Ohio has really become a hotbed of neighborhood ballparks. Canal Park is another example. Located in downtown Akron, and home to the AA Eastern League Aeros, Canal Park has hosted baseball since 1997. The club is fortunate to be affiliated with the nearby Cleveland Indians, and have been since 1989.
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The food is definitely good inside Canal Park. Concessions are broken up to 4 main stands, with the basic staples offered throughout. The park's signature items can be found at the Dog Pound. You can try the hot dog ($2), jumbo hot dog ($3.50), Wonder Dog ($6 for a 1/2 pound hot dog), 3 Dog Night (bratwurst, kielbasa, and hot dog for $7), Aero Dog (hot dog with German salad $3), and the biggest of them all, the 8th Wonder of the World Dog ($8).
I tried the 8th Wonder, a full one pound hot dog served with as many of 24 different toppings. I chose macaroni & cheese, sauerkraut, chili, and nacho cheese. It is one of those ridiculous novelty items that many parks have nowadays, but I have to say it was rather tasty. I couldn't finish the entire thing mind you, and had to deal with stares of shame as I walked the concourse, but overall it was good and juicy.
Taters offers standard items with a few additional interesting snacks including sweet potato fries, pizza bites, sauerkraut balls, and fried pickles ($3.75). There are good options for the kids at this stand, including the kid-favorite grilled cheese ($3).
Further behind home plate there's Godfather's Kitchen with calzones ($6), Gionino's pizza ($5.50), Italian sub ($6.50), and meatball sub ($6.50). Down the right field line is the Bier Garden and Sock Hop Ice Cream Shop.
Beverage options include Pepsi products ($3 and $4.50). Beer selection starts and stops in my book with two great ballpark brews from Leinenkugel's - Summer Shandy and Sunset Wheat ($6.50). For folks who like to try local beers, I would also recommend the Ohio Brewing Company down the first baseline. The IPA was a hoppy and tasty pleasure ($6), but they have 3 others on tap including a stout on a colder spring or autumn evening.
One last stand worth checking is out in left field where you can find corn on the cob ($2), smoked turkey legs ($8), and a gigantic soft pretzel ($12). There's also a small picnic area in left where you are protected by the sun. It's a good place to polish off one pound of hot dog or any other treat you find.
AA baseball by and large is well-played baseball, and you are almost sure to see a player who will one day be participating as a starter in the Majors. The Aeros do a good job of providing a game experience that does not overly distract from the action on the field.
All of the seats are blue plastic chairs with drink holders and good legroom. It is a very comfortable place to sit back and enjoy America's pastime. The one exception is right field where they have metal bleachers, and signs warning fans that they may be hot (and the signs are true).
If you're able, bring along a radio to listen to the outstanding play-by-play of Jim Clark.
I love downtown parks for their proximity to other attractions that you can add to a day. The Akron Civic Theatre provides opportunities for concerts, plays, movies, and other types of live performances, and is located just down the street.
There are a couple of bars very close to Canal Park. My recommendation goes to Barley House, located at the corner of State & Main. The food is pretty good and they are open both early and late (generally 11am-2am). Across the street from the main entrance is the Varsity Bar & Grill. They offer an assortment of pizza, ribs, burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
This is a hard thing to quantify, but fans seemed especially happy on the Sunday afternoon that I visited the ballpark. It wasn't a large crowd, or a loud crowd, but there seemed to be that "what-a-beautiful-day-to-be-at-the-ballpark" kind of vibe.
The Akron Aeros ranked in the top 3 of attendance in the Eastern League starting with the opening of Canal Park in 1997, and continuing through 2006. While they have dropped off in rank since that time, you can still expect to see 5,000+ fans at each contest.
You should be able to find street parking for most games at no cost. Meters are free on weekends and after 6pm during the week. Use common sense and be sure to look over the posted signs however. If you are more comfortable doing so, there are also several parking garages in the vicinity of Canal Park.
Once inside the park you'll find wide concourses and spacious bathrooms. My one gripe with the access overall is that the concourse does not wrap around the entire stadium. The only place you could catch a home run ball (one of the great thrills in baseball) is in straight away right field.
The top price for tickets is a very affordable $9. Kids and seniors get in for $8, and if you want one of those hot bleacher seats, then you only pay $5. Free parking certainly helps the equation, so you can spend your money on encased meats and cold beers. Overall, you'll absolutely get what you pay for. Everything is just about the right price.
Right field houses the children's area, where for $1 your kids can be endlessly entertained by the giants slide, pitching challenge, and dunk dank. I also liked that there was a coloring station when you entered the park, a good idea for a simple activity to keep the kids entertained.
I'll award a bonus point also for the food. It was really great to see the wide section, and high quality.
Canal Park is one of those parks where you just want to sit back and enjoy baseball. There is very little that I would consider unique or flashy outside of some of the food, but if I was a resident of Akron, I would most definitely have season tickets, which is about as high a compliment as I can pay.
This is a mid-90s stadium that many cities have replicated: buillt in brick and in a downtown location. Regardless, it is a beautiful ballpark. It's nice to see that Canal Park led to development in the area and the Barley House is a decent place before the game. Also, loved how they built the restaurant (now Wing Warehouse) into the right-field corner and fans are able to eat there and watch the game. It's a shame how much of a drop there has been in the crowds. With something similar happening in Cleveland is it a coincidence or the economy? It would be interesting to find out from someone who lives in NE Ohio. The Aeros and the city do there part by making a game very affordable as parking is free on weekends and after 6 PM on the weekdays, plus the most expensive ticket to a game is $9.
Visited this park as part of our 2011 baseball trip that also had us to Detroit, Cleveland & Pittsburgh. I know that this park usually draws a nice crowd but it wasn't too crowded for a Friday night game with fireworks. Really enjoyed the food and the open stadium. You could see the field from everywhere. That's nice. Positives certainly outweigh the negatives here. The best thing about Canal Park: Sauerkraut Balls & 3 Dog Night!
* Cheap ticket prices. Paid $9 for seats about 15' from the dugout.
* Roomy seats with cup holders.
* All of the seats are close to the field.
* Open concourse.
* The luxury boxes look really nice.
* Decent food selection at reasonable prices.
* 3 Dog Night: Hot dog, brat, polish sausage & sauerkraut all on one bun for only $7.
* Sauerkraut Balls (deep-fried sauerkraut).
* The mascot, BirdZerk (a purple and green bird) was decent.
* The view of downtown is uninspiring.
* Tiny scoreboard.
* No video replays.
* No pitch speed display.
* Only one small pavilion for large groups.
* No wrap around concourse.
* No interesting team history displays.
* Creepy "superhero" and other mascots.
Bottom line: worth a trip.
I have been to Canal Park multiple times and it is one of the best minor league parks I have been too. Tickets are easy to get. Seats are comfortable with plenty of leg room and cup holders. Food is great with the different hot dogs which you can now get. They have really made it a family friendly atmosphere. The park is clean and well kept.
For the cost, it's a very nice ballpark. The food options are seemingly endless and the prices are fair. The new video board for 2013 adds a ton considering this is the biggest in the Eastern League where as their old one was tiny. For less than 10 dollars to sit right behind the dugout and watch 'AA' basebal,l is a value that is pretty tough to beat
I visited 4 minor league parks in 4 days and Akron was the worst of the bunch. I understand they have new management now and are in the midst of making changes to make the ballpark better, but nothing really stands out to make Akron a desirable stadium to visit. Seats were small and uncomfortable. Most of the ushers I talked to, or asked for advice weren't helpful, and really the only thing that made the trip to Akron worthwhile was the three dog nite with the kielbasa, brat and hot dog.
271 S Main St
Akron, OH 44308
2939 S Arlington Rd
Akron, OH 44312