Metro Bank Park Review
Review of Metro Bank Park Rating: 5
by Malcolm MacMillan
- Recent renovation gives park a nearly-new feel
- Highlights include boardwalk, unique seating
Metro Bank Park has been home to the Harrisburg Senators since they became a Minor League Baseball franchise in 1987, but don’t worry – this park doesn’t remotely look like it’s been around that long. The ballpark received a huge facelift to the tune of more than $30 million in 2008, so this park looks nearly new. The ballpark has an official capacity of 6,187 and measurements of 325 feet to left field, 400 feet to center field and 325 feet to right field. Most notably, the park has a concourse, named the boardwalk, that wraps around the entire field, several unique seating options and a general atmosphere that makes watching a game in Harrisburg perfect.
Metro Bank Park is such a treat that you’ll want to get inside as soon as the gates open to give yourself as much time as possible to explore. The park’s key focal point might be its concourse – known as the boardwalk – which wraps it way around the field. Many Eastern League parks don’t have full concourses, so this one is special. Prime attractions around the boardwalk include the bar-style seating in left and right field and the perfect view of the Harrisburg bullpen in right. Find a spot along the fence above the ‘pen before the game and you’ll be just feet away from the home side’s starting pitcher. It’s common to get up close and personal to the bullpen at many minor league parks, but being up high often gives you a greater appreciation for the speed and trajectory of each pitch.
While you’re in right field, hop down to the ballpark’s lower level, which doesn’t have the same curb appeal as the boardwalk level but features a ton of concession stands and other things to see. Most noteworthy – if you have kids, anyway – is the enormous kids’ play area on the third base side of the lower level. Just steps away, you’ll be able to watch the visitors warm up in the bullpen. You can see this bullpen from the boardwalk level and outfield seats, but from the lower level, you’ve got a front-row seat.
The boardwalk beyond left field is a happening place, and not just because the main gates open into this area. In addition to some noteworthy concession stands, you can’t miss the Senators team shop, which is modern, enormous and offers a break from the heat and sun during a hot day.
When night descends on Metro Bank Park, it likely won’t be long until the mayflies visit the area – at least during springtime games. City Island is notorious for mayflies, which are attracted to the park’s lights and given their extremely short life span, die en masse. It’s not particularly horrendous, but you’ll be unable to escape dead mayflies landing on your head and shoulders. The Senators can’t do much about this issue, so they have fun with it – each evening’s game features a Mayfly Meter on the video board, in which the night’s mayfly bombardment receives a score out of 10.
Metro Bank Park is an absolutely wonderful place to visit. There are few indications that the park was built in the 1980s, so you truly get the feeling that you’re visiting a park that’s almost brand new. One of the features I enjoyed the most was the boardwalk; it’s not a standard cement concourse as is the case at many parks, which gives Metro Bank Park a more comfortable feel. Whether you’re standing on the boardwalk beyond the outfield fence, hanging out around the team shop or just making relaxing laps on a summer evening, your Metro Bank Park experience will be one to remember.