Marinelli Field
Rockford, Illinois
Year Opened

Current Team




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My Grades
Stadium C+
Atmosphere B
Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2003
Marinelli Field is a classic example of a ballpark that was simply built at the wrong time. Built in 1988, it preceded the building boom of the 1990's, and therefore quickly became outdated. Despite affiliated ball fleeing several years ago, it's good to see independent league baseball still doing well here. Marinelli Field most resembles Yakima County Ballpark with it's seating that is 10 feet above the field and the netting that wraps from first base to third base in front of the grandstand. Seating in the grandstand is made up of 10 rows of box seats and the rest is metal benches with backs. A bleacher section down the left field line completes the seating. Unfortunately, sightlines are quite poor here. The netting that extends too far combined with light poles that are in front of the grandstand cause many obstructed views. The concourse is located behind the grandstand and is mostly uncovered. There are two concession stands and a grill located along the concourse. A beer garden is located down the right field line. Concessions are varied (brats, burgers, corn on the cob) and reasonably priced. It is hard for me to evaluate the atmosphere fully. Because of a nasty thunderstorm that hit in the 3rd inning, very people remained for the completion of the game. They did seem to get a bit carried away with the sound effects as many of them were repeated over and over. The Riverhawks have a mascot, "Rocco", who was out and about before the rain delay, but wasn't seen afterward. Also, the PA announcer was lively - something that can often make up for an otherwise boring and predictable atmosphere. Marinelli Field is located in a city park, just a couple miles south of the downtown. There is a river that runs nearby, but overall the setting is unspectacular. Parking is free and plentiful. Certainly a suitable park for the Frontier League, but not any higher in this age of glossy new ballparks. If they could just do something about the netting, I would enjoy this park a while lot more. For the 2006 season, the Riverhawks will be moving into a brand new ballpark. Apparently Marinelli Field will still continue to be used by amateur teams, however.
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