|I'm not sure what Grainger Stadium looked before
2002, but the renovations they did over the offseason have made this one
of the finest old parks in the country. The grandstand was completely
gutted with all new seats and dugouts put in. The new seats under the
covered grandstand are all of the green, plastic variety. The box seat
area (which are real boxes) feature just folding metal chairs now, but presumably
they will replace them with permanent seats at some point. There is
also a bleacher section for general admission down the left field line. The
exterior of the park is beautiful as well. It features red brick and
blue steel girders. Featured out front is a large stand alone ticket
booth in the middle of a well landscaped entrance area. Another cool
aspect of this old park is the outfield fence - it is still made of brick
with the ads painted directly on it. Besides the classic feel of the
ballpark, both the concessions and atmosphere were great. They have
a nice variety of food items at inexpensive prices as well as pitchers of
beer for sale. The atmosphere was very lively on the Saturday night
I was here with people very much into the game. And the comedic public
address announcer just added to the great time people seemed to be having.
There were a few between inning contests and the team does have a mascot
("Scout"), but these in no way took away from the focus of the game.
Frankly, I could find nothing wrong with this park, and enjoyed myself
here as much as I have at any other minor league park I've ever been to.
Grainger Stadium is a must-see for any lover of the old ballparks. Unfortunately, the team moved to Zebulon for the 2012 season and it seemed unlikely that another professional team would move in. Though in August of 2016, it was announced that Kinston would once again be hosting a Carolina League team starting in 2017. It's not often that old ballparks like Grainger Stadium get a second chance, so hopefully the community will support the new team and it will be around for many years.