Simmons Field – Kenosha Kingfish
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The Kings of Kenosha
Simmons Field was originally constructed in 1920 when the Simmons Mattress Company built the ballpark, it would burn down by the end of the decade, but a new grandstand was constructed in 1930.
It was the home to clubs such as the Kenosha Comets of the All-American Professional Baseball League (1948-1951), the Kenosha Twins of the Midwest League (1984-92), the Kenosha Kroakers of the Northwoods League (1993-1999) and the Kenosha Mammoths of the Frontier League (2003).
The ballpark underwent a major renovation in 2014 and minor updates afterward. The renovations included new seating (3,218 capacity), multi-level suites, field level table top full-service seats and the inclusion of kids and party areas to get ready for the first season of the Kenosha Kingfish of the Northwoods League.
The Bambino, a 43-feet-long by 13-feet-wide fishing boat long used as a commercial fishing boat, was installed in the left field corner and is used as a portion of the fence in left field. It was refurbished and is used for private parties of up to 25 people during all home games, complete with concessions, drink rails and stool seating.
In 2017 a new video scoreboard was added. What is interesting the original grandstand still exists and the rest of the stadium seating was replaced with recycled seats from Baltimore’s Camden Yards.
Food & Beverage 5
The food at the Kingfish is really good and there is a lot of food to choose from too. There is the Porkopolis, a hot dog with pulled pork as a topping ($9), brisket sandwiches ($8), grilled chicken sandwiches ($6), Italian beef ($5) and cranberry-walnut chicken salad sandwiches ($5) to name a few.
They have really great sides such as ½ lb of fried cheese curds ($8), fried green beans ($5), onion rings ($4.50) and lots more. Having been to the stadium many times there isn’t a bad food item. In addition, every homestand there is a special food item.
The beer selection is outstanding. Of course being in Wisconsin there is Miller, Leinenkugel, Sam Adams along with some other microbrews such as Lakefront and Bells products for $4.50 to $5.50. If you are lucky and the designated hitter from the opposing team strikes out, beverages are 2 for 1 for the rest of the inning.
The official mascot is King Elvis who is a fish dressed in a white jumpsuit. He is found throughout the stadium and on the field; he delivers the baseballs prior to the game on a zip line from the Bambino to home plate.
The official team store is surprisingly large and houses a grand selection of swag from jerseys, shirts, and caps, best of all, they’re all reasonably priced. In addition, the original organ from the Kenosha Twins days is in the store – bonus, fans can play the organ.
The history of the park is on the outside of the stands on the first base side. They have blown up old newspaper articles, pictures, and events that took place at Simmons Field over the course of its history.
The staff is very friendly, welcoming, and helpful. If you have any questions they will answer it and if they don’t know, they will find out for you. There are also postgame fireworks every Saturday night.
The ballpark is located in a residential area with some commercial retail area, there is a shopping center adjacent to the ballpark.
For food, there is just about every chain restaurant down Route 50. However, there are many local institutions to eat at including the famous Brat Stop, located off of I-94 and Route 50 which has a great prime rib sandwich, beer cheese soup, and all kinds of cheese. Speaking of cheese, the Mars Cheese Castle is about 20 minutes from the ballpark. They have the biggest selection of cheese in the state. Choo-Choo Charlies at the train station, five minutes from the ballpark, serves your food on a model train that goes around the shop.
If you want to do something else before the game you can go to the Jelly Belly Center located about 10 minutes from the ballpark. The warehouse has daily tours and a gift shop and is worth the trip.
The Kingfish have averaged about 2,200 to 2,500 a game since their inception. The fans have a good time, have an interest in the game, and enjoy the in-between inning activities such as toilet races and ribbon gymnastics routines. At the games, you’ll find some of the parents of the college kids, but these games are a place to hang out and spend some quality time with your family or significant other.
Getting to the park is very easy. It is located about 10-15 minutes from I-94 on State Route 50. There is plenty of free parking in the area including in the adjacent strip mall, other commercial businesses, and in the neighborhood. One cool thing is that the parking lot attendants are dressed as Elvis (Las Vegas days). One interesting note, on the way to the stadium on Route 50 many houses have Kingfish lawn signs up which is really cool and shows that the community has embraced this ball club.
Inside the ballpark, the stadium is very accommodating and there are plenty of spots to watch the game from. There is a large social area behind the main grandstand of the stadium.
Return on Investment 4
You get a lot of bang for your buck with your ticket which are $8, $12 (Dugout Box Reserved Seat) and $14 (Stadium Box Reserved Seat). The $8 tickets are in the Festival Foods Backyard Lawn area, which is down the right field line.
In addition, there’s the Miller Lite Fish Bowl which is a party area down the left field line and in left center, which features all-you-care-to-consume burger, brats, hot dogs, walnut chicken sandwiches, coleslaw, and chips, beer, soda and water for $28 or $33.
There are the special party and group areas that cost $27 (First Base Club) and $60 (the Bambino Party Boat). Both party areas come with hamburgers, brats, hot dogs, cranberry-walnut chicken salad sandwich, and appetizers.
Simmons Field before the renovations was a depressing ballpark. However, the renovation has put life back into the ballpark.
The players don’t have their own locker rooms attached to the dugout so you will see players going out to the concourse before and during the game to use the bathroom.
The concourse area of the first base line is geared for kids. There is a play area that includes a bouncy house, ring toss game (you can win prizes), a sandbox and other games.
During the 5th inning drag, the people dragging the screens are all dressed as Elvis and do a routine which is fun. I try not to miss that.
The Kenosha Kingfish have regenerated life back into the old ballpark. This is definitely a place one should visit. There is history and fun all over the park. Simmon Field is one of my favorite parks I have been too.
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