Huntington Park

Cheap Thrill Downtown Columbus Outdoor Play

Lawn seats score home run for legroom


It took nearly all summer, but my family and I recently visited the new Huntington Park, where the Triple-A Columbus Clippers play. After spending time there, I can understand why many of the games are sellouts. It’s a beauty of a brick ballpark and a great place for a family night out.

Huntington Park, nestled in the vibrant Arena District within a deep fly of Nationwide Arena, opened this spring as a replacement for Cooper Stadium. That west-side venue was built in the 1930s and had seen its day. Huntington Park’s opening coincided with the Clippers’ new affiliation as the top farm team of the Cleveland Indians.

It’s made quite a splash. It was recently named the “2009 Ballpark of the Year” by BaseballParks.com. Huntington Park can seat 10,100 fans, and the bells and whistles are amazing for a minor league park:

• There are plenty of places for fans to roam, including 1,200 lawn, picnic and standing room positions.
• Seating includes 32 suites and 42 loge boxes behind home plate.
• You can even watch the game through fencing along Nationwide Boulevard without paying to get in.
• There’s a 110-seat club bar on the second level behind home plate, another long bar in the outfield building and a rooftop terrace with plenty of seating and food by Rooster Wings.
• The outfield has a fountain for kids to play in. Lockers are available in the Left Field Building to store a change of clothes.

We found that one of the best places for families with young children to enjoy the new stadium is in a lawn seat. It’s considered General Admission and costs $7 for adults and $4 for seniors and children ages 12 and younger. Our infant son got in free and slept most of the game.

The lawn section is filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. Fans can bring their own blankets, but folding chairs are prohibited. Coolers, glass bottles and cans aren’t allowed either, but you can bring small bags or backpacks of food items and beverages in plastic bottles. Strollers also are permitted, but shouldn’t obstruct other fans’ view or block passageways of other guests. Cameras and camcorders also are welcome.

Don’t forget to bring your glove, baseball cap and sunglasses. The sight of the setting sun over the other side of the ball field nearly blinded us until about the fourth inning. Foods and beverage costs were a little high for a minor-league game, more in line with going to a Blue Jackets hockey game rather than hanging out in Cooper Stadium.

Gates open 90 minutes before the start of the game. That’s when we arrived and found a $5 parking spot nearby. Arriving early also provided prime pickings on the grass patch. We laid our blanket down and enjoyed the view of the new stadium with a fine view of downtown Columbus.

Huntington Park has several levels of ticket prices and specials. Refer to www.columbusclippers.com for more details. If you can’t go to the park in person to buy tickets you can purchase them through TicketMaster or the Clippers’ ticket office at 614-462-2757.

For more information, visit www.huntingtonparkcolumbus.com.

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Wendy and Mike Pramik

Wendy and Mike Pramik are writers from Columbus, Ohio. Their favorite topic is travel, and they enjoy sharing stories about the many weekend adventures they take with their two children, Rosie and Max.