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  • Marc Viquez

Parkview Field – Fort Wayne TinCaps



Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.71

Parkview Field 1301 Ewing St Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Fort Wayne TinCaps website Parkview Field website

Year Opened: 2009 Capacity: 8,100

 

The Apple of Ft. Wayne’s Eyes

Parkview Field is the home of the Ft. Wayne TinCaps and attracted well over 4,000,000 people to their beautiful downtown facility. The stadium opened in 2009 and spearheaded redeveloped the surrounding area from apartments, office buildings, restaurants, and new hotels. In a little over a decade, the ballpark has become a fan favorite of ballpark hunters and travelers, along with the Ft. Wayne community.

The TinCaps began their existence in 1993 as a Single-A Midwest League affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The team was relocated from Kenosha after the support of a new ballpark never materialized. The franchise dates back to 1947 when based in Mattoon, Illinois. The city had been without a minor league baseball club since 1948 and constructed the $6 million Memorial Stadium in the parking lot across from the Allen County Memorial Coliseum.

However, the times changed dramatically in ballpark aesthetics, and Memorial Stadium became obsolete and a relic. A planned downtown ballpark known as Harrison Square would be built for $30 million and include a hotel and parking deck. The effort was to redevelop downtown and was met with mixed reactions from many ballpark fans. That quickly dissipated when Parkview Field opened its doors in 2009.

Today, the ballpark and area attract thousands of people to games, new businesses have relocated downtown, and abandoned buildings have been repurposed for entertainment usage. Ft. Wayne is now a happening place to be for many in the area. The team also went to the TinCaps and its clever apple logo with a tin pot for a hat, an homage to local legend Johnny Appleseed.

What is it like to attend a Fort Wayne TinCaps game? Keep reading to find out more about one of Minor League Baseball most revered ballparks.


Food & Beverage 5

The food selection at Parkview Field is impressive and includes a wide range of options. Fans can dig into hot dogs, nachos, and burgers. They also can enjoy the lighter fare of salads, hummus, and black bean burgers. Asian rice bowls, barbecue nachos, and Buffalo chicken sticks are a bit more adventurous.

There are four main concession areas on the main concourse located down each baseline with a unique item at each area, including pork tenderloin, assorted pizzas, corn dogs, boneless wings, elephant ears, and chicken chips.

The Hot Corner (Section 107) offers cheesesteaks, chicken cheesesteaks, and cheesesteak nachos. Another popular area is the Bases Loaded BBQ stand (Section 110), featuring barbecue pork and beef brisket sandwiches, grilled chicken strips and wings, and barbecue nachos. There is also the option of gluten-free buns.

In keeping up with the apple theme; the Apple Cart sells sweet eats, including apple dumplings, apple crisps, apple pie, and cheesecake. A few more dessert options include Oreo churros, funnel cakes, Dippin Dots, Siberian Chill Frozen Drinks, and hand-dipped Edy’s ice cream.

The Third Base Bar (Section 114) and Leinie Lodge (Section home plate entrance) offer around 12 drafts and 19 bottled beers, wine, and wine slushies, plus rotating beers every homestand at the Leinie Lodge. Domestic beers, premium beers, wine, wine slushies, and mixed drinks are at common ballpark prices.

Atmosphere 5

TinCap games are a highly attended event, and one can expect to find a festive atmosphere throughout the ballpark. The spacious wraparound concourse takes visitors on a journey through various points of the ballpark that should appeal to the single visitor, families, and large groups of co-workers.

The park is known for its myriad of picnic and group outings seating areas, highlighted by the Tuthill 400 Club perched atop the centerfield wall providing a bird’s eye view of the diamond and the downtown skyline. Adjacent, in the right field, is the Ortho Northeast Rooftops, designed to offer groups of 50 or more a Wrigley-Esque rooftop experience. The Xfinity Home Run Porch is atop the left-field wall featuring extra-padded seats, food rails, and an overhead trellis.

If you are at the game by yourself, there are plenty of options to view the game up close and personal. The seats behind the backstop are among the closest in minor league baseball, and grass berm outfield seating offers a great option to lay out the blanket, catch some rays, and enjoy the game, but unlike some ballparks, you are not allowed to bring in any outside food.

The left-field section offers a collection of downtown restaurants, offering patio seating that extends into the concourse. Wine Down and O’Reilly’s Irish Bar and Restaurant are two of the popular dining options. Robert E. Myers Park, located behind center field. It is open to the public from dusk to dawn and features a mini-amphitheater. Fans can enjoy a walk around the stadium’s concourse during non-games. A popular spot for kids is the splash zone and the playground down the first baseline. If you are with the kids, bring a bathing suit and towel.

The Orchard team store is an impressive souvenir store offering merchandise for all shapes and sizes, along with the team’s mascot Johnny, who can be seen walking around the stadium posing for pictures and providing hugs to fans of all ages.

Neighborhood 4

When the ballpark was in its planning stages, the hope was to revitalize the downtown area. In the decade since its opening, you can see the results from the construction of new hotels, living spaces, businesses moving their headquarters downtown, and the development of Electric Works in the old GE Building. Before the ballpark opened, the downtown had around 600 residents but has blossomed to 2,000.

However, few traditional spots have been in town a combined total of 195 years in business. Ft. Wayne’s Famous Coney Island opened in 1914 and has not changed much in appearance, offering it topped with meat sauce and chopped onion. The dogs taste best sitting on the wooden stool countertops with mini glass bottles of Coca-Cola. You can also enter and exit the shop via the kitchen, ala Goodfellas style.

Powers Hamburger Restaurant grills up sliders with mounds of sweet onions and ranks up there with the great American hamburger. The small shop is located near the end of the stadium’s parking lot and attracts a large audience.

A few miles away, Summit City Brewerks is housed in the former Wayne Bun Candy Company that offers a laid-back atmosphere with billiard tables, pinball machines, and an outside patio. The brewery features the original flooring from the old candy factory that opened in the early 1920s.

Fans 5

The fans responded with a resounding impact when the TinCaps took the field in 2009. The ball club has averaged well over 4,000 fans a game since, and the many group areas are packed for the majority of the year. The ballpark has become the focal point of downtown, and you will always find a great gathering of people at Parkview Field.

Access 4

The downtown ballpark is within 5 miles of the major interstates of I-69 and I-469. There are one-way streets that bring visitors in and out quickly through the city, and there are various lots near the ballpark. Once inside, the concourse is spacious and wraps around for access to all areas, including the gift shop, restrooms, concession areas, playground area, and exits.

Return on Investment 5

There are multiple price points for single-game tickets, beginning with the extremely affordable $6 lawn seats. The reserved seating down each baseline is $10 and offers theater-style seating, while All-Star seats behind the backstop and home run porch seats in left field are $12. The home run porch offers padded seating and food and drink rails overlooking the field for group outings but is available for $12 when not filled.

The Legacy seats are $15 and are located behind the main seating bowl providing fans with a personal food rail, wider padded seats, and personal wait service. The highest-priced tickets are the $45 box seats, located down the third-base line; these spacious private boxes include four chairs situated around a high-top table.

There are five lots adjacent to the ballpark that are $6, plus a few more city lots within 2-3 blocks from the front entrance of the main entrance. The merchandise options are plentiful and are reasonably priced among other ballparks in the minor leagues. Food options are varied and fairly priced.

Extras 5

Parkview Field gets a point for the public park in centerfield that features an amphitheater and splash pad. The park itself is open throughout the day from dawn to dusk, providing fans the option to enjoy the ballpark for eating, running, and networking.

Another point is for the bold views from The Treetops and Club 400 seating areas; these areas are sold in groups of 50 or more and provide spectacular vantage points for a minor league baseball stadium. The open space below The Treetops serves home to a farmers market on Saturday mornings.

A third point for the ticket prices that begin at only $6; even if you loathe baseball, there is no excuse to buy a ticket and enjoy the many other festivities occurring during the ballgame with friends and family.

A fourth point is for the full-time front office staff and game-day workers; they are well trained, enthusiastic, and go the extra mile to make every fan’s visit to Parkview Field an enjoyable one.

A fifth and final point is for the ballpark being the emphasis of attracting people to downtown Ft. Wayne. In the decade since its opening, there have been new hotels, living areas, restaurants, and redevelopment of older buildings within blocks of the stadium.

Final Thoughts

Parkview Field is one of my favorite places in the minor leagues, and before its construction, I never looked forward to a visit to Ft. Wayne. It has opened my eyes, and many others, to the downtown area that has changed dramatically since the ballpark’s opening. Redevelopment is still taking place around the stadium, and it has also attracted a few other sports teams to town.

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Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunter and his YouTube channel.



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