Ballpark Digest released its Ballparks of the Decade selection on October 1st that features three stadiums of which the Lloyd Sports + Engineering team proudly served as the civil and sports engineers! The following excerpt is the three Lloyd-designed stadiums featured in Ballpark Digest’s article.
MILB DOUBLE-A: REGIONS FIELD, BIRMINGHAM BARONS (2013)
Pro baseball returned to Birmingham proper with the opening of Regions Field, which helped revitalize an underused portion of the city. What we wrote upon our first visit to Regions Field:
First impressions can shape the ballpark experience, and the Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League) seem to be keeping that in mind at Regions Field. Regardless of which entrance point they choose, fans are greeted by a stunning glimpse of the ballpark, setting the stage for what is ultimately one of the best game day experiences in Minor League Baseball.
With a red brick exterior mixed with steel, Regions Field has a very classic appearance that is meant to be viewed from multiple angles. The most eye-catching view is along 14th street, which is characterized by the signature BIRMINGHAM sign. Fans entering via Railroad Park will be greeted by a nicely designed brick facade that features the Barons’ logo, while the outfield entrance is highlighted by an open view of the playing surface.
MILB TRIPLE-A: LAS VEGAS BALLPARK, LAS VEGAS AVIATORS (2019)
Howard Hughes Corp. embarked on the construction of Las Vegas Ballpark as a core attraction for its planned community, Summerlin. As part of the $150 million project, the Pacific Coast League Las Vegas Aviators benefitted from a new facility that seems to offer everything fans could want while offering plenty of amenities on the player side as well. What we wrote when Las Vegas Ballpark opened:
With a sleek grandstand design unlike any in baseball and plenty of attention paid to the small details, Las Vegas Ballpark, home of the Las Vegas Aviators (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) stands out amidst the glitz of Sin City and becomes one of the most noteworthy MiLB ballparks.
The result of two decades of work by Aviators President/Chief Operating Officer Don Logan, Las Vegas Ballpark opened up last month in the Vegas suburb of Summerlin. The location is a good one: next to the Red Rock Casino complex (which, in fact, does take action on the Aviators), the Vegas Golden Knights (NHL) practice facility and a planned downtown district, Las Vegas Ballpark benefits from easy access from a nearby freeway, three major streets and plenty of side streets.
SPRING TRAINING: SALT RIVER FIELDS AT TALKING STICK, ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS/COLORADO ROCKIES (2011)
The last 15 years have seen a significant reimagining of the spring-training ballpark, both as a fan experience and as a player-development center. Gone is the model of a basic ballpark surrounded by training fields and rudimentary clubhouses. Instead, we have immersive experiences where fans are invited to stroll through playing fields to get a closer look at their favorite players, along with ballparks with plenty of amenities and shade. What we wrote when Salt River Fields at Talking Stick opened:
In a year that saw several noteworthy new ballparks, one stood out as a way that fundamentally rethought how a spring-training facility should work, while at the same time being the first Major League Baseball (MLB) ballpark to be awarded LEED Gold Certification. Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the new spring home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, is the clear choice for the 2011 Ballpark of the Year.
That new approach is apparent when fans first approach the complex. Instead of herding fans to one or two ballpark entrances, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick gives them four different and distinct entrances. The ballpark is placed at the center of the complex, allowing fans to meander through practice fields before the game. The berm is the largest in spring training, providing space for 4,000 fans to do what they really love at spring training: grab a cold one and sprawl out in the sun. Add to that a strong presence from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community — the project hosts — and you have a unique spring-training environment.