Cooper Stadium
Columbus, Ohio
Year Opened
1932

Current Team
None

Affiliate
N/A

League
N/A

Capacity
15,000

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium A- Atmosphere A- Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2008
Cooper Stadium hosted its final year of professional baseball in 2008 as a new downtown ballpark is on track to open in Columbus for the '09 season. Though completely renovated and modernized in 1977 (it was among the first ballparks to have luxury suites), Cooper Stadium still feels more like a 1930's era park, which is when it was originally constructed. It features a massive covered grandstand that runs from first base to third base as well as a large bleacher section down the left field line (that is closed unless large crowds are expected). The concourse runs underneath the grandstand and is perhaps the best feature of this old ballpark. Murals of all the Clippers teams since 1977 line the concourse walls. In addition, banners of famous Clippers alumni are hung from the rafters. They have really done a great job of honoring their history here - hopefully that is something that will continue at the new ballpark. There are plenty of concession stands located along the concourse, meaning lines are never long. The food selections are not that well varied, but the prices are cheap and quality is pretty good. The night I visited is 2008 they had $1 bratwursts - you can't beat that ! As can be expected at an older park, the seating is a bit cramped, but sightlines are pretty good as long as you don't get stuck behind a pole (which should not happen since crowds are never that large). One of the cool features of the grandstand are the ramps that are located at the back of it which lead directly to the concourse. This means fans sitting towards the top need not traverse down the stairs in order to get to the concourse. Cooper Stadium also features a "monument park" behind the right field fence which honors some of the past Clipper players. Unfortunately, it is closed before and during games. The atmosphere, as is the case at most AAA parks, is pretty laid back with only a few of the between inning games you'd see at most minor league parks. I visited here first in 1996 when they still had artificial turf, but fortunately real grass was installed in 2000. In addition, other renovations (a new picnic area and souvenir store) were completed since my first visit. Despite being in its last year, Cooper Stadium did not feel at all run down or neglected during my '08 visit. Certainly I would have preferred to have seen a Pawtucket-like renovation done here in order to keep the old ballpark in use, but the team and city obviously had other ideas. The future of Cooper Stadium is unknown at this point - the latest idea floated is to turn it into a race track. Here's hoping it remains standing in some form. It is definitely a classic !
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