Fifth Third Ballpark update

During the off-season, they are busy at work in West Michigan, getting the new scoreboard and video board ready for game play. Things seem to be coming along nicely, and I can’t wait to get to our first game of the season and check all the changes out. I think I’m really going to like the new manual scoreboard, as it brings baseball tradition to the modern ballpark. The new state of the art video board will satisfy the fans of the modern age, too. With the way things look, everything should be up and running by April.

The only change I wish would be made is the ballpark’s name. The stadium’s name was originally Old Kent Park in 1994, but was changed to Fifth Third Ballpark in 2001 after the merger of Old Kent and Fifth Third banks. The name generally wouldn’t bother me so much, if it wasn’t for the fact that Fifth Third bank has been digging it’s claws into so many Minor League stadiums here in the midwest. Just south in Toledo, the MudHens(International League) play at Fifth Third Field, and in their same state of Ohio, the Dayton Dragons(Midwest League) also play in a Fifth Third Field. Confused yet? To make things more confusing, this season the Kane County Cougars changed the name of their stadium to…you guessed it….Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. So, here’s the break down: West Michigan=Fifth Third Ballpark; Toledo=Fifth Third Field; Dayton=Fifth Third Field; Kane County=Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. Where is the originality that we love about the Minors? I’m not niave…I know money talks and make these teams possible, but I’d rather have a stadium named after a local ballplayer, coach, or even a local business or benefactor than another large bank. Then again, I’ll take Tiger Stadium over Comerica Park, too. I would love to see the Whitecaps play in, say a Mickey Stanley Stadium, named after the Tigers legend who’s from Grand Rapids. Anyway, this blog is just more of a rant than anything else. Enjoy the pics, and I’ll have some of my own in April.

Photos courtesy of  the West Michigan Whitecaps

4 thoughts on “Fifth Third Ballpark update

  1. I fifth/third liked this fifth/third post and I totally fifth/third that! Haha. Cool that they’re making some upgrades… hope they keep that burger though. In fact, I still need to make the trip to feast on that beast!
    –Jeff

  2. Yuck on all the corporate ballpark names. (I never even try to keep track of who’s name is stamped on my own team’s home these days. It’s just the Big A to me). You’d think it would be better marketing for the bank to diversify it’s park names a bit too with a Mickey Stanley Fifth Third and the like, making it obvious to the casual observer that they sponsor many stadiums while giving the fans warm fuzzies. Anyway, I was just reading an article on epic burgers, they mentioned the White Caps crazy burger for four and I instantly thought of your blog. Fun!
    — Kristen

  3. Jeff-The 5/3 Burgers is still a mainstay, and thanks to Kristen we know it’s still getting some press. I think the kids and I might dig into one this summer…
    Kristen-I agree on the corporate ballpark names. I guess we’re just enjoy simple names like ‘Tigers Stadium’ and ‘Dodger Stadium’. Money is money, though, and is what talks these days, unforntunately. Thanks for thinking of us!!!
    –Mike

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