Whitaker Bank Ballpark
Lexington, Kentucky
Year Opened
2001

Current Team
Lexington Legends

Affiliate
Kansas City Royals

League
South Atlantic League

Capacity
6,500

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium B- Atmosphere C Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2014
Whitaker Bank Ballpark (originally known as Applebee's Park) opened in 2001 to much fanfare, probably because at the time this was one of better ballparks in the South Atlantic League. Upon my first visit in the Legends inaugural season, my impression was that of being confused because of how the seating sections are arranged. I made a return visit in 2014, and while I wasn't as confused this time, the ballpark still left me feeling underwhelmed. It is a perfectly fine ballpark, but there is just nothing memorable about it. Whitaker Bank Ballpark does try to remind you where you are by including several horse racing references, but doesn't quite carry through enough with the theme, especially since the team name (Legends) has nothing to do with horses.

Hits

  • The seating bowl, especially above the concourse, has a steep pitch to it meaning that sightlines are excellent and cannot be obscured by fans sitting in front of you.
  • The exterior features a large mural with both baseball and horse racing featured. In addition, there are two large baseball sculptures which add to the attractiveness of the exterior.
  • The concession stands are brightly illuminated and include murals of baseball scenes from past Legends seasons.
  • Along the concourse behind home plate, there is a Lexington Legends Hall of Fame, which features plaques dedicated to many of the former Legends players who have made the major leagues.
  • A large play area in the left field corner features bounces houses as well as other climbing equipment for kids.
  • As mentioned previously, there are some nods to the sport which Kentucky is best known for, horse racing. The scoreboard and exterior of the park feature steeples, reminiscent of what is found at Churchill Downs. In addition, there is a picnic area along the first base side that is known as "The Stables".
  • The atmosphere is pretty laid back here. The team does a few of the standard between inning promotions, but nothing that distracts from the overall experience.
Misses
  • As already mentioned, the seating areas are a bit confusing. For the sections above the concourse (the 200's), the staircases up to these sections are located on the concourse side rather than the field side. So it can be difficult to find how to get to your section. Also, the "club" seats behind home plate are separated by bars, so it not possible to get into these sections without a ticket, especially since they are closely guarded by ushers.
  • The overall architecture feels dated. With the concourse located out of view from the view, it feels more like an early 1990's ballpark rather than one built in 2001. In this sense, it is very similar to Rome's State Mutual Stadium.
  • The location of the park is uninspired as it is located on the outskirts of town, next to a shopping center that contains a Dollar General as well as some other stores. Parking is $3, but that is reasonable.
  • There is no wraparound concourse. While there are bleachers behind the left field fence, there is no way to completely circle the park.
Eats
  • Being close to Cincinnati, which is chili country, there is a Gold Star Chili stand which serves up Coney dogs.
  • A restaurant/bar (The Kentucky Ale Taproom) is located behind home plate, underneath the grandstand. This is certainly a rarity at a single-A ballpark. It is available for group rentals, but also appears to be open to the public when it has not been rented out.
  • A party deck is located behind the right field fence. This is only available for groups.
  • The most popular food item seemed to be the Monster Chicken Nachos, which looked like it could easily feed two.
  • There appears to be a BBQ stand, but it was not open for the Sunday afternoon game I attended.
Despite some of the shortcomings of Whitaker Bank Ballpark, I enjoyed my most recent visit. For one who doesn't wander around much during the game, having the concourse out of view from the field is not a big deal to me. With so many ballparks using the same generic template these days, it is refreshing to actually see something different. While Whitaker Bank Ballpark isn't the most exciting or memorable place to take in a game, it is certainly worth a visit if you are in the area.
Site Map
Interact
Contact Info
Home
Facebook
Email Me
Major League Parks
Twitter
All photos Copyright BallparkReviews.com
Minor League Parks
Spring Training Parks
What's New
Places
Submitted Reviews