|Despite opening in 2000, Louisville Slugger Field still had the feel of a brand new ballpark during my most recent visit in 2016. The ballpark is immaculately maintained and numerous renovations have been done in the 17 years since it opened. More cities need to look at Louisville as an example of how to keep fans interested in coming back year after year.
- The front entrance to the ballpark was built into what was once a train shed. Fans enter into a huge lobby-like space which features the ticket windows as well as plenty of space for group outings. Not sure what’s up with the Christmas lights that decorate the room, but it is a pretty cool feature nonetheless. Apparently the other side of this building (which I missed during my visit) contains artifacts from the baseball teams of Louisville’s past.
- A wide concourse overlooks the field and encompasses the entire ballpark. Needless to say, there is plenty of room for the restless to roam around.
- The bleachers and covered picnic area in right field give the ballpark a distinctive look. Love the idea of providing some shade for the picnic area as usually the people in these areas are left to bake in the hot sun.
- The ballpark has a neat location tucked in between the downtown and the Ohio River. While views of the river are non-existent (at least from the main level), several bridges can be seen in the backdrop. Part of the city skyline is visible from the outfield, including the distinctive roof of the Old National Bank.
- There is an excellent play area for the kids. It includes two different playgrounds and a carousel (which costs $1 to ride). This area is tucked into the right field corner.
- A club level is present here, something only found at a handful of minor league ballparks. This gives fans another seating alternative with a different view of the field and additional amenities.
- The front entrances, located inside the train shed, are unique in that they feel more like what you would find at an arena rather than a ballpark. The outfield entrance, located near one of the large surface lots, has a more traditional look.
- A large team store is located behind home plate.
- Coloring books were handed out to kids by the ushers. It’s always a nice touch to see kids be given something extra so they’ll be excited to come back.
- Louisville is a big city, so nothing is cheap here. Parking is $8-10, decent tickets are at least $13, and concessions are as pricey as what you’d find at a major league ballpark.
- While not as big as the Memphis ballpark, Louisville Slugger Field is by no means intimate. Many of the seats feel too far from the field, especially when you get past the bags.
Louisville is synonymous with baseball due to the most popular bat brand taking the city name. The Louisville Slugger Museum is located about a mile from ballpark and is well worth a visit before taking in a game. It is only appropriate that the ballpark has also taken on the Louisville Slugger name as it definitely lives up to the name. Louisville Slugger Field is one of the finest and best maintained Triple-A ballparks in all the country.
- The array of concessions rivals what you will find at some major league parks. There literally is something for everyone. While prices are high, the quality is good and portions are big.
- The cheapest hot dog is $3.75, though they do have a hot dog stand where you can choose as many toppings as you want for $6.
- The Mexican stand features a nachos supreme ($7.50) that comes loaded with toppings. Yummy!
- Other unique items include the pork chop sandwich ($6), the fried bologna sandwich ($4), Philly nachos ($7.50), corn on the cob ($3.25) and paninis ($7.25).
- The “cookie lady” (not sure if she has a real name) can be found selling cookies for $2 in the stands. She seems to be popular, probably because of how she balances the basket of cookies on her head.
- Beer will set you back at least $6.50 unless you come on a Thursday night when they have drink specials in the outfield plaza. Frankly, I’ve never seen so much drinking at a minor league game as I did here on a Thursday night in 2016.