Peoples Natural Gas Field
|Former names||Blair County Ballpark (1999–2012)|
|Location||1000 Park Avenue
Altoona, PA 16602
|Operator||Lozinak Baseball, LLC|
|Field size||Left Field: 325 feet
Left–Center: 365 feet
Center Field: 405 feet
Right–Center: 375 feet
Right Field: 325 feet
Fence Height: Mostly 8 feet but varies from 6 to 16
|Broke ground||March 7, 1998|
|Opened||April 15, 1999|
|Construction cost||$20 million
($28.8 million in 2016 dollars)
|Architect||L. D. Astorino Companies|
|Services engineer||Loftus Engineers LLC|
|General contractor||Ralph J. Albarano & Sons|
|Altoona Curve (EL) (1999–present)|
Peoples Natural Gas Field is a 7,210-seat baseball-only stadium in Altoona, Pennsylvania, that opened in 1999. It is the home ballpark of the Double-A Eastern League's Altoona Curve Minor League Baseball team.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the stadium, then known as Blair County Ballpark, was held on March 7, 1998. The addition of Major League Baseball teams in Phoenix, Arizona, and St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1998 also created room for Minor League Baseball to expand. Two additional teams were added to the Eastern League for the 1999 season: the Altoona Curve and the Erie SeaWolves. The city of Altoona won the favor of the Eastern League over a bid from Springfield, Massachusetts. The stadium hosted its first regular season baseball game on April 15, 1999, as the Curve defeated the Bowie Baysox, 6–1.
From 1999 to 2002, total seating capacity at Peoples Natural Gas Field was listed at 6,176. Prior to the 2003 season, an additional 1,034 seats were created with the construction of the new left-field reserved bleacher section, the third-base picnic pavilion, and the left-field party deck. Blair County Ballpark hosted the Eastern League All-Star Game on July 12, 2006, before a record crowd of 9,308 fans. The largest regular-season crowd was 9,255, recorded on August 10, 2003, for a doubleheader against the Harrisburg Senators.
On January 31, 2012, it was announced that Peoples Natural Gas had signed a naming-rights deal, making the new Peoples Natural Gas Field name official. In addition, Peoples Natural Gas is conducting a study for on-site green energy.
Peoples Natural Gas Field has a façade that resembles an old-fashioned railroad roundhouse that are prevalent throughout the city of Altoona. The stadium is double-decked, with the Diamond Club seating section making up the lower level. The main concourse with concessions and restrooms sits behind this section, and is covered by the upper levels of seating.
Peoples Natural Gas Field is unique because of its roller coaster located beyond the right-field wall. This ride, called Skyliner, is actually part of the Lakemont Park amusement park located next door. The ridges of the Allegheny Mountains can also be viewed from inside the stadium. Oddly enough, the MLB 2k13 minor league field labeled "AA East Field" is extremely similar to Peoples Natural Gas Field.
- Diamond club: 1,634 seats
- Terrace level: 1,204 seats
- Grandstand level: 2,646 seats
- Outfield reserved: 744 seats
- Third-base picnic pavilion: 250 seats
- "Rail Kings" (on party deck): 40 seats
- Skyboxes: 292 seats
- Bleachers: 400 seats
Photos of the park
- "2012 Altoona Curve Media Guide". Minor League Baseball. 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- "Markets: Sports". Loftus Engineers LLC. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- Binette, Chad (March 8, 1998). "Excav-AA-tion: 150 Area Residents Look on as Stadium Ground is Broken". Altoona Mirror. p. A1. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
- Giger, Cory (July 10, 2013). "Curve Eager to Host 2014 EL All-Star Game". Altoona Mirror. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
- "Curve, Peoples Natural Gas Forge Unique Agreement". Minor League Baseball. January 30, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
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