|When you drive up to Wuerfel Park, you might have a hard time recognizing it as a baseball stadium. Featuring one of the most unique exteriors I've encountered, it is meant to resemble the summer cottages which Traverse City is well known for. Located about 6 miles south of downtown Traverse City, the setting in an open area of land therefore giving you no indication of where you are. So it’s a good thing that the ballpark is distinctive.
- The summer cottage theme is also present in the interior of the park as well, especially down the left field line where the clubhouses are located. This building features front porches where players can be seen hanging out before the game.
- The concourse is open to the field and wraps completely around the outfield. It is mostly uncovered, though there is some covering in case of inclement weather.
- Seating at Wuerfel Park consists mostly of fold down chairs, which extends just past the bases down each line. Aisles and seats are both quite wide, which certainly make for a more comfortable night at the park.
- There is a copious amount of table seating (w/ 4 chairs) located directly behind the seating bowl. These are a nice alternative to regular seating, but must be purchased in groups of 4 ($80).
- A large grassy berm extends around the entire outfield providing kids a place to run around without distracting fans who are trying to watch the game.
- The Beach Bums have two appropriately named mascots in Sunburn and Suntan. Though it seems that only one is usually out on a given night.
- There also luxury boxes here, though they don't stand out as much because there is no outside seating. I can't imagine these would be too popular as most fans it seems would want to enjoy the nice Michigan evenings in the summer.
- The artificial turf. When Wuerfel Park opened it had real grass, but a rug was installed prior to the 2008 season. I realize this allows the park to host more events, but from a baseball perspective, this ruins the atmosphere a bit for me.
- One thing that seemed to be missing here is a play area for kids. There are no inflatables (speed pitch, jump castle, slide, etc) to be found, which is quite surprising at a minor league park these days. While a small playground was added in right field, it almost seems like an afterthought.
- The appearance of shuttered concession stands is never a good look at a minor league ballpark.
Traverse City's location in northern Michigan is a bit off the beaten path, but is worth the drive to see a park that is certainly not a "cookie-cutter". Unfortunately, the Frontier League team folded after the 2018 season. It was replaced by a team in the collegiate Northwoods League.
- Concessions at Wuerfel Park are well varied and of good quality. Some of the selections include pulled pork sandwiches ($5), brats, kielbasa ($5), burgers ($6), mac & cheese ($4), and sloppy joes (the first time I've ever seen that at a park).
- Pizza ($5) is available from Jets, which is a popular Michigan chain.
- Small BBQ stands are located on each side of the ballpark, though the offerings seem to be the same as what’s available at the main concession stands.
- A dedicated ice cream stand serves up various novelties as well as the famous Moomers Ice Cream.
- Short’s Microbrew Pub is located along the concourse and includes inside seating.
- Prices are mostly reasonable, though the cheapest hot dog is $4, which is a bit high.