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Military + Baseball = Segra Stadium

When Major League Baseball brought a regular-season game to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 2016, little did we know that it was sowing the seeds for pro baseball to return to southeast North Carolina in a big way.

The Fayetteville Woodpeckers are now battling the other teams of the Carolina League, and the story behind how the franchise wound up there and how their amazing ballpark came to be is fascinating. And the way the military is both honored and treated here is something you’ll want to read about.

And if you don’t feel like reading, you can look at the three dozen photos you won’t see anywhere else.

So check out our in-depth review of Segra Stadium, the cozy new nest of the Woodpeckers.

The home of the Sod Poodles brings art deco to baseball

You might not think of a baseball park as the place to find art deco flourishes, but Hodgetown in Amarillo pulls it off beautifully.

From the spectacular entry rotunda to the towers down the baselines, the colors and architectural elements make the newest addition to the Texas League one of the most aesthetically pleasing facilities in the Minors.

Read our in-depth review to find out the following:

  • How the franchise wound up in the Texas Panhandle
  • Why the architects at Populous made the design choices they did
  • How Hodgetown raises the bar on social-gathering spaces
  • What the gameday experience is like, including costs, seating options, food and especially the spectacular merchandise
  • What exactly is a “sod poodle”

Click here to check out our in-depth review of the ballpark known as Hodgetown. Then leave a comment at the end of the article to let us know your thoughts.

Aviators’ new park earns high-flying marks

Our in-depth report of Las Vegas Ballpark — which technically is in Summerlin, Nevada, not Las Vegas — tells you everything you’d want to know about the new showplace in the Pacific Coast League.

How much was actually spent building it is a secret, but it had to be a lot ($100 million? Maybe more?) because it is an absolute marvel. It doesn’t have the unique architectural flourishes of Amarillo’s new park (which we’re reviewing next), but everything it attempts, it achieves brilliantly.

Read about the park’s connection with America’s most famous recluse — Howard Hughes — and its stupendous views of the Las Vegas Strip and the Red Rock formations in the nearby mountains. There’s a lot to like in this new ballpark.

Read the full review here.

Braves play first game at CoolToday Park

When $125 million is spent building a baseball facility, you’d assume the team would want to make use of it early and often.

That wasn’t the case with CoolToday Park, the Braves’ new spring-training home in North Port, Florida. The team chose to play only a single game there this year out of an abundance of caution, giving construction crews a little breathing room to complete the project.

So the team played its final Florida exhibition of this year there on March 24th. We were there — not just to take some photos, but to do all of the interviews and research necessary to provide you with a full, in-depth review, including 26 photos you won’t see anywhere else. Check out what we thought about the impressive — and beautiful — new facility.

Click here to go to the review.

Brewers Haven

Check out my behind-the-scenes look at the massive improvements to the Milwaukee Brewers’ spring training complex in the Maryvale neighborhood of Phoenix.

The new structures and renovations were completed in time for this year’s spring training. The changes cost over $60 million, and they drastically improved the experience of both the players and fans.

So take a look at our photo essay on the upgraded facilities. It contains two dozen photos!

A preview of the Poodles’ palace

Following the first-class, festive announcement that Amarillo’s team will be called the Sod Poodles, I was given an exclusive tour of the ballpark they’ll occupy starting in April. Even though it was covered in snow that day, I could clearly tell it will be a winner, as several novel design elements will no doubt capture the fancy of the fans in the Texas Panhandle.

My tourguides were Brian Simpson of Populous (architects) and Brandon Robertson of Western | Hunt (contractors), and we battled the elements to examine everything.

Check out my preview of the ballpark that includes 13 photos you won’t see anywhere else!

About the Author

Joe Mock

I surprised myself recently when I determined that I had visited 349 different parks where Major or affiliated Minor League teams are either current or former tenants. That's a lot of pro-baseball stadiums. Read More ❭❭