Clipper Magazine Stadium

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Clipper Magazine Stadium
The Clipper
ClipperMagazineStadium.PNG
Clipper3.PNG
Location650 North Prince Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
Public transitBus transport RRTA bus: 3, Historic Downtown Trolley
OwnerRedevelopment Authority of the County of Lancaster
OperatorOpening Day Partners; Lancaster Barnstormers
Capacity6,000, expandable to 7,500
Field sizeLeft Field: 320 feet (98 m)

Left Center: 409 feet (125 m)

Center Field: 400 feet (120 m)

Right Center: 363 feet (111 m)

Right Field: 300 feet (91 m)

Wall: 17 feet (5.2 m)
Surfacegrass
Construction
Broke groundApril 28, 2004
OpenedMay 11, 2005
Construction cost$23.4 million
ArchitectTetra Tech, Inc.
Tenants
Lancaster Barnstormers (ALPB)
(2005–present)
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) (2016)

Clipper Magazine Stadium is a 6,000-seat baseball park in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Its first regular season baseball game occurred on May 11, 2005, in which the Lancaster Barnstormers lost to the Atlantic City Surf, 4-3. The ballpark also hosts the New Era Tournament for midget baseball and the Lancaster-Lebanon League high school baseball championship, and was the site of the 2008 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference baseball championship.[1] In October 2008, the venue hosted vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, for the Road to Victory rally during the 2008 United States presidential election.[2] Clipper Magazine Stadium was honored as the "Ballpark of the Year" by the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball following the end of its 2013 regular season. The award commemorated Barnstormers' staff for their excellence in groundskeeping and stadium operations.[3]

Clipper Magazine Stadium also serves as the corporate headquarters for the Atlantic League. The ballpark is named for Clipper Magazine, a local periodical company, which purchased the naming rights for $2.5 million over ten years.[4] This agreement was extended in 2013 through the 2019 season.[5]

History[edit]

44 years before the opening of Clipper Magazine Stadium and the Lancaster Barnstormers' inaugural season, the Lancaster Red Roses entertained baseball enthusiasts for 20 years at Stumpf Field. Efforts for a new stadium and a new team began in 1987, and what was a long sixteen-year battle finally paid off with an announcement in 2003. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania agreed to fund roughly half of the cost with Opening Day Partners and the city of Lancaster covering the remainder. The original plan in 2001 called for a proposed, $20-million ballpark to be constructed on the Diseley Farm site, across from Long's Park in Manheim Township. However, those plans were cancelled because of residential concerns about traffic and political concerns about the use of eminent domain and rezoning.[6] After this plan was terminated, most Lancaster County politicians preferred a downtown ballpark in order to revitalize a run-down neighborhood. The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Lancaster settled on an industrial site on the corner of North Prince and Frederick streets, where a company called Ace Rents existed. Initially, Ace Rents stalled the process, but quickly came to an agreement as they did not want to cause delay.[7] The groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 28, 2004, and Clipper Magazine Stadium was finished just before it opened on May 11, 2005.

With its brick façade and steel beams, the architecture of Clipper Magazine Stadium alludes to its industrial surroundings. Located in Lancaster's Northwest Corridor, the ballpark faces many downtown factories and is itself constructed over a former rail yard.[8] Coincidentally, this section of Lancaster city (between North Mary and North Charlotte Streets, south of the Harrisburg Pike) was historically known as the "base ball ground", circa 1886.[7]

2007 Atlantic League All-Star Game[edit]

In July 2007, the Lancaster Barnstormers hosted the Atlantic League All-Star Game at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The league's former North Division won, 8-6.[9]

Ballpark attractions[edit]

Clipper Magazine Stadium includes 6,000 green, chair-back seats in two levels divided by an open, 360° concourse. It also features other seating options such as luxury suites with professional catering, lawn seating that expands the ballpark's seating capacity to 7,500, and bleachers along the left-field wall. Additionally, the venue has three entertainment venues for children: the Weis Horse Around Corral featuring a carousel, jungle gyms, a rock climbing wall, and various inflatables; Cylo's Clubhouse that allows for youth to interact with the Barnstormers' bovine mascot, Cylo; and the Turkey Hill Birthday Zone that hosts birthday celebrations. The Inside Corner Team Store is the official Lancaster Barnstormers' team apparel and souvenir store. It is located at the home-plate entrance and open year-round.[10] Aside from the entertainment options, the venue depicts Lancaster's professional baseball history with a visual display, to include a mural honoring Richard M. Scott. Scott was a former Lancaster mayor (1974–1979) who initiated the civic effort toward Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Infield at Clipper Magazine Stadium

One of the ballpark's highlights is Hess’ Picnic Pavilion, a concession stand with a red barn façade that includes a traditional ballpark menu with an emphasis on items produced in Lancaster County. This emphasis includes Hess's BBQ (a four-time Pennsylvania state barbecue champion),[11] Auntie Anne's soft pretzels, Kunzler hot dogs, beer from the Lancaster Brewing Company, and Turkey Hill ice cream and iced tea. Other regional foods provided at Clipper Magazine Stadium include cheesesteaks and whoopie pies.

Before the 2013 Atlantic League season, the Lancaster Barnstormers made a series of improvements to Clipper Magazine Stadium. The first of these was a new playground for children along the third-base line featuring a foam-based protective floor. Other improvements included a renovated picnic area with new tents and a deck comprising synthetic materials instead of wood, a new right-field wall, landscaping beyond the outfield, and computerized irrigation controls.[12]

Home Run Harbor[edit]

Prior to the 2008 season, a unique feature was added to Clipper Magazine Stadium: Home Run Harbor, a 36,000-gallon, artificial pond with 10 bumper boats equipped with water cannons, a small waterfall, and a bridge. An estimated 30% of the home runs at the ballpark are hit toward the Home Run Harbor area, making the location a great place to see long-ball action. Safety netting prevented incoming baseballs from injuring patrons of the attraction.[13] The bumper boats attraction was closed after the 2015 season.

Silverball Museum Arcade[edit]

The Lancaster Barnstormers added the Silverball Museum Arcade in time for the 2011 Atlantic League season. It is a coin-free attraction that includes nostalgic arcade games from the 1930s to some of the video games played in the present. Each machine possesses a description of its history and inspiration. The Silverball Museum Arcade also has televisions and multimedia detailing everything pinball.[14]

Stitches Sculpture[edit]

In late 2012, an artist named Derek Parker installed his baseball stitches sculpture along Clipper Magazine Stadium's main walkway on North Prince Street. It symbolically links the ballpark to Lancaster city. As the sixth Poetry Paths project completed by Franklin & Marshall College's Writer's House, the stitches also tie professional baseball and the arts. It includes the Le Hinton poem called "Our Ballpark" and is part of a $250,000 initiative by the Lancaster County Community Foundation to add art and poetry into Lancaster city's urban environment.[15]

Special events[edit]

Mural honoring Richard M. Scott, the mayor who campaigned for baseball's return to Lancaster

3…2…1! Lancaster[edit]

On New Year's Eve 2010, Clipper Magazine Stadium hosted its first celebration, "3…2…1! Lancaster." The event was coordinated with a concert, fireworks, and the Red Rose drop at nearby Binns Park.[16]

Ice Park at Clipper Magazine Stadium[edit]

Clipper Magazine Stadium is converted to an outdoor public ice-skating rink during the winter months so the Lancaster community can enjoy the ballpark in the off-season. Using state-of-the art equipment, the right field segment of the ballpark is converted to an ice skating rink measuring 135 feet by 85 feet with skate rental available; the concessions serve ballpark fare as well as soup, coffee, and hot chocolate.[17] In 2010, a 26-foot Ice Slide attraction by Avalanche Express was added to the Ice Park.[18]

LeSean McCoy Celebrity Softball Game[edit]

In 2012, the Barnstormers held its first annual celebrity softball game, which was hosted by LeSean McCoy, an All-Pro running back on the Philadelphia Eagles and Harrisburg native. The contest pits the Eagles against professional football players from other teams in the National Football League. The 2012 Eagles roster featured Brent Celek, Hugh Douglas, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Torrey Smith, Michael Vick, and Brian Westbrook. Their opponents included Victor Cruz of the New York Giants, Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants, Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, and Mike Wallace of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Any proceeds collected for the LeSean McCoy Celebrity Softball Game are directed to the LeSean McCoy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that serves to raise funds and awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. LeSean McCoy is motivated by his grandmother's death due to ALS.[19] Additionally, the Foundation also provides for the underprivileged in Central Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. Some of the money collected from the 2012 game provided Christmas toys to the Boys and Girls Club and the Salvation Army, sports gear to the Police Athletic League, a professional football game and a winter vacation for families affected by ALS, winter coats and backpacks containing necessary school supplies for impoverished children, and winter coats for a women's and children's shelter in Philadelphia.[20]

Concerts[edit]

Clipper Magazine Stadium has hosted various concerts, including rock musicians Bob Dylan, Bryan Adams, Def Leppard, and Jefferson Starship; country music artists Clint Black, Dwight Yoakam, and Willie Nelson; and smooth jazz instrumentalist Kenny G.

Soccer[edit]

On July 16, 2009, Clipper Magazine Stadium hosted an exhibition match between the Harrisburg City Islanders and Crystal Palace, an English team based in London.[21] The ballpark's infield was covered with grass sod in order to convert it for the game. Additionally, local soccer training was scheduled at Clipper Magazine Stadium to maximize the soccer pitch's use.

In August 2015, the venue hosted two professional soccer games. The first featured the Harrisburg City Islanders versus FC Montreal, both members of the United Soccer League. The second match included the Philadelphia Union, a Major League Soccer club, versus Harrisburg.[22]

For the 2016 season the Harrisburg City Islanders will call Clipper Magazine Stadium home for 5 regular season games throughout the season. With the other 10 home games being played at FNB Field on City Island in Harrisburg

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Clip hosts the New Era Tournament and LLL baseball championships". Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
  2. ^ "Sarah Palin comes to the Clip". Lancaster Barnstormers. Retrieved October 18, 2008.
  3. ^ "Barnstormers garner Atlantic League awards". Lancaster Barnstormers. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  4. ^ "Clipper Magazine Buys Naming Rights". Clipper Magazine. Retrieved May 16, 2006.
  5. ^ "Clipper Magazine Extends Naming Rights Agreement". Lancaster Barnstormers. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  6. ^ Diseley Farm ballpark Archived 2009-03-10 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b Aces Rents relocated Archived 2009-06-24 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Clipper's architecture Archived 2011-10-03 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ 2007 All-Star Game Archived 2007-11-23 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "About Clipper Magazine Stadium". Lancaster Barnstormers. Retrieved May 16, 2006.
  11. ^ "Fans Can Chow Down On Hess's Bbq In Amelia's Picnic Pavilion". Lancaster Barnstormers. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
  12. ^ "Home Run Harbor". Lancaster Barnstormers. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  13. ^ "Home Run Harbor". Lancaster Barnstormers. Retrieved April 4, 2008.
  14. ^ "Pinball Museum to Open at Clipper Magazine Stadium". Ballpark Business. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  15. ^ "Sculptor has Lancaster city's ballpark in stitches". Lancaster Online. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  16. ^ "A New Year, A New Event for the City of Lancaster". Lancaster Barnstormers. Retrieved December 25, 2010.
  17. ^ "Clipper Magazine Stadium becomes ice-skating rink". Atlantic League. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
  18. ^ "Cooler Than Ever Before". Lancaster Barnstormers. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
  19. ^ "LeSean McCoy Celebrity Softball Game". Lancaster Barnstormers. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  20. ^ "2013 Celebrity Softball Game". Lancaster Barnstormers. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  21. ^ "Clipper Magazine Stadium to host world class soccer". Lancaster Barnstormers. Retrieved June 10, 2009.
  22. ^ "Lancaster soccer fans wild over Philadelphia Union's win over City Islanders". Lancaster Online. Retrieved September 1, 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°2′55″N 76°18′39″W / 40.04861°N 76.31083°W / 40.04861; -76.31083