Regency Furniture Stadium
|Home of Crustacean Nation|
|Location||11765 Saint Linus Drive
Waldorf, MD 20602
|Owner||Charles County, Maryland|
|Operator||Opening Day Partners; Southern Maryland Blue Crabs|
Left Field: 310 feet (94 m)
Center Field: 400 feet (120 m)Right Field: 325 feet (99 m)
|Broke ground||July 27, 2007|
|Opened||May 2, 2008|
|Construction cost||$25.6 million|
|Architect||Tetra Tech, Inc.|
|Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (ALPB) (2008-present)
Southern Maryland Nationals (CRSCBL) (2010-present)
Regency Furniture Stadium is a 4,200-seat baseball park in Waldorf, Maryland that hosted its first regular season baseball game on May 2, 2008, as the tenants of the facility, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs defeated the Lancaster Barnstormers, 3-2. For the 2010 baseball season, the collegiate summer Southern Maryland Nationals of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Collegiate Baseball League will play select games at the venue. The CRSCBL previously used Regency Furniture for the Mid-Atlantic Classic (see below). With the groundbreaking for Southern Maryland's new stadium, a local company, Regency Furniture, purchased the naming rights for $2.88 million over 10 years.
Regency Furniture Stadium is capped by sloping red roofs, similar to the architecture of Churchill Downs, designed to pay homage to the Southern Maryland region's tobacco barns. The left field wall of the ballpark bears a door that allows players to enter the field from the locker room, modeled after the Green Monster at Fenway Park.
In 1985, Charles County initiated plans to build a ballpark for the relocated Kinston Indians of the Carolina League. Construction workers even cleared trees to prepare the site, however, the ballpark planning eventually fell through. After county commissioners balked on the construction, $500,000 in public funds were paid to cancel signed contracts and undo the progress made during site preparation. The A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians remained in Kinston, and the Southern Maryland region was without a professional baseball team for another 23 years.
In 2004, a company called Opening Day Partners renewed interest for a Charles County ballpark. The stadium was originally slated to be built in the town of Hughesville, but the residents voted against it in order to maintain the "rural charm" of the area. After Hughesville residents denied the ballpark, all interest shifted to Waldorf, a bedroom community of Washington, D.C. The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball formally announced an expansion team for Waldorf on February 15, 2006, to begin play in the 2008 season. The Blue Crabs were originally supposed to be an expansion team for the 2007 season, but the construction bids for Regency Furniture Stadium came in over budget. The ballpark instead opened in 2008.
In May 2007, commissioners from Charles County approved a $19 million bid for the construction of Regency Furniture Stadium. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 27, 2007 with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley in attendance and CEO of Regency Furniture.
Regency Furniture Stadium's concession stands are all named after Hall of Famer and team co-owner, Brooks Robinson, featuring the MVP Grill, the Gold Glove Grill, Hall of Fame Seafood, the Hot Corner Carvery, the All-Star Pizzeria, and Five’s Fare. Among the more common ballpark fare, the menu features several seafood-themed concessions such as the sea dog (fish on a hot dog bun), fried rockfish, crab cakes, crab balls, and the crab-filled soft pretzel. A tent-covered picnic area, the Texas Roadhouse Corral, overlooks left field. Beer is available at the Backfin Pale Ale brewery.
Kids at the ballpark can enjoy Pinch's Playground, which includes a rock climbing wall and various inflatables. Additional attractions include the Crab Shack, the Blue Crabs' souvenir store, and the Legends Club, a facility designed for business conferences or parties.
Crabby Cove is a 54,000 gallon, artificial pond with ten bumper boats equipped with water cannons and a small waterfall. Safety netting prevents incoming baseballs from injuring patrons of Crabby Cove.
The very first concert at Regency Furniture Stadium featured the rock band REO Speedwagon, who played to a crowd of over 4,000 on August 11, 2008. The ballpark also hosted a series of Southern Maryland Country Music Festival performances that included Craig Morgan, Gary Allan, John Luskey Band, Shooter Jennings, and SwampDaWamp. Trace Adkins, another notable country musician, is scheduled to perform on July 4, 2009 for a tribute to the United States Armed Forces. The hip-hop artists, T-Pain and Flo Rida, performed on June 6, 2009. The rock band, 3 Doors Down, was booked for August 14, but moved when Kool Productions was offered a better deal by National Harbor with a potential of attendance up to and over 15,000. The two remaining shows for Regency Stadium were also moved to National Harbor.
On July 15, 2009, Regency Furniture Stadium hosted the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Classic, which the Cal Ripken, Sr. Collegiate Baseball League All-Stars defeated the Valley Baseball League All-Stars, 2-1. The game was televised on MASN.
On July 13, 2009, Regency Furniture Stadium hosted an exhibition soccer match between Crystal Palace F.C., a Football League Championship team based in London, and its U.S. affiliate, Crystal Palace Baltimore. The game was nationally televised in the United States by the Fox Soccer Channel. The English team beat the American team 5 to 2.
- "Regency Furniture Purchases Naming Rights". Southern Maryland Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 16, 2006.
- Rucker, Philip (December 13, 2006). "Blue Crabs will play in 2008". Washington Post. Retrieved December 14, 2006.
- RFS's outfield wall
- Greenwell, Megan. "Charles scores one for the home team". Washington Post. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
- "Baseball is Coming to Charles County". Washington Post. February 17, 2006. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
- "Minor league baseball coming to Charles County". Washington Post. February 17, 2006. Retrieved June 5, 2006.
- "Atlantic League awards team to Southern Maryland". Southern Maryland Baseball. Retrieved June 5, 2006.
- "RFS funding approved". Delmarva Now. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2007.
- "RFS groundbreaking". The Baynet. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- Ballpark Digest visits Regency Furniture Stadium
- Blue Crabs FAQs
- "Old-timers REO break in new stadium". Southern Maryland Newspapers Online. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
- "Craig Morgan: the festival’s mystery guest star". Southern Maryland Newspapers Online. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
- "Regency Furniture Stadium to rock once again in summer 2009". Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
- Personal reference. I lived there at the time
- "3 Doors Down at the Ballpark". Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Retrieved June 22, 2009.
- "Regency Furniture Stadium to host world class soccer". Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Retrieved June 4, 2009.