Going in-depth on Dunkin’ Donuts Park


The Hartford Yard Goats finally have their long-awaited ballpark, and our long-awaited analysis of Dunkin’ Donuts Park is ready, too.

We did a lot of background research on the ballpark — and believe me, with a year of delays and lawsuits, there was a lot to research — as well as attend the first two Yard Goats games there. In so doing, we took hundreds of photos and did countless interviews. The result is our in-depth review of the ballpark. Click here to see it.

The review includes quotes from the team’s owner, a local journalist who covered all of the back and forth of the construction fiasco last year, the park’s food-service manager, its architect and even the President of Minor League Baseball. Helping you visualize all of the park’s interesting features and personalities are four dozen photos that you won’t see anywhere else.

So check out our analysis and conclusions contained in the review (in brief: it’s one of the very best parks in Double-A Baseball), and leave a comment at the end of the second page and tell us what you think. As the park’s massive video board says, It’s Goat Time!

The photo shows the ballpark’s architect, Jonathan Cole of Pendulum on Opening Night, April 13, 2017


Free slide show March 21 in Surprise


by Joe Mock

Are you in Arizona for spring training? Then join me for a free presentation on ballparks in Sun City Grand, near Peoria and Surprise.

Presenting with me will be noted sports architect Jonathan Cole of Pendulum Studio (see photo). We’ll be showing a slide show on the current state of ballpark design. Any baseball fan will enjoy this show!

The event is sponsored by the Sun City Grand Sports Interest Group. It will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday March 21 in the Cimarron Room at 17100 West Clear View Blvd., Surprise, AZ 85387. There is no admission charge, and all are welcome!


Braves planning move from Disney to Sarasota County


Since 1997, the Braves have conducted spring training at the Wide World of Sports area of Disney World near Orlando. As they’ve been nearing the end of their lease there, it’s been no secret that they’ve been checking out the possibility of building a new complex elsewhere in Florida.

Looks like they’ve found the spot.

Tuesday morning, Braves executives met with local leaders in Sarasota County to publicly discuss their desire to construct a new complex on undeveloped land near the community of North Port. The 70-acre site lies just south of the North Port campus of the State College of Florida, placing it a 12-mile drive from the spring-training complex of the Rays in Port Charlotte and under an hour to play the Orioles in Sarasota and the Pirates in Bradenton.  The Red Sox and Twins, both in Fort Myers, would also be close.

“We’ve liked it at Disney,” Braves Vice Chairman John Schuerholz told me recently, “but we don’t have the teams around to play.  They’ve all moved out.” Indeed, with the Nationals vacating Viera and the Astros departing Kissimmee (both bound for a new complex in West Palm Beach), the Braves are down to one team (the Tigers in Lakeland) within a two-hour drive. “It’s just too much time on the bus and not enough on the practice fields,” Schuerholz observed. Read More