Monongalia County Ballpark – West Virginia Black Bears
In 2015, after relocating from Jamestown, NY, the Jamestown Jammers franchise became known as the West Virginia Black Bears and took up residence in brand new Monongalia County Park. The short season A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates shares the facility with the West Virginia University Mountaineers of the Big 12 Conference.
Monongalia County Ballpark is a modern stadium built into the side of a hill at University Towne Centre in Granville, WV. It has an immaculate Synthetic Turf Field with a clay mound. It overlooks the city of Morgantown and the West Virginia University campus as well as the picturesque mountains in the distance.
Food & Beverage 4
Monongalia County Ballpark offers a high quality concessions experience with a variety of food and drink options. The concession lines are never very long anywhere in the park and all concession stands accept both cash and credit cards.
The various concession stands throughout the ballpark offer a wide variety of traditional ballpark fare such as hot dogs, burgers, nachos, pizza and the local favorite pepperoni rolls.
The team sells Coca-Cola soft drinks and a wide variety of foreign and domestic beers along with craft beers on the party deck in right field.
For the most authentic Granville experience, try any of the craft beers from the north central West Virginia area along with the pepperoni rolls.
Monongalia County Ballpark offers a reasonably priced entertainment option for sports fans in north central West Virginia.
The seating bowl stretches from dugout to dugout. It’s not a lie to say there is not bad seat in this intimate park. Every single seat is close to the action and keeps the fans involved. The seats are plastic and bolted on top of bleachers. Black Bears Assistant General Manager Jackie Riggleman states that West Virginia University had made that decision in the design process.
The field is made of Synthetic Turf that is sparkling. The clay mound is the only natural part of the playing surface.
A large video board is in center field and is easy to view for replays and displays of statistics.
The music played between innings is not overly loud and does not impact the fan experience negatively at all.
Monongalia County Ballpark is located in a bustling shopping center situated off of exits 153 and 155 of Interstate 79. It contains a plethora of shopping options within five minutes of the ballpark, such as Target and Walmart and dining options such as Buffalo Wild Wings directly across the street from the park.
Other dining options include Fusion Steakhouse, Longhorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Cracker Barrel.
If there is a rain out, fans can drive to Hollywood Theatres to see a movie. They can also drive across the Monongahela River into Morgantown to explore the West Virginia University campus less than five miles away.
Located in University Town Center are high quality lodging options such as Hampton Inn, Courtyard by Marriot and Fairfield Inn and Suites, which are all within walking distance of the ballpark.
Monongalia County Ballpark is home to a highly educated group of baseball fans who could not be happier to have an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates to watch 38 times a year as the Morgantown area is only one hour and twenty minutes from PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
The team is in the middle of the pack for attendance in the NY-Penn League, having averaged 2,029 fans per game in 2017.
The crowd really gets loud at times though during the course of the games. Whether they are walking around to grab something to eat or drink or staying in their seats, the fans at Monongalia County Ballpark really make it seem like the crowd is larger than it appears.
Overall, Monongalia County ballpark is fairly accessible in terms of getting there and moving around it once inside.
Reasonably priced local transit authority busses stop at the ballpark with rapid travel throughout the Morgantown area. The nearest airport is Morgantown Municipal Airport which is 8 miles away.
Parking is plentiful surrounding the ballpark. You can park in the lot right next to the facility for three dollars, or if you are willing to walk there are free options. You can park on the hill overlooking the ballpark in part of the WVU Medical Office Building lot or in part of the Walmart lot.
The left field entrance and the right field entrance are equidistant to the main concourse of the park, however you can purchase tickets at the right field entrance.
The concourse of the ballpark is average in width and stretches from dugout to dugout behind home plate. It provides a clear view of the field from wherever you are. Along the right field line is a large party deck.
The large restrooms are spotless and large enough that there were not any lines to utilize them.
There is an elevator for visitors to Monongalia County Ballpark with physical challenges at the right field entrance and behind home plate to access the press box and the private suites.
Return on Investment 4
There are three levels of ticket pricing at Monongalia County Ballpark: $8.50 for Standing Room, $10.50 for Reserved Seats on the far left and far right of the seating bowl and $12.50 for the Premium tickets in the center of the seating bowl.
Fans can purchase Season Tickets for 2018 for $361 for Premium seating; $304 for Reserved seating.
The team store, the Bears Den, is located on the third base side of the concourse and offers a wide variety of team merchandise options.
Throughout the park signs add to the atmosphere, such as one proclaiming it Cooper’s Town in honor of the team mascot, Copper the black bear. To further link the team to the parent club are signs saying “The Bucs Start Here.” Additionally, there is a sign on the right field party deck celebrating the team’s 2015 NY-Penn League Championship.
The entire staff is beyond friendly from General Manager Matt Dryer to the concession stand workers.
Behind the right field fence is the team’s Backyard. It is an area where fans can relax in very comfortable seats and watch the game while having table service. There are also play areas for the children.
Black Bears games are broadcast on 1300 am and the Tune In app with Donny Chedrick.
The designers of the park really deserve kudos for the gorgeous backdrop of WVU, Morgantown and the mountains.
A fun spin off of the Pittsburgh Pirates Pierogi Races are held at PNC Park. Fans enthusiastically cheer for pepperoni rolls as they race around the field.
A few miles from the ballpark when entering West Virginia is a sign along Interstate 79 that says “Almost Heaven.” To catch a Black Bears game in Monongalia County Ballpark is truly almost heaven. It’s a reasonably priced time in a fun and family oriented atmosphere where people can catch the up and coming stars of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
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Food and Drink Recommendations
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Morgantown
161 Lewis Dr
Morgantown, WV 26501
Best Western Mountaineer Inn
366 Boyers Ave
Morgantown, WV 26505
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Monongalia County Ballpark is as new as the franchise it hosts, and stands as an affordable night of fun in a good new park. As time passes, we can see if some aspects of the park design are blessings or a curse, but a visit here will not be wasted.