyond center field while trains rumble past on the elevated viaduct in right. Metro-North trains will often park there while waiting for their run and you can see the motorman and conductor sitting in the open doorways watching the game.

Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, CT
Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, CT

Harbor Yard was the home of the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League. Before the Atlantic League started play in 1998, my previous experiences with independent minor league baseball had all been with the Northeast League. The NEL, while providing entertaining baseball, did so in recycled and sometimes makeshift ballparks. The Atlantic League brought an entirely different concept to the table. Their mission is to provide top caliber baseball in brand-new, top-of-the-line facilities that would be the envy of most affiliated franchises. Harbor Yard was the first of these to be completed.

Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, CT

The park is very attractive with the grandstand running just about from foulpole to foulpole. The overhead luxury boxes enhance the look and provide some shade in the afternoon without taking anything away from the views of the regular folks. They also probably help keep the prices down. There isn't a bad seat in the house and the atmosphere is great. The Bluefish have drew very well in their early years and the crowds are lively and enthusiastic.

They do some great between inning promotions (which I enjoy), while holding back somewhat on the sound effects and distractions during play (though they could cut back more). There is an activity corner in right for the kids to allow them to burn off their excess energy without distracting the rest of us from the game.

This is a great ballpark and a great place to see a game. It is old-fashioned urban baseball with all of the benefits of a modern ballpark.

Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, CT
Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, CT

1998

18

1998

24