|There aren't many cities that can claim to have the oldest park in their league and also lead in attendance. But Daytona Beach is one of those places. Despite a ballpark which opened in 1940 and a smaller population than most of the cities in the Florida State League, Daytona Beach is perennially one of the best draws in the league. Maybe it's the fact that the team actually tries to draw fans. Or maybe not having spring training means the fans aren't spoiled. Or maybe the folks of Daytona Beach just appreciate good baseball with a laid back setting in a cozy ballpark. Because that's exactly what you get when you visit Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Located on City Island, about one block east of the downtown, the ballpark overlooks the water and a new bridge which was constructed recently. Having visited in 1999 when the place appeared to be falling apart, I was eager to get back for a game after hearing about the renovations that have been done since then. Rest assured, the ballpark is no longer falling apart. Brand new chair back seats were installed under the covered grandstand, a manual scoreboard was installed in left field, and a new concourse was constructed behind the third base bleachers where a road used to be. Also, a Jackie Robinson "museum" was built on site which features plaques and interpretive exhibits, but no actual artifacts. The seating consists of individual chairs (all general admission) behind home plate, and a large bank of bleachers on the 3rd base side. A few rows of reserved box seats are also located on the 3rd base side, but the views from these seats appear to be obstructed by a thick chain link fence, so I wouldn't advise sitting there. The best views are probably from the bleacher section, though I find that this section really doesn't fit with the classic grandstand that wraps around from home plate to the first base bag. A picnic area is located down the right field line. Concessions are just average here as there are no speciality items on the menu. But the prices are cheap and like most of the FSL team, they offer a $10 all-you-can-eat package on Monday nights. The atmosphere is pretty similar to most minor league parks, though the fans seemed very much into the game. The typical between inning games (dizzy, race the mascot, etc.) were performed. There is also a mascot, Cubby, which roams the stands looking for kids to bother (though there didn't seem to be many there the night I attended). Programs and parking are both free - something I always appreciate. Having attended several Florida State League games in a week's time, I can say without hesitation that Daytona Beach offers the best atmosphere and most unique ballpark. It is great to see an older ballpark that is still drawing fans and which hasn't been neglected by the city. Jackie Robinson Ballpark is a must see for any ballpark fan.