Commerce Bank Park


Commerce Bank Park

Infobox_Baseball_Stadium
stadium_name = Commerce Bank Park
nickname =


location = Commerce Bank Park, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17101
broke_ground = by|1986
opened = by|1987
closed =
demolished =
owner = City of Harrisburg
operator = Harrisburg Senators Baseball Club, Inc
surface = Kentucky Blue Grass
construction_cost = $30 million US renovation (2008-2009)
architect = HOK Sport (Kansas City)
former_names = Riverside Stadium (1987-2004)
tenants = Harrisburg Senators (1987-present)
seating_capacity = 6,302 (1987-2008)
10,000 (proj.) (2009)
dimensions = Left Field - 335 ft (102.3 m)
Center Field - 400 ft (122 m)
Right Field - 335 ft (102.5 m)

Commerce Bank Park is a stadium in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It is primarily used for baseball, and is the home field of the Harrisburg Senators minor league baseball team. The original structure was built in 1987 and it was called the Riverside Stadium until 2004. Currently, the ballpark has a capacity of 6,302 peoplecite web| url=http://www.senatorsbaseball.com/commerce_bank.html| year=2006| title=About Commerce Bank Park|first=| last=| publisher=senatorsbaseball.com/| accessdate=2007-01-07] ; however, the ballpark will receive a $30 million renovation beginning in 2008. The stadium is located on City Island, an island on the Susquehanna River.

History

Commerce Bank Park sits on the exact spot where baseball had been played earlier in the century, where other Harrisburg teams played from 1907-1952. The location, City Island, is a sixty-two-acre waterfront park and sports complex. The facilities include volleyball courts, softball fields, a football/soccer field, water golf, nature tails, jogging paths, cycling paths, two marinas, the "Pride of the Susquehanna" paddlewheel riverboat, a food court called RiverSide Village, and a miniature train that runs around the island for tours.

The original ballpark is a steel and aluminum structure. The stadium was used as the Spring Training facility in the movie "Major League II", starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger and Corbin Bernsen.

tadium Renovation

Commerce Bank Park will receive a much awaited $30 million renovation ($19.1 million in state funding). Originally the renovation was to begin in 2005, however delays in state funding for the project have pushed it back until 2008, with the transfer of ownership between the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

Improvements won't be implemented until the 2009 season at the earliest. Final designs for the project have been completed by HOK Sport, and the city has floated $18 million in bonds to cover its share of the projected $30 million cost. The project calls for 1,700 more seats, 20 skyboxes, 766 club seats, a second level, a new party deck and restaurant, new picnic areas, a children's play area, new clubhouses, state-of-the-art concession areas, and a new entryway. The overall look and feel of the new stadium improvements will ultimately give a "Camden Yards" feel to it, utilizing historic brick architecture for the stadiums new entryway and grandstand. Originally, the renovations were to have been implemented to help lure a move from the Ottawa Lynx, the Triple A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

The Ottawa affiliation was taken over, however, by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2007, who then moved the franchise to Allentown, PA in 2008. The Orioles also signed an affiliation agreement with the Norfolk Tides. With their proximity to Baltimore and the success of baseball in Norfolk, along with 2 AAA franchises in Eastern Pennsylvania, and other cities in the area gaining independent franchises, the city of Harrisburg is very unlikely to see AAA baseball any time soon.

tadium Dimensions

The ballpark's dimensions are fairly basic. The walls at the left and right field lines are 335 feet from home plate, and the center field wall is 400 feet from home plate, with the outfield wall pretty much the same setup that multi-purpose stadiums had in the 80's (though Commerce Bank Park itself is not a multi-purpose stadium), with no extra bends or such in the wall, and the height of the wall at 8 feet. Billboards also ring around by the walls, and reach a height of 16 feet. Anything that hits the billboards are home runs.

Foul territory also varies, as behind home plate, there is a small amount of foul ground. However, the further out toward the outfield, the wall on the foul ground stays somewhat parallel to the foul line in both left and right field, with only the box seats sticking out into foul ground helping reduce the area somewhat. The bullpens are also located out in the foul territory by the outfield walls.

Tidbits about the stadium

*Ticket prices are as follows.

:Box Seating: (Sections 2-6 (1st base), 7-11 (home plate), 12-16 (3rd base)): $10 (first few rows, the red seats)

:Reserved Seating: (Sections 201-204 (1st base), 101-111 (home plate): $8 (the blue seats)

:General Admission: $5, $3 for children under 12 and senior citizens over 65 (Third Base side seating)

*Because of the location, Commerce Bank Park is prone to being flooded, and a previous stadium at the site was washed out by a flood back in 1935. Floods in the winter do not pose as much of a problem, as the ballpark can be fixed up, and ready for the next season, but floods that happen during the baseball season can (and usually will) affect the Senators schedule, forcing them to play their "home games" usually at their opponent's ballpark. The most recent episode of this happening was in the 2006 season when a flood partially submerged the field, and forced the Senators to play 2 "home games" as a doubleheader in Bowie against the Bowie Baysox.

References

External links

* [http://www.littleballparks.com/Stadium/2001/Harrisburg/Harrisburg.htm Commerce Bank Park Views - "Ball Parks of the Minor Leagues"]
* [http://www.frontiernet.net/~rochballparks3/harrisburg/harrisburg.htm Photographs of Commerce Bank Park - "Rochester Area Ballparks"]


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