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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

Carleton Davidson Stadium – Champion City Kings


Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29

Carleton Davidson Stadium 1101 Mitchell Blvd. Springfield, OH 45503



Year Opened: 2004

Capacity: 1,056

 

The Champion City's Home Ballpark


Carleton Davidson Stadium became the home the of Champion City Kings of the Prospect League in 2014. The franchise had relocated from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, and brought organized ball back to Springfield, Ohio, for the first time since the New York Giants fielded a Class D minor league team in 1951.


A lot has changed since the Giants played in town; for starters, Municipal Stadium is no longer around and was razed in 2000. The stadium was built in 1937 as part of the WPA project and served as home for various minor league operations, youth leagues, and high school and college baseball games.


Carleton Davidson Stadium debuted on April 23, 2004, as the new home for the Wittenberg University Tigers baseball program on the same sight as Municipal Stadium. The $2.66 million stadium included 8 light towers and a 1,056 seating capacity that featured chair back seating. An impressive building for Division III baseball would later become an ideal residence for summer collegiate wood-bat baseball.


The stadium gets its name from Carleton Davidson who was a prominent-area Chevrolet dealer, philanthropist, and history enthusiast. A $1 million lead gift to the capital campaign by trustees of the Carlton F. and Ruth T. Davidson Trust would ensure that his name would grace the stadium’s entrance upon its opening.

When the Sliders relocated to Springfield in 2014 it opted for the Champion City moniker, probably because the league already had a team named the Springfield Sliders (now the Lucky Horseshoes) in Illinois, but the nickname derives from when the city was the leading producer of the Champion Combined Reaper and Mower with Sweep Rake. The demand was so high for the agriculture products that the manufacturing plant in town covered 54 acres and employed 2,000 people in the 1870s.


Food & Beverage 3

There is one main concession stand located underneath the press box on the main grandstand. The food is basic but exactly what you would expect at a ballgame. Hot dogs, burgers, brats, pretzels, nachos, popcorn, and peanuts all sell between $3-$6. Pizza is served by the slice or by the pie. There is a fixings bar with tomato, onions, lettuce, and condiments for fans to top their burgers and hot dogs.


The concession stands house five taps featuring Miller Lite, Coors Light, Sam Adams, Blue Moon, and Rhinegeist Truth IPA. There is another beer table at the entrance that sells cans of Harp, Corona, Truly's Hard Seltzers, and Smirnov Ice Smash varieties. The beer stand does not accept credit cards, but the main food area does and will give you a ticket to purchase a beer.


Atmosphere 4

The small ballpark features seating on both the first and third baseline with a small row of seats directly behind home plate. The wide concourse houses the concession stands and bathrooms and even with large crowds, the traffic moves smoothly during the game.

The third and first baseline seating is separated by a small roof. All of the seats provide back support and 60 percent of the seats are covered. The seats do have a bit of spring to them providing a bit of bounce. In between the two areas is a separate building that houses the press box, concession stand, and bathrooms.


A team shop is at the front of the entrance of the stadium near the ticket office offering a small collection of t-shirts and caps. The t-shirts are of very soft material and come in either red, blue, or black and sell for $12 apiece. Behind the concession stand is the Springfield/Clark County Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum featuring baseball bats and a collage of photos on the wall.


The stadium offers an electronic scoreboard with video capability, two outdoor batting cages outside the stadium down the left field line, and a picnic area down the left field line. Protective netting covers dugout to dugout and 60 percent of the city is covered.

Neighborhood 2

The stadium is located two miles from Wittenberg University and next to Buck Creek and the Little Miami Scenic Trail. Downtown Springfield offers a few fine-dining options that include Stella Bleu Bistro, Mel Urban Bistro, The Winds Cafe, O'Conners Irish Pub, and Cecil & Lime. A few casual options available are Guerro’s Krazy Tacos, Hickory Inn, and Mother Stewart’s Brewing Company.


Places to visit in town and nearby include Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westcott House, Hartman Rock Garden, Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve, Springfield Museum of Art, and Young’s Jersey Dairy. Buck Creek offers kayaking and Ohio Caverns features many areas underground to explore.

Springfield is situated between Huntington Park in Columbus and Day Air Ballpark in Dayton, each venue is less than 45 minutes from Springfield. There are multiple lodging choices in town and along the five exits on I-70.


Fans 3

The average crowd is about 400-500 people per game but certain group nights bring out much more to the stadium. The ballpark is small and cozy where most people seem to know one another. A small-town and grassroots environment with everyone either enjoying the game on the diamond or just a night outside of the house.


Access 4

The ballpark is located two miles from downtown and off Mitchell Road on the outskirts of town. The stadium’s entrance appears quite suddenly with a sign directing motorists into the parking lot. The stadium’s 1,000-seat capacity and one concourse make getting around quite simple and effective for the first-time visitor.


Return on Investment 4

The price of a box seat is $15, general admission is $9 for adults, and $7 for children (ages 6-12), seniors, and members of the military. On Tuesday nights the cost of admission is $2 and on Wednesdays, all hot dogs are $1. The Kings feature a promo called the beer batter where if the opposing batter strikes out, all beers are a dollar off for the rest of the inning.


Concession prices are very reasonable with a hot dog priced at $4 and domestic draft beers selling for $5 a pint. Depending on what night you attend a game, you can be assured that it won’t break the bank or put a dent in your wallet.

Extras 3

The Kings earn a point for its $5 beer pints that are a dollar off during the beer batter promotion, $15 t-shirts that are of great quality, and for its chair back seating in all 1,056 seats.

Final Thoughts

Carleton Davidson Stadium is a very charming and perfectly-sized venue in the Prospect League. It looks like a ballpark and can stand out on its own providing a classic and simple experience of watching baseball in the small town of Springfield, Ohio. A nice little find somewhere in between two minor-league cities.

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