Midway Stadium (II)
St. Paul, MN
|Team: St. Paul Saints||League: American Association|
|Opening Year: 1982||Cost: $3 million|
|Capacity: 2,100 (1993), 5,000 (1995) 6,069 (2013)||Dimensions: LF 320 CF 400 RF 320|
|Owner: City of St. Paul|
When you think of historical ballparks, images of Fenway Park or Wrigley Field may come to mind. Or perhaps you think of old minor league parks such as Wahconah Park or Centennial Field, that is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its current configuration. Then again, perhaps you heard about Fuller Field, which is the oldest continuously used ballpark according to Guinness. In the world of Independent baseball, this park ranks right up there. Home of the most famous of all Indy League teams, the St. Paul Saints, have been chugging along since 1993. Mike Veeck, son of the (in)famous baseball promoter Bill, has had a pig delivering balls to the home plate umpire and other zany inter inning promotions going on for a while. This is the team that other Indy teams (and many minor league teams!) emulate. In fact, there have been times when the Saints have outdrawn their MLB counterpart, the Twins.
Built in 1982, this park was to server as the baseball home of Hamline University. Known as Municipal Stadium, this park also served as the home of some small St. Paul private high school football games. In 1993, when Mike Veeck (and actor partner Bill Murray) set up shop, they greatly increased the size and renamed it Midway Stadium. Veeck has proudly announced that his ballpark is "the ugliest in America", and he might be right.
This park isn't a dump. It is well kept up, but it is old and poorly designed. You walk into a dark room with a concession stand, and there are narrow concourses that extend the length of the park (with no view of the field). On either end of the park, there are party decks. There are some small outfield boxes that are VERY far from the action. In fact, the aluminum benches that serve as seats throughout the park, are far from the field. There is a small scoreboard in the outfield, and that is it. The Saints slogan, "Fun is Good", is in effect, and they work very hard to keep an entertaining product on the field. Kudos to them. Their efforts should soon be rewarded, as St. Paul is building a new stadium for them in the Lowertown section, located right off the new light rail from Minneapolis.
© 2013-17 Paul Healey.