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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

Pioneer Park - Greeneville FlyBoys

Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29

Pioneer Park 135 Shiloh Rd Greeneville, TN 37743

Year Opened: 1962 Capacity: 56,000


Flying High in Greeneville

The Appalachian League celebrated its 100th anniversary in Greeneville, Tennessee in 2021. The first team was the Burley Cubs who operated on and off until 1942, and it wasn’t until 2004 when baseball came back that the Houston Astros, followed by the Cincinnati Reds, placed a club at the new ballpark.

The construction of Pioneer Park was a philanthropic endeavor from Tusculum alumni Scott Niswonger. The local businessman donated $5 million for the construction of the baseball stadium for the college and then the minor league ball club. It returned professional baseball to town for the first time since 1942.

In 2021, a new era of summer collegiate baseball began at Pioneer Park with the introduction of the Greeneville Flyboys. The name pays homage to the historic airfield that once existed on the site of the ballpark at Tusculum University. They were both built on an airfield that was used for World War II and closed two years after the fighting ended in 1947.

Food & Beverage 3

There is the main concession stand on the concourse that offers items from hot dogs, brats, burgers, barbecue sandwiches, nachos, pizza, and barbecue nachos for anywhere from $3 to $7. Coca-Cola products are available for purchase at $3 to $5. Beer is sold in 16 and 24-ounce cups at $5 and $6. There are various points of sale throughout the ballpark as well, offering similar items.

Atmosphere 3

The ballpark was built to double a standard that includes awning-covered seats from the foul line to the foul line that is enveloped by a brick interior and exterior. All of the 2,572 seats are theater-style and painted in dark green. The look is similar to many higher-level ballparks from the last 25 years but stands out quite well in the Appy League.

There is usually a nice crowd of around 1,000 or so folks at the game, but the ballpark feels much larger than it should. The concourses are wide and spacious, grass seating is available down the third baseline, and a team store called The Flight Deck offers a selection of new gear from caps to t-shirts.

The two things that stand out at Pioneer Park are its ornate entrance that features large baseball sculptures, a baseball-shaped garden, a brick tower, and beautifully landscaped trees and bushes. The second area is the Greeneville Baseball Museum which is inside the team offices that also features a baseball-shaped ceiling, plus a glass-encased exhibit of both professional and collegiate baseball in the city.

Neighborhood 3

The ballpark is located on the campus of Tusculum College and it blends in quite nicely with surrounding buildings on the 140-acre campus. Head into town and visit the Andrew Johnson Historic Site on Monument Ave. The 17th president of the United States is from Greeneville and is honored throughout the city. You can visit the City Garage Car Museum if you are not feeling presidential.

There are quite a bit of restaurants nearby to choose from that including Brumley’s, Butcher’s Block, Smoking Pig BBQ, Aunt Bea’s, FATZ, and Gondolier Italian Restaurant.

As with a few other cities in the Appy League, Pioneer Park is close to two other clubs in the league. TVA Credit Union Ballpark in Johnson City and Riverside Park in Elizabethon are both within less than an hour’s drive. It is more than possible to squeeze in three games during a two-day stay, or perhaps a multiple-city doubleheader when in town.

Fans 3

The Flyboys have a nice selection of fans who come out to the ballpark and cheer on the home team. They take notice of the action on the field, applaud when the team scores, and comment when they do not agree with the umpire. A few enjoy just being at the game with friends and family.

Access 4

Once inside the ballpark, the seating bowl allows fans to walk down to their seat. A large concourse wraps from the foul line to the foul line providing ample room to move around during the game. Concessions, the team shop, restrooms, and an information booth are located on the wide concourse.

Return on Investment 4

The price of a ticket is $7 and $8, concession prices are affordable, and parking is free for all games. It is a beautifully constructed ballpark that is in a class all by itself in the Appy League. The setting around the ballpark is also quite nice.

Extras 3

The ballpark earns a point for the Greeneville Baseball Museum, the baseball-shaped garden at the main entrance, and the stadium-style seats throughout the seating bowl.

Final Thoughts

A nice, little ballpark in the Appy League. It should be included on your next visit to the area where multiple stadiums in the league are available for a long weekend of baseball and fun.

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