Burlington Athletic Stadium
Burlington, North Carolina
Year Opened
1958

Current Team
Burlington Royals

Affiliate
Kansas City Royals

League
Appalachian League

Capacity
3,500

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium C+
Atmosphere A-
Concessions B

Photos taken in 2012 & 2017
Like almost all the Appalachian League parks, Burlington Athletic Stadium offers an authentic minor league experience, much like what could have been found 25 years ago before the age of shiny new ballparks and minor league baseball becoming a big business. I'm not opposed to the new ballparks, but it is nice to know that minor league baseball can still survive in small towns like Burlington, which is where it was meant to be played. There is certainly nothing fancy about Burlington Athletic Stadium. It is tucked into a residential section of town and can only be found with a GPS or a good set of directions - you won't find many signs around town directing you.
Hits
  • The ballpark consists of a nice covered grandstand behind home plate, something that reminds you of a bygone era. The five rows of fold down seats at the front of the grandstand are certainly the most comfortable seats in the ballpark.
  • One of the cool aspects of Burlington Athletic Stadium is that since the clubhouses are not attached to the dugouts, the players must walk right through the concourses, offering a great autograph opportunity for fans.
  • The atmosphere here is very laid back. While the team does a few between inning contests, they don't go overboard and everything doesn't seem scripted like at some of the newer parks.
  • Sound effects and music were also only used sparingly. Most fans at Appalachian League games are there to see baseball, so it is nice to see that the Royals try to keep the experience pretty pure.
  • The history of the team is on proud display here as there is a display on the back of the grandstand depicting some of the best players to come through Burlington. Also, the menís room contains some cool murals of famous Burlington players.
  • A play area was added behind the first base bleachers sometime after 2012. It features a few inflatables as well as a playground.
  • A small team store is located near the main entrance to the ballpark.
Misses
  • It is certainly not the most comfortable ballpark as almost all the seating is benches without backs. It is nice to see that the team has installed permanent bleachers down both lines in recent years as the old bleachers gave the place an amateur feel. Fans are allowed to bring in seat cushions or lawn chairs which they are allowed to setup in front of the bleacher sections.
  • The Royals also have a mascot, Bingo, but he seemed pretty pointless (especially since I'm not sure what he was even supposed to be).
  • The ramps up to the main grandstand are way too steep. While I was able to navigate them fine, I'm sure some older people have issues with them.
  • All sightlines are obstructed by netting. This wasnít always the case, but in 2016 the netting was extended in front of the bleacher sections.
Eats
  • The main concession stand is located on the backside of the grandstand. There are several other smaller stands offering beer, ice cream, and sno cones.
  • As can be expected, the concessions offered here are basically just the normal ballpark staples, though they do sell Chick-Fil-A sandwiches as well (except for on Sundays).
  • Prices are cheap as hot dogs and pizza are just $2.50. Beer can be purchased at stands on either end of the grandstand.
  • The Grill 1986 sells burgers ($3.50), hot dogs ($2.50), and fries ($2.50).
Taking in an Appalachian League game is certainly a refreshing change from all the new ballparks that have popped up across the country over the past couple decades. Among the parks in this league, Burlington Athletic Stadium is one of the best (probably second to Greeneville's Pioneer Park). Certainly a must-see for any fan who wants to remember a simpler time of minor league baseball.
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