|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 20 years. Built literally in the middle of nowhere, this park sits off a highway 20 miles to the east 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.
- The team has embraced the Mudcats nickname and carried the fishing theme throughout the ballpark, i.e. tickets are called "fishing licenses" and the gift shop is called the "Tackle Box."
- The field level seats (there are just 5 rows) are close to the action and give you a roof over your head.
- The water tower beyond the outfield wall has the Mudcats logo painted on it.
- The video board in left field is one the biggest and most impressive at the minor league level.
- The team mascot, Muddy, is pretty active and on some nights is accompanied by his friend Mini Muddy.
- Because of its large size and exposed concrete, the ballpark has a rather sterile feel to it. The team has done a fine job sprucing up the place, but there is still only so much that can be done.
- Most of the seats are either in the upper deck or the outfield, both of which are a bit far from the field. Unless you are sitting in one of the few seats at field level, it will not feel very intimate.
- Netting obscures the views of all the seats in the infield - both field level and upper deck. This is unnecessary as the upper deck seats are not that close to the field.
- The concourse, located at the top of the field level seats, is open to the field in places, but overall does not provide a good place for fans to hang out and watch the game.
- The atmosphere could be toned down a bit as there was a bit too much music and sound effects for my liking, but at least the ballpark workers were friendly and unobtrusive.
- The kid’s area consists of one speed pitch inflatable. That’s it. It is rare to see such a minimal play area at a minor league park these days.
- Keeping with the fish theme, one of the unique items on the concession menu is a catfish sandwich.
- Of course being in the south, BBQ is also offered. The Grand Slam BBQ Station has pulled pork sandwiches, pork tacos, BBQ nachos, and sweet potato fries.
- The quality of the concessions seemed to be pretty good and the prices average for minor leagues.
- All the concession stands also have fish themed names like “Big Bobber Pizza” and "Whiskers Cafe".
- On busy nights, the concourses can get pretty crowded and lines long. You will definitely want to get your food early on fireworks nights.
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. While I have enjoyed my visits more than I expected to, there is still quite a lot that could be improved here. Despite being less than 20 years old, it already feels outdated, Hopefully the future will bring some renovations to improve Five County Stadium.