- Sovereign Bank Stadium
stadium_name = Sovereign Bank Stadium
nickname = The Vault
location = 5 Brooks Robinson Way
September 29, 2006
June 15, 2007
owner = York County Industrial Development Authority
Opening Day Partners; York Revolution
surface = grass | construction_cost = $32.5 million
seating_capacity = 5,200
dimensions = Left Field: 300 ft (91.44 m)
Center Field: 405 ft (123.444 m)
Right Field: 326 ft (99.3648 m)
Height of Left Field Wall: 37.7 ft (11.490 96 m)
Sovereign Bank Stadium is a 5,200-seat baseball-only stadium in
York, Pennsylvaniathat hosted its first regular season baseball game on June 16, 2007, as the tenants of the facility, the York Revolutiondefeated the Newark Bears, 9-6. Sovereign Bank, a banking institution based in nearby Reading, purchased the naming rights as ground broke for the new stadium.cite web | title=Sovereign Bank purchases naming rights | work=York Daily Record | url=http://www.ydr.com/yorkbaseball/ci_4141391 | accessdate=August 5 | accessyear=2006] Sovereign Bank Stadium had been in the planning stages since 2003, but local politics and funding temporarily halted plans for the stadium. The city of York demolished 20 buildings in the Arch Street neighborhood in June 2006, with construction beginning in September 2006. [cite web | title=SBS Groundbreaking | work=York Daily Record | url=http://www.ydr.com/yorkbaseball/ci_4422025 | accessdate=October 1 | accessyear=2006] Due to inclement weather, Sovereign Bank Stadium opened one month later than originally planned. [cite web | title=First Game at Sovereign Bank Stadium Set For June 15 | work=York Revolution Team News | url=http://www.yorkrevolution.com/news.cfm?newsID=204 | accessdate=April 17 | accessyear=2007]
The city of York had been trying to pursue the construction of a baseball stadium for ten years. It seemed to be coming together in 2003, until politics and financial pressure prevented the ballpark from being built. [cite web | title=York seeks Baseball | work=York Daily Record | url=http://www.ydr.com/yorkbaseball/ci_3753005 | accessdate=June 3 | accessyear=2006] Many Yorkers hoped to see a team fielded in the same inaugural season as the neighboring
Lancaster Barnstormers, but that opportunity slipped away. The ballpark was originally slated to be located at Small Athletic Field, on York City School District property. The district board vetoed the stadium as they believed that their money could be better used for a more practical renovation plan for Small Athletic Field. [cite web | title=York City School Board vetoes Ballpark Plan | work=WGAL.com | url=http://www.wgal.com/sports/4080389/detail.html | accessdate=June 3 | accessyear=2006] Over the span of three years, ballpark planning weathered many inclines and declines until a hard-fought agreement was made to build in the Arch Street neighborhood. Other locations that were considered but never came to fruition were Hoffman Field, the home of the former York White Roses, and the Ohio Blender site.
Prior to the ballpark's opening,
Sovereign Bankpurchased the naming rights for $2.7 million over ten years. In June 2006, Banco Santander Central Hispano from Spainpurchased almost 20% of Sovereign in June for $2.4 billion with an option to purchase the bank for $40 a share. The sale did not change the bank's commitment to the city of York regarding Sovereign Bank Stadium. [cite news | title=Potential buy would not affect stadium Official: Sovereign Bank is committed to the York baseball stadium | publisher=York Daily Record | date= 2006-09-19]
Sovereign Bank Stadium hosts the "New Year's Revolution", the city of York's New Year's Eve celebration in which a large White Rose is dropped to count down the New Year. The event's name is a play on words with
New Year's resolutionand the York Revolution baseball team. The White Rose drop was formerly hosted in the city square. [cite web | title=New Year's Revolution | work=York Daily Record | url=http://www.yorkrevolution.com/news.cfm?newsID=492 | accessdate=October 23| accessyear=2007]
Photos of the park
Brooks Robinson Plaza
Sovereign Bank Stadium features the Brooks Robinson Plaza at the homeplate entrance of the ballpark. The plaza features a statue of
Brooks Robinson, along with information related to his 23-year career in professional baseball. In 1955, Robinson played with York's previous team, the White Roses, and at the end of the season was signed by in the Baltimore Orioles. [cite web | title=Brooks Robinson Plaza | work=Keystone Professional Baseball | url=http://www.nameyorksteam.com/brooksrobinson.cfm | accessdate=June 2 | accessyear=2006] The ballpark itself resembles Oriole Park at Camden Yards[cite web | title=Sovereign Bank Stadium pays tribute to Camden Yards | work=York Daily Record | url=http://www.ydr.com/yorkbaseball/ci_3753005 | accessdate=June 3 | accessyear=2006] , in tribute to Brooks Robinson and the Baltimore Orioles, the local Major League favorite. The dimensions are the same as those of the former Memorial Stadium, the Orioles' previous home. [cite web | title=Sovereign Bank Stadium pays tribute to Memorial Stadium | work=York Revolution | url=http://www.yorkrevolution.com/brooksrobinson.cfm | accessdate=August 5 | accessyear=2006]
In addition to the Brooks Robinson Plaza, the official postal address of Sovereign Bank Stadium was changed to 5 Brooks Robinson Way in the fall of 2007. The change was made to honor Robinson's baseball career, which started in the city of York. [cite web | title=Sovereign Bank Stadium address change | work=York Revolution | url=http://www.yorkrevolution.com/news.cfm?newsID=489 | accessdate=October 23 | accessyear=2007]
The Arch Nemesis
At 37 feet plus 8 inches tall, the left field wall of Sovereign Bank Stadium is taller than any other fence in professional baseball, "including" the famous
Green Monsterat Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox. The Green Monster measures 37 feet plus 2 inches high, but the "Arch Nemesis" in York stands six inches taller. [cite news | title=Sovereign Bank Stadium wall to be taller than the Green Monster | work=York Daily Record | date= 2007-09-07] The first home run over and the first base hit off of the wall came in York's second game at the stadium on June 16, 2007.
The height of the left field wall was increased to help compensate for a small Stadium site. Architects were challenged to fit a ballpark between Arch Street and a parallel railway line less than 600 feet away and to provide a minimal amount of onsite parking (200 spaces) in the same plan. The best overall layout for the site placed the left field foul pole close to Arch Street and about 300 feet from home plate, a condition that is known as a "Short Porch" and represents an easy home run opportunity for professional baseball players. Since moving the foul pole any further from home plate would require expanding the site by disrupting Arch Street (not an option), the planners increased the height of the left field fence to make home runs more challenging, given the short foul line.
Considering 1) the tall left field wall borders upon "Arch" Street, 2) home run attempts follow an arching flightpath, and 3) a tall outfield walls acts not just as a formidable opponent (or nemesis) to arching home run attempts but as the primary formidable opponent (or "Arch Nemesis") to arching home run attempts, the tall wall's nickname plays intelligently upon local geography and the multiple meanings of "arch" as a word and prefix. The nickname also suggests a malevolent presence in the same style and spirit as the "Green Monster" moniker.
In addition to a modern, animated, full-color electronic scoreboard in right field, Sovereign Bank Stadium features an old-fashioned, manually-operated scoreboard within the belly of the "Arch Nemesis" in left field. [cite web | title=Baseball rivalry blooms | work=Lancaster Online | url=http://local.lancasteronline.com/4/202523 | last=Wilson | first=Burt | date=
2007-04-05| accessdate=2007-05-09] A manual scoreboard is another characteristic shared between York's tall outfield wall and its counterpart in Boston, Massachusetts. Two additional monochromatic, non-animated electronic scoreboards on the façade of the skybox level, one along the first base line and another along the third base line, display game status.
Other ballpark attractions
* Bud Light Picnic Pavilion – picnic area with a 600-person seating capacity.
* Cannon – a miniature, fully-functional cannon fired by Cannonball Charlie after Revolution home runs and home game victories. He wears a replication of a period
* Capitol Hill – lawn seating for an additional 1,600 fans.
* First Cap Team Store – official souvenir store of the York Revolution.
* Function rooms – The Keystone Room, Pennsylvania State Room, Tri-State Room, Piedmont Room, and White Rose Hall have a total capacity of 300.
* Weis DownTown Playground – features a carousel, a jungle web, playground equipment, and various inflatables.
[http://www.yorkrevolution.com/stadium.cfm Sovereign Bank Stadium]
* [http://www.frontiernet.net/~rochballparks2/york/york.htm Photographs of Sovereign Bank Stadium - "Rochester Area Ballparks"]
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