Clipper Magazine Stadium

Clipper Magazine Stadium is a 6,000-seat baseball park in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that hosted its first regular season baseball game on May 11, 2005, when the tenants of the facility, 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. In October 2008, the venue hosted vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, for the Road to Victory rally during the 2008 United States presidential election.

Clipper Magazine Stadium also serves as the corporate headquarters for the Opening Day Partners, the ownership group of the Barnstormers and three other Atlantic League teams. The ballpark is named for Clipper Magazine, a local periodical company, which purchased the naming rights for $2.5 million over ten years.

History

Forty-four 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. 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. 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. 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.

2007 Atlantic League All-Star Game

In July 2007, the Lancaster Barnstormers hosted the Atlantic League All-Star Game at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The league's former North Division won by a score of 8 to 6.

Photos of the park
  • Infield of Clipper Magazine Stadium

  • The view from the outfield

  • Richard M. Scott mural

Ballpark attractions

Clipper Magazine Stadium features Amelia’s 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),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.

Kids at the ballpark can play at the Weis Horse Around Corral that includes a carousel, jungle gyms, a rock climbing wall, and various inflatables. Cylo's Clubhouse also provides entertainment for children, featuring the Barnstormers' bovine mascot, Cylo. Finally, the Turkey Hill Birthday Zone is a place for children's birthday celebrations.

Clipper Magazine Stadium includes additional seating options for its patrons. Executives can reserve one of several luxury suites available for business or pleasure, with professional catering and an excellent view of the field. Lawn seating expands the ballpark's seating capacity, allowing an additional 1,500 fans to view the game. Bleachers are also available along the left field wall. However, Clipper Magazine Stadium includes 6,000 green, chair-back seats in two levels divided by an open, 360-degree concourse.

The Richard M. Scott mural graces the interior entrance of the ballpark, and is dedicated to the former mayor who initiated the effort for professional baseball's return to Lancaster. Clipper Magazine Stadium also includes a visual display detailing Lancaster's professional baseball history.

The Inside Corner Team Store, which remains open throughout the year, is the official Lancaster Barnstormers' team apparel and souvenir store, located at the home plate entrance.

Home Run Harbor

Prior to the 2008 season, a unique feature was added to Clipper Magazine Stadium: Home Run Harbor, a 36,000-gallon, artificial pond with ten bumper boats equipped with water cannons, a small waterfall, and a bridge. An estimated thirty percent 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 prevents incoming baseballs from injuring patrons of the attraction.

Silverball Museum Arcade

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 to the present. Each machine possesses a description of its history and inspiration. The Silverball Museum Arcade also has televisions and multimedia detailing everything pinball.

Special events
3…2…1! Lancaster

On New Year's Eve 2010, Clipper Magazine Stadium will host its first celebration, which is called "3…2…1! Lancaster." The event will be coordinated with a concert, fireworks, and the Red Rose drop at nearby Binns Park.

Ice Park at Clipper Magazine Stadium

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. In 2010, a 26-foot Ice Slide attraction by Avalanche Express was added to the Ice Park.

Concerts

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

On July 16, 2009, Clipper Magazine Stadium hosted an exhibition match between the Harrisburg City Islanders and Crystal Palace, a Premier League team based in London. 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.

Media

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Building Activity

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