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94 Championship Place
Augusta, NJ

 

Stadium Opened: 1994
Capacity: 4,358
Dimensions: LF- 330 ft.  CF- 392 ft.   RF- 330 ft.
Surface: Natural Grass
Former Names of Ballpark: Skylands Park

 

Parking:

  • Free parking
  • Plenty of parking

 

 

Seating/Stadium Design:

The exterior of the ballpark was intended to resemble a barn, since the location of the ballpark is basically surrounded by corn fields. Some of the red siding was replaced when the Miners began playing at Skylands Stadium with a stone veneer. There is a restaurant that is open year round at the ballpark called, The Wheelhouse. The entrance to the restaurant is in the area of this new stone veneer siding.

Fire Pit

 

Team Store

 

 

The stadium features blue bucket style seats that do not fold up. I am not a huge fan of these types of seats but at the time the ballpark was built, it was a little more popular since Dutchess Stadium also features this style of seating. The seating bowl is divided by a middle concourse area where a few concession carts are located throughout the game.

Videoboard and scoreboard

 

The sightlines are great and fans are close to the action, so make sure you are paying attention. My only complaint is I wish the wire that holds the netting behind homeplate could be run higher up and connected in a different spot so that fans don't have to watch the game with the wire in front of them.

Picnic Pavillion

 

 

Food:

  • Basic concession items.
  • Reasonable prices. In 2015, a hot dog was $3, fries were $3, and a small soda was $3.
  • Competent concession workers, which was a nice change from the slow lines when the Skyhawks played here.
  • I hope as the Miners enter their second season that a few more concession items are added now that the basics are mastered. One important concession missing from the menu was soft serve ice cream. Hopefully, that will be one of the added items.

 

Atmosphere/Character:

The atmosphere at Skylands Stadium is laid back and the focus is on the game. The ushers and staff are friendly and willing to assist fans. From the ticket-takers to the concession workers, all the employees were friendly, which was refreshing to see. Kudos to management on hiring a great staff in a very short period of time. I liked how the ushers were there to greet you when you entered the seating bowl and willing to help you find your seat if need be, but also would leave you alone and they weren't so restrictive as they sometimes are in new ballparks. They aren't too many shenanigans to distract fans from the game, which is how I prefer it. Fans are not bombarded with sound effects or sound clips like at a very similar ballpark, Dutchess Stadium. The team mascot is as active during the game as he could be. The tough part about having a person as a team's mascot rather than an animal really limits the mannerisms and things that he can do to rally the fans. It's much easier to be an animal than a human, so Herbie has his work cut out for him. Maybe next year, he can have a mascot friend, maybe 'TNT" or a flourescent mineral. Maybe call him "Sterling", in reference to Sterling Hill Mine Museum, or "Geo" for geology. I really think Herbie could use a companion. One missing feature to the ballpark experience at Skylands is the lack of on-field host. I have a feeling the Miners didn't have enough time to round someone up for this position. Hopefully, in 2016, they will add a host to help rally the fans and to run the on-field contests. One unique feature of the ballpark is that after a Miners victory, the globe firepit in front of the stadium is lit up for fans to see on their way out of the ballpark. I can't say I have seen anything like this anywhere else in my ballpark visits.

The Miners make good use of the mining theme throughout the ballpark but there's still a little room for improvement. Maybe they can find a way to incorporate mining into the names of the concession items or the stands themselves. Naming some of the concession items with names such as "TNT dog" for some kind of special hot dog.....something like that. The mascot, Herbie carries a pick that has a baseball bat handle which is creative. The rally cheer of "TNT...Dynamite!" is appropriate and gets the fans into the game. The ushers and staff members carry the TNT Towel to wave around to get the fans involved. Also, the team store is called "The Company Store" in reference to the lyric "I owe my soul to the Company Store" in Johnny Cash's song, "Sixteen Tons" about the life of a coal miner.

 

Herbie, the miner

 

Miners Win!

 

Recognition of Team's History and/or MLB Affiliate:

  • Address is 94 Championship Way (in honor of the 1994 New Jersey Cardinals winning the league championship

 

 

 

Overall Rating:

Review is based on many visits on 5/30/15, 6/19/15, 7/7/15, 7/17/15, 8/7/15, 8/24/15, and 9/6/15.

 

 
 
 
 

amanda@baseballstadiumreviews.com