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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

Huntington Park – Columbus Clippers

Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

Huntington Park 330 Huntington Park Lane Columbus, OH 43215

Year Opened: 2009

Capacity: 10,100


Columbus Clippers Throws its Hat into the Ring

The home of the Columbus Clippers is quite an accomplishment for the capital of Columbus. The $70 million ballpark brought the club downtown after nearly 80 years at Cooper Stadium. The construction was part of The Arena District, which shares space with Nationwide Arena a few yards away from the ballpark. Huntington Park is one of those Triple-A ballparks that should please many fans in attendance.

The brick ballpark was designed by 360 Architecture and seats 10,100 people. The stadium features 32 suites, 42 loge boxes, and 650 club seats. The Left Field Building includes three levels: a 110-foot bar and gift shop on the bottom floor, 6 open patios on the second floor, and rooftop seating on the third floor. Throughout the facility, there are numerous areas worth visiting that are appealing to die-hard fans, young fans, and the occasional customer out for a night out with friends.

When the stadium opened on April 18, 2009, it broke attendance records for the Clippers and created an atmosphere that could not have been matched at its former home. There is a lot of history inside the brick walls of the ballpark that dates back to 1902 when minor league baseball began in the city.

The city was represented by various clubs: Columbus Senators, Red Birds, and Jets. The current Clipper franchise debuted in 1977 as an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, before a long relationship with the New York Yankees, followed by the Washington Nationals and now the Cleveland Guardians.

Food & Beverage 4

There are eight concession stands on the main concourse between sections 1 and 8. The options include the usual: hot dogs, brats, burgers, chicken sandwiches, cheesesteaks, and nachos. There are also buffalo chicken sandwiches, Italian sausages, Italian subs, and chicken tender baskets.

On the lighter side, the ballpark offers hummus platters, veggie subs, salads, and paninis. On the sweeter side, the options include Greater’s Ice Cream, frozen custard, creamsicle floaties, churro donuts, cookies, and root beer floats.

There are multiple beer carts spread out that offer beer from Ohio along with a few regional choices. Sibling Revelry Brewing, Columbus Brewing, Land Grant, Brew Dog, Great Lakes, and Platform Beer Company are a few of the varieties. Leinenkugel, Alaskan, and Yeungling can also be found along with macro breweries of Bud, Coors, and Miller. If you are not a beer fan, cocktails, wines, mixers, alcoholic seltzers, and Clubtails Summer varieties are available.

Dirty Frank’s Upper Deck, a local hot dog eatery, opened in late May 2022 on the 3rd floor of the ballpark. The location features the Strike Out Dog: coney sauce, tater tots, jalapenos, and popper sauce (a mix of cheddar and cream cheese).

Atmosphere 4

It is hard to start with the atmosphere at the ballpark, but one can begin at the outfield entrance, where a raised plaza level features a bronze statue of Harold Cooper “The Father of Columbus Baseball.” Fans walk through the gates and are greeted by lawn seating, a children’s play area, and the Left Field Building which includes three levels: a 110-foot bar and gift shop on the bottom floor, 6 open patios on the second floor, and rooftop seating on the third floor. There are also plenty of kiosks serving craft beer, large bags of walking tacos, and other ballpark snacks.

Once fans walk down the left-field line they will find themselves surrounded by trees, bench seating, and more kiosks. The area has more of a city park atmosphere and fans can enjoy themselves away from the action on the field. The brick exterior of the stadium provides a backdrop for faux-painted ads.

The concession stands near the first and third base areas face the field and offer an inviting way to wait in line while enjoying the game at the same time. Instead of your back to the game, the island-shaped concession stands take orders from all areas. This design element leaves the exterior walls open or covered with old-fashioned signage or a series of informal panels dubbed “The Speed of the Game.” The panels offer facts about facets of the game, from types of pitching, hitting, base stealing, and the style of ballplayers. These two designs set the ballpark apart from others in the league.

Down the right-field line is a 22-foot wall that overlooks and provides an appealing vantage point that also sets the venue apart. The distance to the home plate is a measly 318 feet and was created to fit neatly on Nationwide Blvd. Underneath the wall are windows where fans on the street get a free look at the Clippers, many of whom might be on their way to a soccer game at Field a few yards away.

The Clippers home provides history, interesting facts, unique places to watch the game, and open seating to view the game. It is suggested to check out a few areas before finding a spot to enjoy the game. Huntington Park has everything but a wraparound concourse, but fans are allowed to re-enter the ballpark with a scan of their ticket.

Neighborhood 4 Field is part of the Arena District that includes the home of the Columbus Crew baseball team, Field, and the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey club Nationwide Arena. The district offers mixed-used plan development of residential and retail space. There are more than 22 different eateries and bars located within a few steps of the building that are hopping before and after the game.

The R Bar is the official hockey watering hole that sits across a small pedestrian bridge offering 16 beers on tap and 32 bottles and cans. Goodwood Brewery and Restaurant and Whistle & Key are also in this area providing outdoor seating and plenty of people-watching. If with the kids, Boston’s Pizza and Ted’s Montana Grill are two nearby choices. The indoor and outdoor concert venue KEMBA Live! and A&R Music Bar are located next to the arena, which provides an ideal later-night atmosphere.

Fans 4

Clippers fans have been among the best in the minor leagues since the ballpark opened in 2009. The team has finished number 2 or 3 the past several seasons, and with a combination of ardent baseball fans, folks enjoying a night downtown, or others taking advantage of free promotion, you have among the best in minor league baseball.

Access 3

The main Huntington Park entrance is located at the corner of Neil Ave and Nationwide Blvd. It is where most fans will enter the stadium, but there are a few more on each baseline and behind home plate. The outfield entrance is similar to Victory Field, a few hours west of Indianapolis, and transports fans throughout the concourse. The stadium does not have a 360-degree concourse, with customers having to walk outside the ballpark down the right-field side of the stadium.

Return on Investment 5

The least expensive ticket option is $6 ($8 day of the game), and this includes the lawn seating, left-field bleachers, and standing-room-only sections behind the seating bowl. Tickets for seating down the baseline are $8 ($10 the day of the game). The seating near both dugouts costs $18. Sections 6 to 16 behind are reserved for groups. Parking can be found for as low as $4 behind the home plate entrance (in between the ballpark and the soccer stadium).

The prices for food, beverages, and merchandise are similar to many other Triple-A ballparks in the International League. There is a wealth of local craft beer and multiple kiosks; the gift shop is massive and features current and throwback merchandise and various promotional nights that include Dime-A-Dog Night, Dollar Days, and Thirsty Thursdays. In regards to other ballparks, the Clippers give you quite a bang for your buck.

Extras 4

Huntington Park allows fans a free look at the ballpark from the main street. The second point is for the left-field building that houses a bar, gift shop, patio seating, and rooftop seating. The third point is for the history displayed from the old ballparks, former team banners, and various players and their style of play throughout the stadium. The final point is given to the overall design incorporating brick columns, a city park picnic area, and a 22-foot wall that overlooks the right field.

Final Thoughts

Huntington Park is a fabulous Triple-A ballpark that offers a lot to everyone who walks through its entrances. Tickets and parking are affordable, sections of the ballparks are situated for fans of all ages, and there are plenty of promotional nights to save fans a buck or two. All one has to do is sit back and enjoy the baseball game.

Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on YouTube @ballparkhunter, Twitter @ballparkhunter, and Instagram.

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