Greensboro, North Carolina has had minor league baseball since 1979. The team started out as the Hornets, but became the Bats in 1994, and both teams played in World War Memorial Stadium. When NewBridge Bank Park opened in 2005, however, the team changed their name to the more alliterative Greensboro Grasshoppers, and the franchise has enjoyed renewed popularity ever since.
Located in the heart of downtown Greensboro, NewBridge Bank Park currently has a capacity of 7,499, and besides being home to the Grasshoppers, has hosted other events such as the ACC baseball tournament. The park also holds the record for largest attendance ever at a college baseball game in North Carolina, as well as the largest attendance for an ACC baseball game.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
With 36 concession stands, NewBridge Bank Park offers pretty much everything you could ask for at a minor league stadium. There are so many stands, in fact, that when you walk through the main concourse, you will never be more than a few steps away from one of them, and the amount of variety may surprise you. For example, you can find grilled chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, several varieties of hot dogs, brats, and smoked sausages, multiple burger options, four types of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, Philly cheesesteak, pulled pork, chopped brisket, and even street tacos and burritos - this is in addition to typical stadium snack fare such as popcorn, chips, nachos, French fries, pretzels, funnel cake, peanuts, candy, shaved ice, kettle corn, cotton candy, and of course, Cracker Jack. These items range in price from $2 to about $8.
NewBridge Bank Park offers bottled water, bottled soda, and lemonade, as well as a wide variety of alcohol, including an outdoor Sports bar and local beer from Natty Greene's. The beer is actually incredibly cheap, and starts at $2 for domestic 12 oz. drafts. However, there is a limit of one drink per customer per visit, so if you want more than one you will have to go back. On the plus side, they run a special on Mondays, where all concessions items are $1 off, so you can get $1 beers, sodas, and hot dogs all night.
NewBridge Bank Park is small enough that there really isn't a bad seat in the house; you can see the game perfectly well from just about anywhere, and you are free to move around if you want to view the action from different vantage points during the game. Most of the seats are plastic chair backs, but there are also 16 suites and 2 grass berm seating and picnic areas - one near first base and the other near third. There are also several other great amenities, including an open-air concourse, a row of giant baseballs outside the third base entrance (which makes for a great selfie), an enclosed play area for the kids, a giant inflatable jersey, and plenty of tables dotted around the concourse where fans can sit and eat while they enjoy the game.
In terms of entertainment, besides the typical things you see at a minor league game, here at NewBridge Bank Park they have a "Jump On It" cam, during which they play that song, and show camera shots of fans jumping up and down to the music. They also have a promotion, sponsored by a local fast food chain, in which contestants dressed up as hamburger buns pile giant toppings on top of one another to build a burger, and of course the winning team receives a prize of some kind. The highlight of the night is probably the fireworks they set off at the beginning of the game.
Unfortunately, some parts of downtown Greensboro are currently undergoing revitalization, so there is not a lot in the immediate vicinity of the park right now. There are a couple of decent restaurants within walking distance, however, such as Acropolis (which offers Greek fare) and Undercurrent (which offers American fare). In addition, there is a Marriott hotel that can be seen from the stadium, if you are looking to stay the night. This may be on the pricey side for some fans, though, so you may want to try something a little further out, such as the Battleground Inn.
While Greensboro, NC is not a huge city by any stretch, there are plenty of historic sites and other attractions in the area if you plan to be around for a couple of days. The most popular is probably the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, which commemorates the sit-ins that occurred here in Greensboro in the 1960s - these sit-ins were actually some of the most influential and significant protests of the entire Civil Rights movement. You can also visit the Greensboro Science Center, which includes an aquarium, zoo, and hands-on activities for the kids. Or, if you are a military history buff (or aspire to be), you can visit Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, and learn more about Nathaniel Greene's actions during the Revolutionary War; the museum here does an excellent job teaching visitors about some lesser known battles that actually had a huge impact on the outcome of the war.
The Grasshoppers average about 5,000 fans per game, which is about three-quarters full, and puts them near the top of the South Atlantic League attendance standings. The fans don't necessarily bring a lot of energy, however; while there are lots of fans at NewBridge Bank Park on most nights, few of them wear team gear, and many of them don't seem to be that engaged, almost as if the game itself is background noise for simply hanging out with friends, or taking advantage of the park's amenities.
The park does offer a full-size team store, however, if you want to buy Grasshoppers gear. And if you are looking for a more energetic crowd, like most minor league parks Fridays and Saturdays are more popular than weeknights.
Even though it is not located near any major freeways per se, NewBridge Bank Park is fairly easy to get to, since there is generally not too much traffic in the immediate area on game nights. Parking is also very easy to find, and you can get within a block or two for $4-$5.
Once you are inside the stadium, moving around is not a problem, thanks to the wide concourse and the fact that the seats are fairly spread out. As a result, there is plenty of room to move around, and there are more than enough bathrooms to accommodate the crowd. Concessions lines are also short, due to the large number of stands, and the design of the stadium makes it easy to spot the different options available.
Tickets to Grasshoppers games start at $7 for general admission, with premium seats going for $10 or $11, but you can buy vouchers from local businesses that let you in for just $5. These vouchers are a great deal because they can be redeemed for almost any seat in the stadium (not just general admission) - the only downside is they are redeemed first come, first serve, so if you show up late the better seats might be gone, but you are still saving a few dollars per ticket.
Even at full price, however, attending a game at NewBridge Bank Park is well worth it. The stadium has lots of great amenities, and is modern and well-designed. Parking and concessions are also very cheap, especially on Mondays when all concessions are $1 off, so definitely not a bad way to spend an evening.
Because of its sleek, modern design, NewBridge Bank Park feels like a more upscale experience than you might expect from a minor league park, which is a big plus. Also, the giant inflatable jersey and enormous baseballs are a fun touch. Lastly, the outdoor sports bar and play area for the kids demonstrate a wide range of offerings, making the stadium perfect for group outings.
The serious baseball fan may be disappointed by the lack of energy at NewBridge Bank Park, but if you are looking for a low-key, enjoyable experience, this stadium is well worth a look. Definitely one of the better minor league parks I have been to.
Baseball has had a home in the largest city of North Carolina's Triad region, Greensboro, since the early 1900's. Those first teams were known as the Greensboro Patriots, in reference to the famed Revolutionary war battle which was fought at nearby Guilford Court House.
Most of minor league baseball's existence in Greensboro, through various incarnations over the years, would find the Greensboro team calling War Memorial Stadium, a few miles northeast of downtown, home. War Memorial was a venerable stadium, serving Greensboro teams proudly for over 75 years and possessing many interesting characteristics. Many of the seats used during a War Memorial Stadium retrofit were seats taken from Philadelphia's legendary Shibe Park after its demolition.
Even after various upgrades and retrofits over the years War Memorial began to show its age and the press for a new downtown ballpark began in the early 1990's. It would take a few years for those efforts to come to fruition, but in the spring of 2005 minor league baseball's new home in Greensboro, the 8,000 capacity NewBridge Bank Park (then First Horizon Park), would open just on the fringe of downtown Greensboro's north end.
Coinciding with the move to the new park was the name change from the Bats to the current moniker of the Grasshoppers. NewBridge Bank Park was built using Class AA facility standards, in hopes that Greensboro's team might one day find a home at a higher level of play.
In my 40+ stadium visits, I rate this one the highest for these reasons: (1) it's a beautiful park; (2) you can walk from a nearby hotel; (3) you have the option of buying a microbrew beer; and (4) good between innings entertainment. The "bad" was being carded everytime I bought a beer. I suggested wrist-bands and employees told me that they didn't work (go figure that one out). So, believe it or not, don't go on Thirsty Thursday.
For travelers unfamiliar with the lineage of baseball in North Carolina, the Piedmont region of the state is a wonderful place to start. Textile and mill leagues, multiple classes of professional baseball and appearances in films tell the story of the game in Greensboro and across the region.
The book of baseball in North Carolina -- assuming one can be written to top Mark Cryan's "Cradle of the Game" -- would likely contain a number of chapters on Greensboro's World War Memorial Stadium. The 1920s-era stadium that saw every pitch, swing and out of professional baseball in Greensboro until the close of the 2004 season. Thankfully, that facility still stands in Greensboro, serving as the home of North Carolina A&T and Greensboro College baseball, while providing an important link to the past. Stars such as Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Giancarlo Stanton -- among others -- crossed the baselines in the Gate City.
The Greensboro Grasshoppers were born in 2005, and the newly-minted club had a fresh new building to call home. NewBridge Bank Park (though it did not have that name when it first opened its doors) welcomed the club to its new downtown location. Ballparks play a key role in downtown revitalization projects, and NewBridge Bank Park is no exception. With a tenant that is routinely at or near the top of the South Atlantic League attendance standings and a nearly complete transformation taking place just outside its gates, this facility is truly changing the game for downtown Greensboro.
Great experience with some thoughtful, unique promotions that keep you paying attention. Tickets range from $7-$11, they don't check but the place was quite full when I went. Free parking a couple of blocks west of Edgeworth. Cheap beer and food, cup holders make a difference. Only thing that bothered me was the netting on top of the dugout, get a seat near the top of your section to avoid this.
327 Battleground Ave
Greensboro, NC 27401
345 S Elm St
Greensboro, NC 27401
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Greensboro, NC 27401
215 S Elm St
Greensboro, NC 27401
134 S Elm St
Greensboro, NC 27401
4301 Lawndale Drive
Greensboro, NC 27455
304 N Greene St
Greensboro, NC 27401
1517 Westover Terrace
Greensboro, NC 27408