Peoples Natural Gas Field Review
Review of Peoples Natural Gas Field Rating: 4.5
by Malcolm MacMillan
- Park's signature sight is roller coaster behind RF fence
- Formerly known as Blair County Ballpark
Perhaps the most recognizable sight associated with Peoples Natural Gas Field is actually outside the ballpark’s fences. It’s difficult to think of the Altoona Curve’s home field without also thinking of Lakemont Park, an amusement park located adjacent to the ballpark. Lakemont Park, which opened in more than 100 years ago in 1894, has four roller coasters, but it’s the Skyliner that gets the most attention from baseball fans. This ride, which opened in 1987, is located directly behind the right field fence at Peoples Natural Gas Field and makes for one of the most unique outfield scenes in baseball. The Skyliner can carry 18 people at a time and its cars are decorated with the colors of the Curve, as well as the slogan, “Go Curve.”
Despite the history just outside the fences of Peoples Natural Gas Field, the ballpark has an extremely new, well-kept feel to it. It opened in 1999 under the name Blair County Ballpark, but you’d almost swear it opened the year of your visit – it’s that pristine. The park took its current name in 2012 after signing a naming deal with Peoples Natural Gas.
The ballpark’s design is reminiscent of a historic railway station or roundhouse, which is logical, given Altoona’s key role in American railway history. (If you’re a history or railway buff, you might know that the famous Horseshoe Curve is just a short distance from the park.)
Peoples Natural Gas Field is comprised of two seating decks and a concourse that runs behind the lower seats. From the lower concourse, you can easily see the field regardless of where you’re standing, but when you’re in the upper concourse, you’ll only be able to see through to the field from certain areas.
The ballpark has an official capacity of 7,210, putting it roughly in the middle of the Eastern League in terms of stadium attendance. When the Curve hosted the 2006 Eastern League All-Star Game, standing-room tickets raised the game’s capacity to more than 9,300. The field is 325 feet to left, 405 to center and 325 to right.
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