CommunityAmerica Ballpark

CommunityAmerica Ballpark

CommunityAmerica Ballpark is a minor league baseball stadium in Kansas City, Kansas, home of the Kansas City T-Bones of the independent Northern League, and the temporary home of the Kansas City Wizards (Major League Soccer). It is located in the Village West area at 1800 Village West Parkway. Many local area High School teams play at the ballpark and it is also the home of the Kansas City Kansas Community College Blue Devils. It has also been used for concerts and some community events.

Description

The ballpark is named after CommunityAmerica Credit Union, a Kansas City area financial institution, which bought the naming rights to the park.

The reported dimensions of CommunityAmerica are down the left field line (with an wall, affectionately known as "the Little Green Monster"), to left center, to dead center, to right center, and 328 down the right field line. Walls are about five feet high, with the exception of the Little Green Monster and the bullpen area in left center.

The walls are about high at the bullpens, which are in center field and add a few extra angles and contours to the outfield. The playing and seating areas are completely surrounded by a wide concourse.

With the addition of bleacher seats in 2008, the park has 6,537 fixed seats, though its capacity (including the concourse, picnic area, right field grass berm, and center field party area) is usually considered over 7,500.

History

Ground was broken on September 4, 2002, and was completed in just over nine months by Titan Construction, opening June 6 2003. Baseball had a record paid attendance of 10,345 on June 23, 2007. Major League Soccer attendance, with the new seating configuration, regularly exceeds 8,000, and its record paid attendance was 10,385 on March 29, 2008. The 2006 Northern League All-Star game was held at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on July 18th, with related festivities the day before.

The Kansas City Wizards are playing home games at the stadium while the team's new stadium is being designed. Because of the current soccer presence, the Baseball configuration has taken an unusual step. In most natural grass fields the base lines where baserunners run between bases is dirt. However, CommunityAmerica Ballpark now sports dirt sliding pits just around the three bases, homeplate, and the pitchers mound. This is obviously so grounds crews do not need to install excessive amounts of grass for each Wizards home game. On March 29, 2008, the Wizards played their first game at the ballpark and defeated D.C. United 2-0 in front of a sell-out crowd.

Before the start of the 2008 season, the left field berm area was replaced with permanent bleacher seats. Additional metal bleachers were added on the concourse running from behind the former left field berm to the bullpens in center field. This added 2,172 to the ballpark's fixed seating capacity, raising it from its originaly 4,365 fixed seats.

On June 3, 2007 the ballpark was the site of a world record-setting performance of the Deep Purple hit "Smoke on the Water" by 1683 guitarists, in a publicity stunt for KYYS radio.

References

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