Five County Stadium
Zebulon, North Carolina
Year Opened
1999

Current Team
Carolina Mudcats

Affiliate
Cleveland Indians

League
Carolina League

Capacity
6,000

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium B- Atmosphere B Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2006
The best thing that can be said about Five County Stadium is that at least it's a bit different than other parks built in the past 10 years. Built literally in the middle of nowhere, this park sits off a highway 20 miles outside of Raleigh. Apparently it was built here because of territorial rights that Durham had in Raleigh. A temporary structure stood on this spot until 1999 when a more permanent park was erected. When I first stopped by Five County Stadium in 2002 to snap photos I wasn't excited about coming back for a game. But after returning in 2006 and seeing a game, I was pleasantly surprised. There is a bit too much concrete for my liking, but overall it is a serviceable park. The seating here is a bit odd as the majority of it is in the second deck meaning it is a bit far from the field. The field level seating only consists of about 5 rows of seating and thus is very intimate. Also, if you sit at field level, you'll have a roof over your head thanks to the upper deck overhang. The sightlines are pretty good here as all seats are angled towards the infield, but the large net which runs from foul pole to foul pole is quite annoying. I'm not sure why teams feel the need to install such a big net as it is very rare that a ball is hit hard into the stands. The concourse is at the top of the field level seats and is open to the field in places. Because of the Mudcats nickname, the fishing theme is carried out throughout the ballpark - i.e. tickets are called "fishing licenses" and the gift shop is called the "Bait Shop." Speaking of fish, one of the unique items on the concession menu is a catfish sandwich. And of course being in the south, BBQ is also offered. The quality of the concessions seemed to be pretty good and the prices average for minor leagues. As for the atmosphere, there was a bit too much music and sound effects for my liking, but at least the ballpark workers were friendly and unobtrusive. Some of the between inning games included an egg race, a 3 legged race (with underwear), and of course, race the mascot (Muddy). The ballpark has two large scoreboards, both of which track the linescore. There is also a large video board which is quite sharp. Certainly it's tough to compete with Durham's ballpark, but Carolina still seems to be a good draw despite a rather mediocre ballpark and a location in the middle of nowhere. I really enjoyed my visit more than I expected to.
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