Parkview Field – Fort Wayne TinCaps
A Decade of Dominance in Ft. Wayne
Parkview Field celebrates its tenth year as the home of the Ft. Wayne TinCaps and have attracted a total of 3,656,123 people at the beautiful downtown facility that has redeveloped the surrounding area to include apartments, office buildings, restaurants, and new hotels.
The TinCaps began play in 1993 as a Single A Midwest League affiliate of the San Diego Padres; a quarter of a century later, that partnership is still intact with the club among the league leaders in average attendance at the 8,100 seat ballpark.
The team has been widely popular since its rebranding in 2009 to the TinCaps and its clever apple logo with a tin pot for a hat, an homage to local legend Johnny Appleseed. However, the ballpark itself is appealing and stands out as its own star offering a variety of views from different angles, a large gift shop, a splash zone and mini-amphitheater behind center field, and restaurants and bars a few blocks away within walking distance.
Food & Beverage 5
The food selection at Parkview Field is impressive and there is a wide variety of options from ballpark favorites of hot dogs, nachos, and burgers, to lighter fare of salads, veggies and hummus, and black bean burgers, and to the adventurous Asian rice bowls, barbecue variety, and Buffalo chicken sticks. It might be wise to take a look around the concourse before making your decision.
There are four main concession areas on the main concourse located down each baseline with a unique item at each area including pork tenderloin, assorted pizzas, corn dogs, boneless wings, elephant ears, and chicken chips.
The Hot Corner (Section 107) offers cheesesteaks, chicken cheesesteaks, and cheesesteak nachos. Another popular area is the Bases Loaded BBQ stand (Section 110) featuring barbecue pork and beef brisket sandwiches, grilled chicken strips and wings, and barbecue nachos. There is also the option of gluten-free buns.
In keeping up with the apple theme, the Apple Cart sells a copious array of sweet eats including apple dumplings ($4.25), apple crisps ($3.75), apple pie ($3), and cheesecake ($3.50). A few more dessert options include Oreo churros, funnel cakes, Dippin Dots, Siberian Chill Frozen Drinks, and hand dipped Edy’s ice cream.
The Third Base Bar (Section 114) and Leinie Lodge (Section home plate entrance) offer around 12 draft and 19 bottled beers, wine, and wine slushies, plus rotating beers every home stand at the Leinie Lodge only. Domestic beers ($7), premium beers ($8), wine ($6), wine slushies ($8), and mix drinks ($5-$8) are within normal ballpark prices at this level.
TinCap games are well attended throughout the season and one can expect to find a festive atmosphere throughout the ballpark. The spacious wraparound concourse takes visitors on a journey through various points of the ballpark that should appeal to the single visitor, families, and large groups of co-workers.
The park is known for its myriad of picnic and group outing seating areas that are highlighted by the Tuthill 400 Club perched atop the center field wall providing a birds eye view of the diamond and the downtown skyline. Adjacent in right field is the Ortho Northeast Rooftops that are designed to offer groups of 50 or more a Wrigley-esque rooftop experience. The Xfinity Homerun Porch is atop the left field wall featuring extra padded seats, food rails, and an overhead trellis.
If you are at the game by yourself, there are plenty of options to view the game up close and personal. Games behind the backstop are among the closest in minor league baseball and grass berm outfield seating offers a great option to lay out the blanket, catch some rays, and enjoy the game, but unlike some ballparks, you are not allow to bring in any outside food.
The left field section of the ballpark borders on a collection of downtown restaurants that offer patio seating extending into the concourse. Wine Down and O’Reilly’s Irish Bar and Restaurant are two of the popular dining options. A little bit further down in the back of center field is Robert E. Meyers Park that is open to the public, along with the stadium, from dawn to dusk. A mini amphitheater and a splash zone are popular points for the kids during the game, along with the playground down the first base line. If you are with the kids bring a bathing suit and towel.
The Orchard team store is an impressive souvenir store offering merchandise for all shapes and sizes. The team’s mascot Johnny can be seen walking around the stadium posing for pictures and providing hugs to fans of all ages.
When the ballpark was in its planning stages the hope was to revitalize the downtown area; in the ten years of its existence, you can see the results from construction of new hotels, living spaces, businesses moving their headquarters downtown, and the proposed development of Electric Works in the old GE Building.
However, there are few traditional spots that have been in town a combined total of 192 years in business. Ft. Wayne’s Famous Coney Island opened up in 1914 and has not changed much in appearance offering coneys topped with meat sauce and chopped onion. The dogs tastes best sitting on the wooden stool counter tops with mini glass bottles of Coca-Cola. You can also enter and exit the shop via the kitchen, Goodfellas style.
Powers Hamburger Restaurant grills up sliders with mounds of sweet onions and ranks up there with the great American hamburger. The small shop is located near the end of the stadium’s parking lot and attracts a large audience.
One new place next to Coney Island is Yummy Bunny that serves homemade ice cream in doughnut sandwiches with names of Fat Elvis, Exhausted Parent, Brownie Cascade, and Lemon Poppyseed. The lines are long, but well worth the wait during the summer time.
A few miles away from the ballpark, Summit City Brewerks is housed in the former Wayne Bun Candy Company that offers a laid-back atmosphere with billiard tables, pinball machines, and an outside patio. The brewery features the original flooring from the old candy factory that opened in the early 1920’s.
The fans responded with a resounding impact when the TinCaps took the field in 2009 at their new digs; the team has averaged well over 4,000 fans a game since that time and the many group areas are packed for the majority of the year. The ballpark has become the focal point of downtown and you will always find a great gathering of people at Parkview Field.
The downtown ballpark is located within 5 miles of the major interstates of I-69 and I-469. One way streets bring visitors in and out quickly through the city, and there are various lots near the ballpark to choose from. Once inside, the ballpark concourse is wide enough and wraps around for access to all areas including the gift shop, restrooms, concession areas, playground area, and exits.
Return on Investment 5
There are multiple price points for single-game tickets that begin with the very affordable $5 lawn seats all the way to the $40 box seats that provide fans with their own personal space with four chairs around a high-top table and wait service.
The reserved seating down each baseline are $8 and offer theater-style seating, while All-Star seats behind the backstop and home run porch seats in left field are $10. The home run porch offers padded seating and food and drink rails overlooking the field.
The Legacy seats are $12.50 and are located behind the main seating bowl providing fans with a personal food rail, wider padded seats, and personal wait service. The highest price tickets are the $40 box seats, located down the third base line, these spacious private boxes include four chairs situated around a high-top table.
There are 5 lots adjacent to the ballpark that are $5, plus a few more city lots within 2-3 blocks from the front entrance of the main entrance.
Parkview Field gets a point for the public park that is open in the center field that features an amphitheater and splash pad. The park itself is open throughout the day from dawn to dusk providing fans the option to enjoy the ballpark for eating, running, and networking.
Another point is for the bold views from The Treetops and Club 400 seating areas; these areas are sold in groups of 50 or more, but provide spectacular vantage points for a minor league baseball stadium. The open space below The Treetops serves home to a farmers market on Saturday mornings.
A third point for the ticket prices that begin at only $5; even if you loathe baseball, there is no excuse to buy a ticket and enjoy the many other festivities occurring during the ballgame with friends and family.
A fourth point is for the full-time front office staff and game day workers; they are well trained, enthusiastic, and go the extra mile to make every fan’s visit to Parkview Field an enjoyable one.
A fifth and final point is for the ballpark actually being the emphasis of attracting people to downtown Ft. Wayne. In the decade since its opening, there have been new hotels, living areas, restaurants, and redevelopment of older buildings within blocks of the stadium.
Parkview Field ranks in the upper echelons of minor league ballparks in this country. It revitalized minor league baseball in Ft. Wayne, helped spur economic development in downtown, and attracts among the largest crowds in the Midwest League. Here is to the next ten years.
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