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601 Morris St.
Charleston, WV

Stadium Opened: 2005
Capacity: 4,500
Dimensions: LF- 340 ft.  CF- 400 ft.   RF- 320 ft.
Surface: Natural Grass
Former Names of Ballpark: None

Parking:

  • No dedicated lot run by the Power but there are several lots near the ballpark.
  • One of the options is to park across the street in the Family Dollar plaza lot.

 

Food:

  • Concessions menu link with prices is on the team's website. The usual items are available: hot dogs, pretzels, chicken tenders, and fries.
  • Concessions were reasonably priced but the variety seemed a little sparse.

 

Seating/Stadium Design:

The seating bowl is made up of fold-down seats. I am not sure of the color because in 2013, they appeared to be a faded black/gray, but I am not sure if that is what they started out as when the ballpark was built. To me, either the color or the fact that they are faded really made the ballpark look a lot older than it actually is. The general admission section is made up of aluminum bleachers with backs. There are yellow fold-down seats underneath the videoboard/scoreboard in the outfield that were brought over from Watt Powell Park.

The 360 degree concourse allows fans to walk around the ballpark and not miss any of the action. Beyond the right field wall, there are a few sets of temporary looking bleachers for fans to sit. This is a good idea, I just wish it didn't look so temporary. It just looks like they threw a set of high school bleachers there as a last minute thought. Not to mention that if someone fell backwards off of them, we live in such a sue-happy society that I am sure they are just a lawsuit waiting to happen.

There is a large, open space behind homeplate in the concourse. It needs a purpose. A lot of wide open, empty space to me just suggests that attendance is dwindling and they have lost interest in trying to put concessions or merchandise stands in this area to liven it up. Come on....do something with this area besides having a misting area. While I thoroughly enjoyed the misting station on a hot evening, it's not enough for that large space.

 

The ballpark was not originally built with much protection from the elements. As an after thought, a roof was added to the concession area on the third base side. In this area, there are also some high tables for fans to sit at who have purchased the all-you-can-eat picnic tickets. Hanging off the roof are some very temporary looking advertisement banners. This looks really cheap and last minute to me as well.

The team store is called the "Power Outlet". Good choice for the name. Near the "Power Outlet" is outdoor seating that belongs to the "Power Alley Grill" restaurant housed in the old warehouse building which is incoporated into the park. I liked this area. I like to see ballparks incorporating old buildings into the ballpark and making good use of it.

There is also the Budweiser Party Deck in right field and a Backyard Grill in left field. In centerfield is a kids play area that did not look too impressive. Good thing kids should be coming to the game for the baseball. There are also 14 luxury suites in the ballpark.

Atmosphere/Character:

  • Generally ballparks located in the downtown section of a city, tend to have a lot of character. I'm not sure this is true for Appalachian Power Park. It appears to be situated in a run-down section of Charleston. Although, it is near a hospital which looks presentable, it is across the street from a "Family Dollar" and abandoned buildings with broken windows. I hope this section of Charleston is revitalized soon so that the ballpark does not follow the trend of the nearby buildings that are looking pretty shabby. Apparently there have been talks of putting loft apartments in some of these abandon buildings which are eye sores, but nothing has come to fruition yet.
  • Bringing some seats over from Watt Powell Park adds some character and charm to this ballpark. Also, the use of the old warehouse contributes to adding character. The warehouse houses the ticket windows, offices, batting cages, and a restaurant.
  • The fan known as "Toast Man" I believe was still seated behind homeplate but I couldn't tell if he was tossing toast of not. I did hear a lot of chanting, laughing, etc. but I couldn't really tell what was going on. The seats behind homeplate seemed to be heavily guarded by ushers as if they were protecting seats that cost $200 a piece to sit in. Really? Is that necessary? I find it very uninviting when ballparks have ushers standing guard rather than acting like they are there to assist the fans. These are $7 and $9 dollar seats...seriously? Come on, lighten up.
  • Fans seeking autographs should go down towards the right field corner when the players are warming up. Players from both teams will be coming out of the clubhouses located in that corner.
  • The night I attended, the crowd was not very big and the atmosphere was definitely lacking.

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

  • In the concourse area behind homeplate, there is a Charleston baseball Wall of Fame. Rod Blackstone, AKA, "Toast Man" is honored on a plaque on the wall of fame.

 

Overall Rating:

Review is based on many visit on my visit on 6/25/13.

 

amanda@baseballstadiumreviews.com