Innovative Minor League Stadium Design

I’ve visited many baseball stadiums over the years; as many minor league stadiums as major league stadiums. Nearly all have the same one issue that irks me – when you sit comfortably in your seat your field of vision is not directed toward the pitcher or batter. If you want to see the action, you then have to turn, twist or otherwise sit uncomfortably. Why?

Once my huge lottery winnings start to roll in, I’m going to build the perfect minor league stadium. Since it is only a matter of time to have the cash, I thought there was no reason not to go ahead with designing the stadium.

The main and first design consideration was having all seats directed toward the pitcher’s mound. In math geek terms, the pitcher’s mound is the center point and each row of seats would run along concentric circles.

The seats-on-a-circle (SOC) turns out to have a slight complication – each larger row can have more seats per section. This leads to a fan-friendly innovation – Variable Width Seating (VWS). Seat widths could range from 20 inches to 26 inches depending on the number of seats to be packed between aisles. Some rows could use bench seating instead of individual seats.

Another benefit of VWS is the improved fan site lines. In traditional stadium seating, each seat is perfectly aligned with the fan in front, which can cause blocking of the fan’s view. VWS will have each seat offset slightly making viewing easier when seated behind a larger fan.

This stadium design has seating in the bowl-of-the-stadium extending around the outfield for a capacity of about 8,000 seats.

The main concourse has the typical food booths and merch stores around the outside as to not block the view of the field.

A second level above the main concourse has suites along the inside.

The stadium would be designed to support adding an upper-level seating bowl in the future.

Innovations continue on the field.

Many stadiums have a tarp some where on the field that poses a risk of injury to the players having to navigate it while tracking a popup. Additionally, the tarp’s position is not always ideal for a quick roll out when the rains pour. This design creates a third dugout behind home plate that would be used by umpires, game day staff, photographers and the ground crew. The tarp would be placed here making for a simple and direct roll out immediately covering home plate and the pitcher’s mound before unfolding to cover first and third.

There would be no on-field bullpens. Each dugout would be connected to a bullpen facility under the stadium seating.

Another consideration is for the teams and players. Players in minor league cities whether the home team or visiting teams need a short-term place to stay. Accommodations in a hotel or a rented apartment can be expensive. This stadium will have lower-level facilities that include hotel-like amenities like a workout room, basic dorm-style rooms, batting cages and offices for the team, trainers and medical staff.

Since I don’t have the money yet, I can still improve on my perfect minor league stadium. What would you add to the stadium design to make a better ballpark experience?

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.