Finding Your Way Around Fifth Third Ballpark

The Finding Your Way Around Fifth Third Ballpark
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Home plate concourse has plenty to see, including main concession stand
  • Be sure to check out Fifth Third Burger competition area down third base line
Fifth Third Ballpark boasts several unique attractions, including a waterfall located on the third base side.

As you pull up to Fifth Third Ballpark, you have the choice of parking in two different lots. The lot on the north side of the park leads to the outfield gate while the lot on the south side puts you adjacent to the park's front gate. There's really no benefit to one lot over the other, especially if you enjoy using the time before the gates open to walk around the park's exterior. If you don't have your tickets, the south-side lot is more convenient due to its close proximity to the ticket office.

The gates at Fifth Third Ballpark open one hour before first pitch, so if you arrive early, get your tickets and use the time to check out the ballpark's surroundings. There's usually something to see in the pavilion between the front gate and the south parking lot, such as a local radio station broadcasting live. The players' parking lot is on the west side of the ballpark at the base of a steep, grassy hill. Check this area out if you want to look at a few nice cars. Occasionally, you'll see one or more Whitecaps players hanging out at the top of the hill, often talking on cellphones. If you enjoy nature, walk down the hill toward the river and follow the White Pine Trail along the water's edge.

You can choose to enter the park via either gate but if you want to try to find a ball that was hit during batting practice, the outfield gate is your better choice. As you kill time before the gates open, keep an eye on the lineups; you give yourself the best shot at finding a ball inside the park if you're at the head of the line.

If finding a ball isn't important to you, pick either gate and wait in line until it opens. If you select the outfield gate, it opens into the right-center field area and you'll see a number of group/party decks in front of you. You have the option of checking out these areas or following the paved path up toward the plate area. Halfway to home plate, the path widens into the ballpark's concourse, which is lined with concession stands and other attractions.

If you choose to enter Fifth Third Ballpark by the home plate gate next to the ticket office, you'll wind up in the home plate concourse. This is where all the action is, from the main concession stand to daily-updated boards providing stats on both clubs, the game's starting lineups and Midwest League team standings.

The concourse running behind third base is home to the team shop and when you reach the end, you won't be able to miss the Fifth Third Burger competition area. There are sizeable grass seating areas down both base lines; on the back side of the grassy area down the third base line, you'll notice a fully functional waterfall.