Dickey-Stephens Park
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Year Opened
2007

Current Team
Arkansas Travelers

Affiliate
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

League
Texas League

Capacity
7,200

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium A- Atmosphere A- Concessions B

Photos taken in 2008
Let me start off by saying that Ray Winder Field was one of my favorite minor league parks - it had tons of old time charm and a great baseball atmosphere. So no matter what Little Rock did to replace the old ballpark, it simply had no chance of measuring up. That said, Dickey-Stephens Park, located in North Little Rock, is a worthy successor to Ray Winder. It is located along the Arkansas River, just a couple blocks from the Alltel Arena. While the river is not visible from inside the ballpark, there is an excellent view of the Little Rock skyline over the right field fence. The exterior of Dickey-Stephens, made of red brick and featuring three large entrances is designed to resemble a train station. In fact the train theme is something that is continued on the inside of the park as well. As with almost all new parks, fans enter onto the concourse which encircles the entire park. At the main entrance there is a large, well-stocked gift store to the right. Strangely, there doesn't seem to be an external entrance to the gift shop, so apparently fans cannot access it during the day. The seating here is a bit different than what you'll find at other new parks. While the majority of the seating is all green fold down chairs, there is a small center concourse that splits the seating bowl. There are only about 6 rows below this walkway and about 20 above it. This serves no purpose except to make the field box seats seem more exclusive. Another strange aspect of this center concourse is that there are gates which prevent you from accessing it in all spots. As I noticed at Ray Winder and which still seems to be the case at the new park, Travs fans really seem to enjoy smoking and drinking. If they have their cigarettes and beer, they seem to be happy. In order to accommodate them, the team created a beer garden / bleacher section down the right field line which is similar to what they had at Ray Winder. In this area, smoking is permitted. Not surprisingly, this area seemed to be a lot more crowded than the rest of the park. Other seating options here include grassy berms located behind the outfield fence as well as several picnic areas in the right field corner. Also, the team has brought over several rows of box seats from Ray Winder and installed them along the outfield concourse. This is a nice touch which shows the team hasn't forgotten about their old home. There's a lot to like about Dickey-Stephens Park, but if there's one complaint I have it's with the lack of variety in terms of concessions. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that there is only three stands which actually sell food. Besides the normal ballpark fare, only BBQ sandwiches, frito pies, and chicken sandwiches are offered. Strangely there was no soft pretzels to be found and only one small ice cream cart. Apparently the fans in Little Rock are a simple bunch and don't require much variety. One other unique aspect of the concessions is that they still sell beer in the cans - where else do you see that ? For a new ballpark, the atmosphere is pretty good here. Mostly organ music is played with only a few sound effects and rock songs sprinkled in. The team does have an onfield DJ (Lance), but fortunately he wasn't too obnoxious. Several between inning games were performed including race the mascot, the potato sack race, and the dizzy bat race. Shelly is the team mascot - there is no meaning behind the name other the fact that he is corporately sponsored by Shell (ugh). Overall the Travs have done a good job at keeping a baseball atmosphere even with the new move to the new ballpark. My only other complaint with this ballpark is the lack of auxiliary scoreboards. With just one large scoreboard in left field, sitting along the 3rd base line means having to crank your neck a lot. Adding a small scoreboard somewhere along the 1st base side would be helpful. Overall I enjoyed this park more than I expected to. A beautiful setting and a good baseball atmosphere make Dickey-Stephens Park a tolerable replacement for an old classic.
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