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  • Lloyd Brown

Fluor Field – Greenville Drive


Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.43

Fluor Field at the West End 945 S Main St Greenville, SC 29601

Greenville Drive website Fluor Field website

Year Opened: 2006 Capacity: 5,000

 

You’re in the Drive’s Seat Here

The Greenville Drive are the Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The team is a member of the South Atlantic League. They have sent more than 80 players on to the major leagues, including present Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts, Anthony Rizzo and Clay Buchholtz.

The affiliation with the Red Sox will become readily apparent when fans arrive at Fluor Field, the home of the Drive since 2006. The 6,700-seat facility was built to replicate the features of Fenway Park. It has the same field dimensions as Fenway and also features both a Green Monster wall in left field and a Pesky’s Pole on the right field baseline. Even the scoreboard is hand operated, just like Fenway’s. The team store features both Drive and Red Sox gear and the fans sing “Sweet Caroline” in the middle of the 8th inning. All that seems to be missing is the Citgo sign over the outfield wall.

Food & Beverage 4

The stadium is serviced by seven concession locations, with the Splendid Splinter and the 7th Inning Stretch serving the typical baseball fare, including hot dogs ($3), hamburgers ($5.50), pizza ($6), peanuts ($5), popcorn ($4.50), crackers jacks ($3), and pretzels ($3.25). Drink options include Pepsi brand sodas ($3 ), bottled water ($3), domestic beers (Coors Light, Yuengling and Miller Lite) for $6 and craft beers (Blue Moon, Foothills Hoppyum, Sweetwater 420 and Angry Orchard) for $7.

The other concessions are more product specific. Both Subway and Chick-fil-A have locations in the park. Que’s BBQ serves pulled pork sandwiches ( $5), brisket ($5) and a variety of sides. Carrera Cantina features a Mexican menu, including tacos ($6 for two), burritos ($6) and quesadillas ($6). To finish filling your stomach you can visit Sweet Caroline’s for an ice cream (single scoop for $4, double scoop for $5 and a Base Bowl Sundae for $8… it feeds two!) .

Atmosphere 5

In addition to the Fenway Park – like features, Fluor Field also honors the past by using reclaimed bricks from mills that used to be the economic engine for the Greenville area. The Heritage Plaza in the stadium features details on what mill life was like and the important role baseball played in providing recreation for the workers through mill-sponsored teams. It also utilizes a renovated building – The Fieldhouse – that overlooks the Green Monster for its Rooftop at Fluor Field is a special event space.

Fluor Field does break away from the Fenway mold in its seating layout. All seating, except for suites and special event spaces, is found below the concourse. No seat in the public area of the park is farther than 13 rows from the field, making for a very intimate feel with the action on the field. There is no seating beyond the foul poles, except for a limited number of seats atop the Green Monster. A grassy berm is located along the third baseline, providing general admission seating for fans who enjoy a more natural setting in which to enjoy the game.

Neighborhood 5

Fluor Field is located in the West End neighborhood of Greenville, now one of the trendiest areas of the city. It is filled with shops, art galleries and some of the top restaurants in town. Two restaurants you’ll want to check out are Smoke on the Water and the Growler Haus, which is known for its wide inventory of local craft beers.

Two attractions are within walking distance of Fluor Field. The Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum celebrates the baseball achievements of a Greenville native who may or may not have been rightfully implicated in the Black Sox scandal. A second “must see” is the Falls Park on the Reedy. This stunning park is set along the Reedy River, which cuts through downtown Greenville. It features the stunning Liberty Bridge, a public garden and a series of nature trails that follow several small waterfalls as the river descends in elevation.

Several hotels in the area also provide excellent access to the stadium. The newest is the Homewood Suites on South Main Street, which opened in the spring of 2019 and is only a few steps from the field.

Fans 4

Greenville has always had a love affair with baseball. Back in the days when textile mills were the primary industry in the town, it was not unusual for each mill to sponsor a baseball team in a league consisting of the other mills in town. This was done to provide a recreational break from the very demanding work done in the mills, and to build some team spirit amongst the mill workers. Many professional ballplayers in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s came from mill leagues, as they usually were in great physical condition and had more experience due to the moderate weather in the south that allowed for a longer baseball season.

The Drive fans are also stimulated by the fact that they have two other Palmetto State teams as rivals. The games with the Columbia Fireflies and the Charleston RiverDogs are guaranteed sellouts, and the fans also travel in large numbers to the opposition’s stadiums as well.

Fans love the antics of Reedy Rip’ It, a frog from the nearby Reedy River who loves baseball. He takes part in all the between innings activities and makes regular visits up into the stands to greet the fans.

Access 4

Greenville, SC is a two-hour drive from Atlanta and a 90-minute drive from Charlotte during non-rush hour times. Fluor Park is easily reached via I-85.

There is little or no parking at Fluor Field. The team utilizes the nearby Greenville County Square parking deck to handle the parking for game days. There is no charge to park in this deck and a free shuttle runs every 15 minutes between the parking deck and the stadium. The parking deck is located at 301 University Ridge, Greenville, SC 29601.

There are multiple gates entering the stadium, so the flow of fans is excellent. The concourse runs atop the stands and is wide enough for easy passage. All stadium services are located at the concourse level, except the premium suites and special event areas, which can be reached via elevator.

Return on Investment 5

A visit to Fluor Field in the West End will not “drive up” your bill and provides an excellent return on investment. Ticket prices are very reasonable at a range of $8 to $16.

The concession prices are lower than you find at most parks and the venue offers a wide variety of menu options.

The parking and the shuttle to/from the park are free and most of the restaurants and attractions are within walking distance of the park.

Visitors from as far away as Atlanta or Charlotte can attend a game as a day trip, negating the cost of overnight lodging. If you are making Greenville your stay for a long weekend, downtown hotels average $100 a night, and cheaper rates can be found along I-85 as it enters Greenville.

Extras 4

In addition to Drive games, Fluor Field hosts the Southern Conference Baseball Tournament on an annual basis. It also hosts the Reedy River Rivalry, a game between the Clemson Tigers and the USC Gamecocks. Each school plays a game on their home field, with the game at Fluor Field serving as a neutral site for the third game in the series. The game is always a sellout.

The Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum also deserves its own extra. In addition to telling Shoeless Joe’s story, it provides a fascinating look at the world of baseball in the 1900’s. It is located across the street from the stadium.

Fluor Field deserves an extra for its faithful recreation of the “Fenway Feel” in a stadium more than 600 miles south of the original. It also deserves credit for incorporating Greenville’s mill baseball heritage into several areas of the park.

The city of Greenville deserves a salute for coming back after the collapse of the mill-based economy and transforming itself into a destination city with numerous attractions, a foodie culture and revitalized neighborhoods. Numerous national publications have highlighted Greenville for this turnaround, both in the business and tourism sector.

Final Thoughts

Fans visiting Fluor Field for the first time will be amazed at the amenities offered at this Class A level ballpark. The architecture, large number of seating options, in-game entertainment and wide assortment of concession offerings are more typically found at AAA level ballparks. Add to that the many dining and entertainment options surrounding the park for some pre or post game fun. It’s no wonder that this stadium puts so many people in the Drive’s seats.

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