Huntington Park – Columbus Clippers
A Modern Gem For A Historic Club
Few cities can claim the minor league baseball pedigree of Columbus, Ohio. Since 1902, the Buckeye City has played host to minor league baseball almost continuously, with only a brief hiatus from 1971-76. The Columbus Senators, Red Birds and Jets all called the city home over a century of baseball. In 1977, the Clippers first came into existence as an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. After stints affiliated with the Yankees and Nationals, the Clippers became an Indians affiliate in 2008 and have maintained the partnership to this day.
Cooper Stadium had served as the longtime home of the numerous franchises since 1932, until plans were unveiled to build Huntington Park in 2006. $70 million and multiple construction issues later, the park opened its doors on April 18, 2009 for a game against the Toledo Mud Hens. Quickly hailed as one of the best parks in baseball, Huntington Park has become a Columbus staple for baseball, concerts and other events. There aren’t many better ballparks in the minors.
Food & Beverage 5
Huntington Park has an abundance of concession options, including a full restaurant and bar in left field. Food options aren’t just about what you can eat here, but also about taking in the action from different perspectives.
Almost nothing on the menu will cost you over $10, even with the variety of selection. Permanent concession stands around the park offer everything from standard hot dogs and burgers to quesadillas and paninis. The food selection is incredibly wide. Highlights include City Barbeque in right field and Hall Of Fame Bar and Roosters On The Roof in the left field building. But really it’s hard to go wrong anywhere here.
Pepsi products are served throughout the stadium, ranging in price from $2 to $6.25. At various stands around the park, you can also find Tim Horton’s coffee, juice boxes, frozen lemonade and smoothies, cappuccinos and Gatorade. Beer is available at every concession stand and multiple bars around the stadium. Alongside your more traditional options, you can also find several local craft options, including a wide selection from Columbus Brewing Company, Zauber Brewing and many others. Beer can range up to $10 for premium local selections.
If you’re simply looking for the best food option, City Barbeque comes highly recommended. For a unique experience, head up to the Hall Of Fame Bar and grab a table with a full view of the field. Regardless of your preference, grab a local beer and kick back and enjoy the venue.
Huntington Park is widely considered one of the elite parks of Minor League Baseball, and for good reason. Character abounds in every corner of the park, making it a great setting for exploring.
The park has a generally low profile from the outside, but seems much bigger once inside. The perimeter is lined with a brick facade with spaces with unique views onto the field from the outside. The main gate facing downtown is dominated by a statue of Harold M. Cooper, a key figure in Columbus baseball and namesake of the former stadium of the Clippers.
Once inside the park, a wide concourse wraps almost all the way around the stadium breaking only for center field. Despite the concourse going behind the stands in most places, wide vistas full of bars and concessions allow for consistent views of the field. From the picnic tables down the third baseline to the open-air restaurants in left field to the stacked seating in right field, every section of the park feels unique. The field itself is pretty standard, with a wall of varying heights and distances adding just the right amount of character.
Your standard on-field activities entertain fans throughout the game. Lou Seal is the official mascot leading the show, but a variety of other characters entertain the Clipper faithful.
There’s really not a bad seat in the house here, and you get the feeling if you came to 10 different games, you could have 10 different experiences. The numerous bars, restaurants and seating areas feel unique at every turn. My personal recommendation is to catch a game from a balcony table at the Hall Of Fame Bar, but you really can’t go too wrong with any seating area.
The revitalized Arena District in downtown Columbus is still a work in progress, but it’s far from bland. Full of parking garages, restaurants and bars, the area offers plenty to do for anyone in town for a game.
Places like the Sunny Street Cafe, Nada, Rodizio Grill and Big Band Dueling Piano Bar all offer decent places to eat or grab a drink both pre and post game. If you’re looking to venture out a little further into the city by car then check out 16 Bit Arcade + Bar where you can play practically any video game from your childhood while enjoying a beer. Right next door is Mikey’s Late Night Slice, which serves up delicious pizza in a very interesting setting full of ironic art.
Columbus is a large city and a state capital to boot, so there’s plenty of attractions to visit in the area. Not so much a landmark, but easily the most recognizable place in town is the campus of Ohio State University. It’s worth an hour to walk around The Oval and swing by Ohio Stadium. Not far from Huntington Park is also COSI, a science center with attractions for all ages worth checking out.
There are numerous hotels within easy walking distance of the stadium offering a wide range of cost and amenities. The Hilton Downtown Columbus and the Hyatt Regency Columbus are the closest big brand name hotels within three or four blocks of the park, and are surrounded by restaurants. The Lofts Hotel is also a unique option in the immediate vicinity.
Clipper fans tend to show up and enjoy their team, be it for the game itself or the beautiful ballpark they’ve been provided with.
Huntington Park ranks near the top of the International League in attendance figures, drawing over 8,700 fans per game. With so much to do at the stadium and in the area, it’s no wonder people choose to spend their weekends or weeknights at the stadium.
The park, however, does offer so many options that there’s a mixed bag in terms of fan engagement. While a lot of the fans will cheer on their team from the seats, just as many can be found enjoying the numerous bars around the concourse or simply hanging out at the Hall Of Fame Bar or Roosters. While the turnout is always strong and the park is always packed, the team may almost play second fiddle to the park at times.
For a stadium in the heart of a busy downtown district, it really couldn’t be much easier to get there and take in a game.
The COTA Blue Line buses stop within easy walking distance, if you’re inclined to use public transport.
Parking can be found easily at a garage across the street or in lots around the park and generally will not cost you more than $5. Movement in and out of these lots seems incredibly easy for the draw of fans the games get.
There are main gates to the park at all corners of the stadium, with the most prominent being the one in center field dominated by the Cooper statue. There may be some lines for tickets, so buying in advance isn’t always a bad idea. Otherwise, access to the park is quick and painless.
Once inside, the concourse is incredibly wide and easy to navigate around the park. One downside is that it doesn’t allow for foot traffic behind the center field wall, so the walk from left field to right field is the long one behind home plate. Views of the playing field are available through most of the park, with some exceptions behind home plate. Restrooms are plentiful and clean enough to be comfortable. Concessions are everywhere, so you’ll never have to wait too long to get food or a drink. Picnic tables line the concourses, as well, for those looking to sit down and enjoy their food.
Return on Investment 5
While not the cheapest baseball experience, prices here generally range on the average or slightly low side. For such a nice park, that makes a game here a pretty strong value.
Tickets start at $7 for lawn and bleacher seats, which is a comparatively good deal. Mid-range tickets range from $10 to $15, right in line with prices from other ballparks in the league. The real value comes from the $20 tickets for Club and Loge seats behind home plate. Parking is also a solid deal, with everything under $5. Food is all reasonably priced, as well, making this across the board a pretty good deal for a high-level park.
With so many cheap seating options around the park, a $7 ticket affords you a ton of options and is well worth the value if you’re someone who likes to walk the concourse and take in a game from multiple angles. If you’re looking for more high-level seating, a $20 Loge or Club ticket is a great deal for a premium section.
Huntington Park is full of unique history, seating options and excellent amenities. It’s what truly gives this park its character.
As you wander the concourse, you’ll notice the array of historical markers signifying all of the famous players that have come through the Columbus minor league system in the past. Classic names like Don Mattingly and modern names like Jason Kipnis splatter the walls and flags around the field. In right field behind City Barbeque is a mural depicting the evolution of Columbus ballparks from the 1800s through Cooper Stadium. In left field, you’ll find the Victory Bell with its unique history tied to Columbus baseball. Originally a warning bell at a firehouse, the bell adorned Cooper Stadium starting in the 1950’s and was rung for victories. It now holds its place on the concourse at Huntington Park.
The seating options and unique amenities around the park also offer a huge amount of character and make the stadium worthy of multiple return trips. Of particular note is the Hall Of Fame Bar and its massive collection of memorabilia, old photos and baseball quotes on the back wall. Be prepared to miss an inning or two exploring the sights here.
Huntington Park is among Minor League Baseball elite and more than warrants a visit (or even two). Take in the tradition, the food and the sights here and take pride knowing you’ve been to one of the best around.
Food and Drink Recommendations
Latest Crowd Reviews
No writeup submitted.
This might be quite the perfect Triple A ballpark. It has it all-neighborhood, amenities, aesthetics, and atmosphere.