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If you build it, they will come. It worked for Kevin Costner, and it also worked for the Winnipeg Goldeyes as they finally had a home to call their own rather than play in Canad Inns Stadium (Home of the Blue Bombers, Winnipeg Stadium at the time) where it took a light lob to put the ball out of the park in the left field.
Shaw Park (Formerly Canwest Global Park), also unofficially known as the "Fishbowl", officially opened in 1999 in time for the Pan-am Games. The seating capacity is 7,481 and the team regularly fills the stadium which had them at the top of the former Northern League in attendance. In 2011 the Goldeyes moved to the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball where the team has the fourth largest ballpark of the 14 team league.
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".
Shaw Park offers a wide arrange of food options including Subway, Arby's, Salisbury House, Boston Pizza, TCBY, Goldie's Grill and Hu's On First to name a few. There is also the standard ballpark fare of hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, pretzels and many are hocked in the seating by the many concessions. Hu's On First is a restaurant open every day in the ballpark, and offers a patio that oversees the field offering diners the opportunity to enjoy their meal while watching the game.
Like most Canadian cities, baseball is not the most popular sport, but the Goldeye fans know the game and are known to get loud for a big play. There is your standard 7th inning stretch singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and many promotions in the stands keeping fans entertained between the play. It isn't the same atmosphere that you'll find in a Major League ballpark, but it is a great atmosphere to take in a game on a sunny day.
Shaw Park is located in the heart of the city, just down the street from Portage and Main, and a short (less than five minutes) walk from the Forks - one of the city's largest tourist attractions. The park has also been credited with the revitalization of downtown living in the area, with many new condo developments located on the street along the river creating a vibrant area with low crime making for a safe venture home for the fans.
The season ticket holders buy year in and year out for a reason, as there are many baseball fans in Winnipeg. The fans are knowledgeable and are known to get loud. Since the opening of the ballpark there have been two expansions to add more seats in order to answer the demand for tickets. The Goldeyes were constantly up top, if not, the top team in terms of attendance in the Northern League, and continue to bring out large crowds since the 2011 season switch over to the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
The stadium takes advantage of the large amount of parking located at the Forks, and even during a day game on a weekend it is very easy to find a good spot. Parking of course comes at the cost of $5, unless you want to try your luck at some of the spots in the downtown which are free after 5:30pm during the week.
Winnipeg Transit has forty seven routes that either come close to or within a ten minute walk from the ballpark, including two free downtown routes. Opening in 2012 will be the new rapid transit line from Pembina and Jubilee that will take fans right down to Queen Elizabeth way, a quick five minute walk from the park.
Tickets range in price from $5 to just under $20, plus your service fees and taxes which brings the cheapest ticket to $7, creating a great low cost night out for the family. While it isn't the highest level of baseball, it is entertaining and some of the pitchers can get their fastballs into the high 80 mph range. Overall, the difference between the cheap seats and the ones right behind home plate is the view, as all tickets give you access to all of the extras. For a true baseball fan, the value of attending a game doesn't get much better.
Like many ballparks there are corporate boxes which seat up to 16 people if you are lucky enough to work for one of the companies that purchase them. The boxes provide companies with a great way to offer incentives to their employee's for a job well done, taking them out to the ball game.
If you are one of the lucky few that manages to get on the patio of Hu's On First there really is no better way to watch a game. Waitresses take care of all your food and beverage needs, while you can sit back with friends and take in the ball park. Just keep an eye out for foul balls landing on your plate!
Member Review by JordansZone1 on Sep 25, 2012
I love this team and this ballpark. Great people everyone loves to chat and have fun. Great fun every time
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