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Official Review by Chad Minton, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The Jackson Generals have been playing America’s pastime in West Tennessee since 1998, and the Ballpark at Jackson has proved to be a great home for the Seattle Mariners affiliate during that time. It has 6,000 seats and has been good enough to host two Southern League All-Star games during its short lifespan.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
You would be hard pressed to find anything wrong with the concession stands at the Ballpark at Jackson. There are more than enough menu items to satisfy the hungry baseball fan, and there are plenty of concession windows to keep the lines short. A few of the unique menu items that stood out were barbeque nachos, fried green tomatoes, fish and chips, and of course miniature canisters of Pringles.
Not only were the normal concession stands impressive, but there is also a separate grill that cooks burgers and cheesesteaks. You really couldn't ask for anything more at a minor league ballpark.
It definitely isn't the most eye-catching minor league ballpark you'll ever see, but it has its perks. The concourse is very wide, and the seats are very comfortable. It was somewhat surprising to not see cup holders. The right field scoreboard is about as basic as you'll find, and it was impossible to read thanks to the glare of the sun. Once the sun went down, it was fine to read. There is also not a whole lot that the ballpark offers outside of the basic seating. Some ballparks offer party decks or specialty seating areas, but the Ballpark at Jackson fails to do anything other than the basic seating.
It was impressive to see how mindful the promotions staff was at making sure the kids were entertained. Going to a baseball game is a great thing for families to do, and the Ballpark at Jackson does a great job at being family-oriented.
The Ballpark at Jackson is literally located right on the Interstate. It's so close that you can see the tops of semi trucks driving by when you're looking towards the outfield. With that said, it doesn't in any way ruin the game itself. It's hardly noticeable.
The ballpark is actually situated right in the middle of a large baseball complex for the younger kids, and it's a very nice complex.
You can tell that it is a newly developed area. Just outside of the complex there are a few casual dining restaurants to go along with a few fast food chains.
The city of Jackson itself is located a little further off the interstate, and there are more things to do if you want to make the drive.
The fans in our section were very knowledgeable of the game, and that's including the younger kids as well. Many of the fans had their own nicknames for each player when they stepped into the batter's box. They also made plenty of noise when Generals made a good play, and there were plenty of them to go around on this particular night.
The ballpark was less than half full, but it's important to keep in mind that it was a Sunday night. Plus, the fans that were there showed a lot of support for their team that is currently in 1st place. A little more enthusiasm towards the end of the game would've been nice. It seemed that the crowd started to realize it was almost time to start the work week.
If you can't find the Ballpark at Jackson, then you probably shouldn't be driving at all. It's literally that easy to find. You make one turn into the baseball complex after exiting from the Interstate and you're right in the parking lot. The parking lot looked to be plenty big enough to handle what would probably be the much larger crowds on Friday and Saturday nights. Access to a sports venue doesn't get any easier, so the perfect score is what they get here.
Tickets are fairly priced for what you get at the Ballpark at Jackson. If you're a true baseball fan who simply enjoys the game, then you'll be very pleased with a night at the Ballpark at Jackson. For a mere $10 you can sit directly behind the dugout, or closer if you prefer to be right up on the batter's box.
If you want to go cheaper, then the typical general admission seats are just $6. Granted, you'll be sitting on metal bleachers, but you still can't argue with that bargain.
Even though this is AA baseball, these guys are still talented and just a few injuries away from getting a shot in the big leagues. After all, some of these players are the future stars of the MLB.
Just to top it off, parking was free.
A huge extra goes to how kid-friendly this ballpark is. All minor league ballparks are generally kid-friendly, but this ballpark really stood out. The thing that stood out the most was the chicken dance that they did for the kids in the middle of the third inning. Every single kid was doing it and it was enjoyable to see that.
Another extra goes to how genuinely supportive a good chunk of the fans were to the players. They knew them by first name and seemed to have a close relationship to their players. I know the players appreciate the dedicated fans at that level of professional baseball.
Member Review by JGPerro on Jun 25, 2012
If you read any sports business or minor league journal, your bound to hear about how terrible of a ballpark this is, in a bad location, in an odd town.
It's not terrible at all.
The team and city have made needed landscaping improvements around the exterior of Pringles. It's a tough task when the view to beyond the leftfield wall is that of passing-by trucks on I-40.
The team has done a great job with what they have. They struggle at the gate, but the fans they do draw are knowledgeable hardcore fans.
Member Review by oldskoolberk on Jun 22, 2015
Most Southern League parks are situated in big cities. Jackson is not really considered by a big city. It is a healthy distance between Memphis and Nashville (closer to Memphis) so the park lacks any big city feel and the game I went, thanks to the fans, just seemed to be a bore. That said, it wasn't a bad park at all and I enjoyed my time here.
FOOD & BEVERAGE: With the attendance barely eclipsing 900, only two concessions were open with one of them being an ice cream only stand. There wasn't a lot in the way of variety as it was practically standard ballpark fare (hot dogs, nachos, pizza, etc.), but they did have a pork chop on a stick with red beans & rice. It was actually not too bad. The ice cream was excellent. A mint chocolate chip cookie with chocolate syrup and real cookie was some of the best ice cream I have had. The "4" rating is because it was so good.
ATMOSPHERE: The employees at this park did everything they could to get fans into the game, by dancing, showing them on the board, kiss cam, bringing the Jackson mascot, Sarge to get fans involved, so applaud them for that. You don't have much of a scenic view (I-40 is your LF view) but you do have trees in RF behind the wall so it isn't too bad.
NEIGHBORHOOD: The park is in a sports complex and is a healthy distance away from anything really for places to eat. Overall it is okay, but you do feel isolated here.
FANS: Only 900 showed up at the game I went so it might be an unfair grade, but they were not into the game at all. And parents weren't paying attention to their children at all as one kid nearly fell over the rail while the mother was on the phone. They were also trying to get autographs after the 7th inning when the Generals were losing, thinking they will sign balls during the game. Only people into it were a group of senior citizens.
ACCESS: Easy peasy. I-40 is your spot, take the exit by the park and you are there. And parking is plentiful and free. Not much more to expect there.
ROI: Tickets are super cheap. $7 is your most expensive ticket (box seats) and $4 for general admission. Most prices of food are fine ranging from $5 to $7. Souvenirs are a mixed bag, but not too bad, pending on what is on sale. And you get free parking as well as good quality Minor League baseball.
EXTRAS: Not a lot in the way of extras. The people who work here try to make it enjoyable, but really there is not a whole lot with extras and given the fact the park is not called Pringles Park anymore, they took down the symbolic sign but you can still see it, which doesn't look like it was properly kept well.
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