The third annual Stadium Journey convention was held this week in New Orleans. What else do you do when in one of the biggest party cities in the world? Why, you record a podcast, of course. Special guests crash the party and a great conversation is had about the future of Stadium Journey, what North American sports look like to an Austrailian, how stadiums Down Under compare, and what to look for in terms of stadiums when you visit the Big Easy.
On the banks of the Gulf of Mexico on the Southern shores of the state of Mississippi sits the small city of Biloxi. Biloxi has thrown its hat into the Minor League Baseball ring with the Biloxi Shuckers and MGM Park. The Shuckers came to the Bayou in 2015 and joined the Southern League when they moved from Huntsville, Alabama. Biloxi would become the home of the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Home for the Shuckers is MGM Park. Directly across the road from the Beau Rivage Casino, owned by MGM, MGM Park is a nice ballpark for a Double-A team. However, the advantage of the MGM Park is not necessarily what is in the park, but what is outside the park. Situated on Beach Blvd, MGM Park is located right by a number of casinos and a couple blocks from Biloxi Beach. MGM Park will reward fans with southern hospitality and a concession menu that is among the best in sports however, care needs to be taken for fans to do their best to beat the Mississippi summer heat!
It’s hard not to feel at home in the state John Denver described as “almost heaven.” The great thing about Appalachian Power Park is that it fits perfectly next to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah River. It doesn’t try and be something it’s not – the Power embraces the cozy nature of the Mountain State. A trip to a Power game feels less like a typical ballgame and more like a mountain retreat.
What stadium chasers love about sporting venues is that no two are exactly alike. With Five County Stadium, you would be hard pressed to find a venue like it. The Mudcats play in the metropolitan area of a major city, but their home ballpark doesn’t feel big time at all. Instead, it feels like a ballfield surrounded by farmland, and that’s okay. Minor League teams moving into shiny new downtown ballparks has become the norm, but the Mudcats seem content where they are.
Ever since the passing of longtime Pawtucket Red Sox owner Ben Mondor in 2010, questions about the future of the franchise and their longtime home, McCoy Stadium, have haunted Pawtucket. It appears that those questions are about to be answered, and if you are to believe the rumors, it doesn’t look good for this down on its luck city.
For Ballpark Chasers, a trip through Mississippi is a natural and a stop in Biloxi a necessity. However, Biloxi is a solid stop for average baseball fans who are looking for a bit of a different experience. The Biloxi Shuckers offer a great baseball experience and an outstanding concession lineup. A trip to MGM Park in Biloxi is definitely a Shuckin’ good time!