Fifth Third Ballpark Review

Fifth Third Ballpark West Michigan Whitecaps History How To Get To Fifth Third Ballpark Fifth Third Ballpark Parking Finding Your Way Around Fifth Third Ballpark
Fifth Third Ballpark Seating Fifth Third Ballpark Food West Michigan Whitecaps Autographs How To Get A Ball At Fifth Third Ballpark
 
The BallParkGuide.com Review of Fifth Third Ballpark Rating: 4
by Malcolm MacMillan
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Highlights
  • Ballpark opened in 1994 season
  • Park was originally called "Old Kent Park"
Fifth Third Ballpark is home to the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League. The Whitecaps are the Class-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

Built in time for the 1994 Midwest League season and originally called Old Kent Park, Fifth Third Ballpark is far from being the only Minor League park with "Fifth Third" in the title. Keeping the Fifth Thirds distinct in your head can be a bit challenging, especially because two other Midwest League parks carry similar names. The Dayton Dragons play at Fifth Third Field and the Kane County Cougars call Fifth Third Bank Ballpark home. The International League's Toledo Mud Hens play at their very own Fifth Third Field.

Fifth Third Ballpark has a capacity of 10,071, with that number divided between a number of seating options. The lower-level box seats account for 1,955 seats, the upper-level bleachers account for 4,551 and 745 fans can fit in the ballpark's various suites. The deck and patio group seating areas accommodate 1,220 fans while the park's ample grass berms can hold up to 1,600.

The playing field measures 317 feet to left field, 327 to right field, 402 feet to center field and 375 in the power alleys. The outfield fence is eight feet tall along its entire length. The Whitecaps dugout is on the first base side and the park's bullpens are located down the lines.

Beyond numbers, however, this is a nice ballpark that isn't exactly modern, but has a number of quality features that shows the park's ownership cares about the facility. The multi-level deck in the right field corner is eye catching, there's a significant amount of green space both outside the park and in it and if you look just off the 3rd Base Grill, you'll see something you might've never seen at a ballpark -- a picturesque waterfall flowing through a series of rocks. The ballpark's concourse is also wide and open, allowing you to keep an eye on the field whether you're in line at a concession stand or checking out the Midwest League statistic boards.

If you choose to park at the back of Fifth Third Ballpark, you'll be greeted by signs for the park, team and even the Detroit Tigers.
Fifth Third Ballpark's many signs are visible from US-131.
Parking at Fifth Third Ballpark costs $5 per car and lots are available at the front and back of the park.
A tall, grassy hill sits on the east side of the park. Walk down the slope and you'll eventually reach the players' parking lot and a waterside trail.
The players park in a smaller lot on the east side of the ballpark.
If you park in the front lot, the front gate of Fifth Third Ballpark is high above you.
Fans who don't wish to use the stairs up to the park's front gate can make use of the ramp.
An open-air pavilion is located directly outside the front gate.
The park's ticket office is located to the left of the front gate.
The pavilion at the base of the stairs leading to the front gate is often a hubbub of activity, with a radio station broadcasting live.
If you choose to enter Fifth Third Ballpark through the back gate, you follow a paved walkway toward the park's concourse.
A large, multi-level picnic deck is one of the first things you see upon entering the park through the back gate.
The group picnic area in the right field corner is an ideal spot for finding a home run ball from batting practice.
If you visit Fifth Third Ballpark with a large group, be sure to inquire about renting one of the park's group areas. They all offer an outstanding view of the field.
The Altogas Third Base Grill is a group area that offers an extensive BBQ menu.
Fifth Third Ballpark's concourse is one of the nicest you'll find anywhere. Large and open, and with wood paneling above, you won't be able to resist spending time walking around.
If you have an old baseball glove that you no longer use, remember to take it to Fifth Third Ballpark to drop off in the glove donation bin in the home plate concourse.
The main concession stand features an extensive menu and is located behind home plate.
Flat-screen TVs are mounted overhead along the concourse, allowing you to see replays and highlights of the game.
As you walk along the concourse, look overhead for banners recognizing past Whitecaps, including Cameron Maybin, who played with the team in 2006 as a 19-year-old.
The lineups for the game are hand written and displayed in the home plate concourse each game.
The Whitecaps staff selects a player of the week and recognizes him with a short write-up on display behind home plate.
Despite not being overly new, Fifth Third Ballpark is an eye-catching park with perfect sightlines.
The grass berms down the line are ideal, especially if you visit Fifth Third Ballpark with children..
Fifth Third Ballpark has a menu that includes standard ballpark fare, but also a number of speciality items.
The park's menu includes something that even the most discerning eater will enjoy.
When you enter the ballpark, take a look through the rows of seating to see if you can find a foul ball hit during batting practice.
The concourse at Fifth Third Ballpark includes tables for you to use while you enjoy your meal.
The box seats in the lower level of the ballpark include cup holders.
The Whitecaps Midwest League championships are recognized on the facing above the press box behind home plate.
Seating at Fifth Third Ballpark is divided into two levels. Bleachers make up the upper level and box seats fill the bottom one.
Suites run around the ballpark above the seating bowl.
If you want a spot close to the action but without being behind the protective net, select a seat down the first or third base line.
If you make your way to the group picnic areas in the outfield, you give yourself a perfect view looking back toward home plate Fifth Third Ballpark.
A cross-aisle runs between the bleachers and box seat sections.
The openness of the concourse means that regardless of where you stand, you can see home plate.
The seats behind the first base dugout are perfect for giving you a close-up view of the action.
It's tough to vote against a seat behind home plate. From here, you have a picturesque view of the whole ballpark.
The Whitecaps souvenir shop is located down the third base concourse and sells a variety of caps, apparel and even speciality items such as game-used bats.
For a good show, check out the Fifth Third Burger Competition Area at the end of the third base concourse. If a fan is partaking in the burger's challenge, he or she has to eat it here.
The Fifth Third Burger is one of the most infamous food items in all of baseball. Check out the nutritional value of this monster.
If you enter the burger's challenge, you have to follow a series of rules. Finishing the burger in time means you win a T-shirt.
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The super nachos at Fifth Third Ballpark include cheese sauce, salsa and jalapeno peppers.
If you have a craving for a sweet beverage, check out the Tiki Hut on the third base side.
After members of the Whitecaps finish their pre-game stretching, many of them will sign autographs around the first base dugout and bullpen.
The Pepsi Stadium Club is a state-of-the-art group picnic area with indoor and outdoor seating.
If you visit Fifth Third Ballpark with an extremely large group, you and your fellow fans have the choice of the picnic tables at field level, the seats up high or the seating inside the air-conditioned suite.
A good spot for trying to catch a foul ball is toward the outfield end of each concourse or in the grass seating area.
One of Fifth Third Ballpark's notable features is its functional waterfall, located on the third base side.
The Fifth Third Ballpark scoreboard includes a digital video board and a traditional box score-style board.
The main scoreboard is located in center field. A second board is in left field.
 

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