Principal Park
Des Moines, Iowa
Year Opened

Current Team
Iowa Cubs

Chicago Cubs

International League


Location Map

My Grades
Stadium A-
Atmosphere A-
Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2003
This is the second rendition of Sec Taylor Stadium (now known as Principal Park). The first was built in 1947 and torn down to make way for the current one after the 1991 season. Because the "new" Sec Taylor was built in the early 1990's, it doesn't have all of the characteristics of today's new parks, which may be a good thing. The park is located just south of the downtown and is situated right next to the river. While the river can't be seen from inside the park, there are still splendid views of the state capitol and Des Moines skyline. Fans enter onto the concourse which is located underneath the seating area. It is fully covered and features numerous concession stands as well as a nice gift store. While the variety of concessions is good, prices are a bit high, which is odd because it seems that AAA ballparks are usually among the most affordable in all the minors. Seating extends from foul line to foul line and is split by a small center concourse. Because the seating is so spread out, all seats are close to the field. The seats are all plastic fold downs except for a small bleacher section in right field. What's missing here are the grassy berms and the 360 degree concourse. Luxury boxes are numerous at Sec Taylor as they are located above the grandstand and in left field. I've often wondered why more ballparks don't have outfield luxury boxes since the majority of people using them don't care about the game anyhow. The exterior of the ballpark is sandy brown in color and is beautifully landscaped. The atmosphere here is a bit strange - I've never seen a team so obsessed with throwing stuff into the crowd. Almost every half inning there would be t-shirts or hot dogs or balls being shot into the crowd. It is actually a bit amusing. As with many teams, the sound effects and music were overdone. Overall though, the crowd seemed to be into the game which made for a more enjoyable night. Parking around the stadium is limited and a little pricey at $4. Sec Taylor Stadium is actually a refreshing change from all the new ballparks that appear to be coming off an assembly line. The wonderful setting and lively atmosphere make this a great place to see a game.
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