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 2008
Like almost all the Appalachian League parks, Burlington Atletic 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. The ballpark consists of a covered grandstand behind home plate as well as bleacher sections down each line. With the exception of five rows of fold down seats in the grandstand, all the seating is metal benches with no backs. So it certainly is not the most comfortable place to sit and watch a game, though many fans bring in their own seat cushions or lawn chairs which they are allowed to setup in front of the bleacher sections. 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 oppurtunity for fans. The concourse is located behind the grandstand, mostly out of view from the field. It contains a few small concession stands as well as a display of the best players to have come through Burlington. 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. Beer can be purchased at stands on either end of the grandstand. 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. 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). 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. Other than the uncomfortable seating, the only other complaint I have is that the ramps up to the main grandstand are too steep. While I was able to navigate them fine, I'm sure some older people have issues with them. 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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