- Lloyd Brown
Regions Field – Birmingham Barons
Photos by Lloyd Brown Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86
Regions Field 1401 1st Ave S Birmingham, AL 35233
Year Opened: 2013
The Barons of Birmingham
The Birmingham Barons are the AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. They have played baseball on and off since 1885. They have won 14 league titles over that span and now play in the Southern League. The team has played in three stadiums since the beginning of the 20th century, including Rickwood Field (1920-1987), Hoover Metropolitan Stadium (1988-2012), and their current home, Regions Field, since 2013.
Regions Field has a capacity of 8,500, which includes the General Admission berms located in the outfield. The two-level seating bowl runs down both baselines to the foul poles, with some additional seating located on the home run porch in right field.
Food & Beverage 5
Regions Field offers excellent food and beverage experiences, both in the number of concessions stands available and in the wide selection of menu items to choose from. There are enough purchase points within the park to assure you will not encounter a line or a long wait for your food.
The largest concession areas can be found down the first and third baselines of the concourse. They offer brats ($6), hamburgers ($7), cheeseburgers ($8), footlong corn dogs ($5), hot dogs ($4), nachos ($4.50), Papa John’s 9’ pizzas ($9), fries ($4), peanuts ($4.50), popcorn ($4) and candy ($3.50). Beverage options include Coca-Cola brand sodas ($5.25), Powerade ($5.25), bottled water ($4.25), and 16 oz. draft beers ($8).
Pushcarts offer a more limited or focused menu. These include Snow Cone City, which offers Snow Cones ($5), lemonade ($6), cotton candy ($6), and the Dippin’ Dots cart which offers several flavors of its ice cream for $6.
Adult beverages are offered at the Coors Light Cool Zone along the concourse in center field. The bar offers domestic beers in a can ($2.50), premium beers in a can ($5), and wine for $3.50.
The left field corner of the ballpark includes the Magic City Food Court. It features the Ballpark Grille, which carries a chicken Philly ($10), a beef Philly ($10), brats ($6), and sunflower seeds ($3.50). The food court also has Birmingham’s favorite Dreamland BBQ serving up some tasty food. Dreamland offers BBQ Pork sandwiches ($8.50), BBQ Beef sandwiches ($8.50), Magic City Dogs ($8.50), and a Rack of Ribs ($22).
Regions Field has areas set aside for eating in multiple sections around the concourse. These include the Parkside Picnic Area, the Papa John’s Party Pad, the Magic City Food Court, and the Switchyard. Drink and eating rails encircle the seating bowl and offer unobstructed views of the action while you are enjoying your food.
Regions Field provides an excellent setting in which to enjoy a baseball game. There is not a bad seat in the house, and there are numerous activities available during a game, so the whole family will be entertained. The ballpark has plenty of bells and whistles for any age level. While fans enjoy the game, the kids (adults too!) can have their photos taken with Barons mascots Babe Ruff and Lillie Mays or play in the Family Fun Park. The batting cages are on the right field concourse, and you can watch the Barons players warm up prior to the game. The Barons Sports Depot has plenty of items to choose from for any member of the family.
The team has skits and contests for the fans to compete in between every inning. The scoreboard and left field also provide trivia and entertainment throughout the game.
Birmingham has come a long way from its steel mill days. The city has used sports stadiums like Regions Field and Protective Stadium to revitalize its urban core.
The streets around Regions Field are filled with restaurants and drinking establishments to enjoy before or after a game. These include Roots & Revelry and Good People Brewing Company. Attractions include the Railroad Park across the street from the stadium and the Negro Southern League Museum located just outside the stadium gates in center field. Lodging near Regions Park is available at the Hilton Garden Inn or the Courtyard Marriott.
The Birmingham Barons typically lead the Southern League in attendance. Part of this is due to the team’s long history in the city, with generations of families growing up as Baron fans. The proximity to three different interstates also makes it easy for visiting team fans to travel to an away game. Barons’ fans are very knowledgeable about baseball and are quick to tell you about the many future big leaguers that have donned the Barons jersey at the beginning of their career. The Barons always draw their biggest crowds when the visiting team is the Montgomery Biscuits. The proximity of the two cities makes this a fierce, but friendly rivalry.
The fans have a special tradition that makes the 7th inning stretch a very touching moment. The stadium lights are dimmed, and fans turn on their cell phone lights. They then wave to the patients at the Children’s of Alabama Pediatric Hospital located just a few blocks from the park. The children in turn wave back from the windows of their hospital rooms.
Regions Park is in downtown Birmingham, with easy access via I-20, I-65, and I-59.
From I-65 North: Take exit 259 (University Avenue) onto University Avenue towards 14th Street South. Turn left onto 14th Street South towards 1st Avenue South and Regions Field.
From I-20 West or East: Take I-65 South exit from I-20. Take exit 259B (4th Avenue South) towards 13th Avenue South. Turn right on 13th Avenue South and then turn left at 6th Avenue South. Turn left onto 14th Street South.
Once you arrive at the stadium area, there are more than 2,500 parking spaces within a few blocks of Regions Field. The Barons use http://www.clutch.com to manage their parking. Prepay for your parking and you will receive directions to your specific lot.
You can enter Regions Park through any of the four main sets of gates, which are found behind home plate, along the third baseline, and one entrance each in center and right field. Gates open 60 minutes before the first pitch. Concourses are wide and easy to navigate.
Return on Investment 4
Fans will receive good value for their money at Regions Field. The concession prices are very reasonable. Parking at one of the many Regions Field lots starts at just $5, with free side street parking for persons arriving well ahead of the game. Tickets begin at $10 for general admission seats and run up to $20 for dugout premium seats directly behind home plates. Persons purchasing their tickets in advance of gameday will save $3 per ticket over gameday prices.
Regions Field is located across the street from Railroad Park, which runs along the side of the main rail line as it heads out of Birmingham. The 19-acre park offers walking/jogging trails, playgrounds, public art, and concert plazas. Information on the park is available at http://www.railroadpark.org
Each season the Barons play a Turn Back the Clock game at their former home at Rickwood Park. The Rickwood Classic features vintage uniforms, music of the era, and hand-changed scoreboards.
Michael Jordan played for one entire season with the Barons. He batted .202 with 3 home runs and 51 RBIs. He also stole 30 bases.
Several MLB stars have worn the Barons uniform at some point in their careers. Amongst the notable players are Reggie Jackson, Rollie Fingers, Frank Thomas, Vida Blue, Bert Campaneris, Robin Ventura, and Wally Backman.
Regions Field provides a great gameday experience for the whole family. The park is very well designed and offers several special activity areas to entertain all age groups. The stadium has drawn development to this previously barren area of downtown Birmingham. With new housing, restaurants, and other forms of entertainment going up on all sides of the ballpark.