Centennial Field Review
Review of Centennial Field Rating: 4.5
by Malcolm MacMillan
- Centennial Field is the oldest facility in pro baseball
- The ballpark's bleachers date back to 1922
When you're visiting Burlington to watch the Lake Monsters, you'll rarely hear the term "Centennial Field" thrown around with the prefix of "Historic." And with good reason. As you'll quickly notice once you pass through the ballpark's gates, Centennial Field is not a modern facility. In fact, it's the oldest baseball field still in use by a professional club in the country. Its first game, held on April 17, 1906, featured a University of Vermont 10-4 win over the University of Maine.
Centennial Field was built, and got its name, as part of the university's centennial celebrations in 1906. A fire in 1913 destroyed the facility's wooden bleachers. In 1922, builders added the concrete bleachers and steel seating areas that are still in use today.
Throughout its life, Centennial Field has been the home of several different ball teams. The University of Vermont Catamounts have played at the facility on and off for a century, and as recently as 2009. The Burlington Cardinals of the now-defunct Northern League used the facility from 1935 to 1941 and 1946 to 1952, while the Burlington Athletics moved in for just one season in 1955. The Eastern League's Vermont Reds used Centennial Field from 1984 to 1987. In 1988, the Reds changed their name to the Vermont Mariners and used the ballpark for one final season before moving to Canton, OH.
Today, Centennial Field seats 4,415 for baseball. Its dimensions are 330 feet to left field, 325 feet to right field and 405 feet to straightaway center field. In 1995, the ballpark was renovated to receive modern amenities, such as concession stand and bathroom upgrades.
The Lake Monsters' dugout is on the first base side and each team's bullpen sits in foul territory down the lines, as is common in many Minor League Baseball facilities.