Midway Stadium

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Midway Stadium
Midway Stadium.JPG
Former names Municipal Stadium (1982–1993)
Location 1771 Energy Park Drive
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108
Owner City of St. Paul
Operator St. Paul Parks and Recreation
Capacity 2,100 (1982–1993)
5,000 (1993–1995)
6,069 (1995–2014)
Field size Left Field: 320 ft (98 m)
Center Field: 400 ft (120 m)
Right Field: 320 ft (98 m)
Construction
Opened September 1982
Demolished 2015 (planned) [1]
Construction cost $3 million USD
Tenants
Hamline University (1982–2014)
St. Paul Saints (1993–2014)

Midway Stadium is the name of two different minor league baseball parks in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States, one now demolished and the other still in active use. The name derives from the location of the stadium in St. Paul's Midway area, so named because it's roughly halfway between the downtowns of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

The first Midway Stadium was the home of the St. Paul Saints of the American Association from 1957–1960. It was located at 1000 North Snelling Avenue, on the east side of that street. It was built with just a small uncovered and presumably expandable grandstand. It was intended to compete with Metropolitan Stadium for attracting a major league baseball team, but the already-larger capacity of "The Met" doomed Midway Stadium. It was abandoned for professional baseball once the Twins arrived in 1961 and displaced both the Saints and the Minneapolis Millers. It was used for minor events and as a Minnesota Vikings practice field for the next 20 years, and finally demolished in 1981 to make way for the Energy Park. That development, with all new streets and various buildings, rubbed out any trace of the ballpark's existence.

The scoreboard at Midway Stadium

The second Midway Stadium was built in 1982 at roughly half the size of its namesake. It is located at 1771 Energy Park Drive. That's on the north side of that road, just west of Snelling, complemented by the Burlington Northern tracks to the north just beyond left field. Thus it is about a mile west of the first Midway Stadium site. The ballpark started out in life as Municipal Stadium. It was and is the home of Hamline University's baseball team. Despite its baseball configurations, some small private schools in St. Paul play football games at Midway in the fall. When Mike Veeck and Bill Murray revived the Saints and also the independent Northern League in 1993, they set up shop there, at the soon-rechristened Midway Stadium. Midway Stadium is also used, occasionally, for rock concerts and other events. In April 2014 it was announced that pioneering alternative rock band The Replacements would hold a hometown reunion concert at the venue on September 13, 2014.[2]

The Saints' slogan is "Fun Is Good" and Mike Veeck has proudly declared that Midway Stadium is "The ugliest ballpark in America!"[3] Mike's late father, Bill Veeck, Jr. is a well-known baseball owner and counts one of his accomplishments as planting the ivy at Wrigley Field.[4]

2014 will mark the final season for both Hamline and the Saints at Midway Stadium. Both teams will move into the new ballpark CHS Field in time for the 2015 season. Midway Stadium will be torn down in 2015. The 12-acre site will likely be used for an office or warehouse development, which is in line with the industrial area that surrounds the stadium. [1]

Dimensions[edit]

Original Midway Stadium

  • Seating Capacity - 10,250
  • Left Field - 321 ft (98 m).
  • Center Field - 410 ft (120 m).
  • Right Field - 321 ft (98 m).

New Midway Stadium

  • Seating Capacity - 6,069
  • Left Field - 320 ft (98 m).
  • Center Field - 400 ft (120 m).
  • Right Field - 320 ft (98 m).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Melo, Frederick (June 24, 2014). "Office-warehouse likely to occupy Midway Stadium after its demolition". Saint Paul Pioneer Press (Saint Paul, Minnesota). Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Replacements To Play Midway Stadium In St. Paul". WCCO - CBS News. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Rupar, Aaron. "Midway Stadium documentary captures storied ballpark's twilight". Citypages.com. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Brewster, Mike. "Bill Veeck: A Baseball Mastermind". BusinessWeek.com. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  • Anderson, David (ed.) (1993). Before the Dome: Baseball in Minnesota When the Grass Was Real. Minneapolis: Nodin Press. ISBN 0-931714-50-8. 
  • Benson, Michael (1989). Ballparks of North America: A Comprehensive Historical Reference to Baseball Grounds, Yards, and Stadiums, 1845 to Present. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 0-89950-367-5. 
  • Lowry, Philip J. (1992). Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All 271 Major League and Negro League Ballparks Past and Present. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-56777-6. 
  • Thornley, Stew (1988). On to Nicollet: The Glory and Fame of the Minneapolis Millers. Minneapolis: Nodin Press. ISBN 0-931714-33-8. 

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
first venue
Home of the St. Paul Saints
1993
Succeeded by
CHS Field
Preceded by
first venue
Host of the NoL All-Star Game
Midway Stadium

1997
Succeeded by
Lewis and Clark Park
Preceded by
Sioux Falls Stadium
Host of the AAB All-Star Game
Midway Stadium

2008
Succeeded by
QuikTrip Park

Coordinates: 44°58′21″N 93°10′26″W / 44.97250°N 93.17389°W / 44.97250; -93.17389