Hunter Wright Stadium – Kingsport Mets
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New Mets in Kingsport
Hunter Wright Stadium is named after a multi-term mayor of Kingsport who was very popular. The ballpark was built in 1995 and has a capacity of 2,500. The Kingsport Mets are part of the Appalachian League, short-A season. The team has been affiliated with the New York Mets since 1980, and they have had quite a few notable players come through Kingsport including Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Jose Reyes, and David Wright as well as having Mookie Wilson as a coach.
In addition to the K-Mets, Gate City, Virginia High School plays their home baseball games at Hunter Wright Stadium in the spring.
Food & Beverage 4
The concession stand food is that of the average ballpark with hot dogs, nachos, drinks, as well as sausage with pepper and onions, cheese sticks, hamburgers/cheeseburgers, and cheesesteak.
They also have a taco in a helmet that is really good and you get a souvenir in the process. A K-Mets helmet is filled with ingredients of a taco (similar to a taco salad). Pricing is average and ranges from $2-$5.50 for items.
The grill and concession area smells delicious and draws you in as you enter the ballpark through a covered area that brings you past the concessions into the field area. Beer is served on tap.
For the kids, the shaved ice cart has a steady line all game long. Clearly one of the most popular items in the park, portions are large, and flavors are strong but not overbearing.
The concession area is very clean and well-kept throughout the whole game.
The atmosphere is upbeat with the fun patrol signing people up as they enter the gates to play games in between innings. The team gives many prizes away to the winners/participants of the games from local area businesses.
The crowd is great and the seating does allow for the visiting side to sit in the shade. The home team endures the sun for an hour or so at the beginning of the game until the sun moves to set. There’s a small reserved seat section behind home plate, but the majority of the seating is bleachers down each of the baselines. You can sit down the line and get out from behind the screens for a clearer view.
From the time you enter the gate, the staff is welcoming and the players greet the fans in a covered canopy that fans must walk through to get to the field. Fans can stop and take pictures and have items signed by the players. The Mets average 8-10 players in the canopy for the first 20-30 minutes that the gates are open to allow fans to get to know the team and collect autographs.
The field is located off of the main highway with signs visible on where to turn. Hunter Wright Stadium is easily accessible from Interstate 81 and Highway 26. It is close to the Virginia state line. The neighborhood is nice with many shops, restaurants, and the Holston Valley Medical Center.
Kingsport is a city with Eastman Chemical Company as the main industry. It is also a very rich cultural city with many art sculptures in their downtown area and small independent businesses. There are hotels and restaurants within 2-5 miles of the field as well as shopping.
Not too far from Hunter Wright Stadium is Biggie’s Clam Bar, which seems out of place in Northeast Tennessee. It is one of three restaurants which originated from Hoboken, NJ, and they serve excellent seafood and a wonderful atmosphere. There are numerous TVs for keeping up with the day’s sports, wonderful service, and a good beer selection at the bar. This is my recommendation for dinner before the game, or as a place to hang out after the game.
The fans here love to cheer. The Mets have developed a great following over the decades in Kingsport, and their fans are not afraid to let the umpires know when a bad call has been made. It’s a fun atmosphere and family oriented. Although you have the very vocal fans, they are not foul-mouthed or extremely rude, they just love their team.
The field is easily accessible from the main road, located in a business district. There is plenty of parking in a well-lighted area, and it is free of charge.
They have handicap accessible bathrooms that are clean and well kept. The souvenir stand, concessions, bathrooms, and field as well as the parking lot are easy to get to with no steps or obstacles.
Return on Investment 3
Season tickets in the reserved section are $120, while general admission seating is $70. Single game tickets for general admission are $5 with reserved seats being sold for $7. The team offers senior and military ID discounted tickets for $4, as well as children 12 and under for $4. The pricing is average for an Appalachian League game and worth the entertainment and atmosphere. This is a great little ballpark.
Hunter Wright Stadium is located adjacent to a dog park. If you are a dog owner, you could easily walk your pet in the park and listen to the game over the PA system at the field. When spectators are sitting in the stands, they can see the people walking dogs on the trails behind the outfield fence. It would be easy to play fetch with your pet when a home run is hit.
The staff is helpful and friendly, and do a good job of making sure that fans are enjoying the experience at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Kingsport is close to many other minor league ballparks in the Appy League. Johnson City, Elizbethtown, and Bristol are located within an hour drive of the stadium creating a chance to make a long weekend trip of small, intimate ballparks of minor league baseball. Just bring an umbrella if the weather is hot and scorching.
Food and Drink Recommendations
Rush Street Neighborhood Grill
1229 E Stone Dr
Kingsport, TN 37660
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