Harbor Park is a stadium, used primarily for baseball, on the Elizabeth River, in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. Once rated the best minor league stadium by Baseball America, it is home to the Norfolk Tides Minor League Baseball team. The Tides are the Baltimore Orioles' Triple-A farm team and compete in the South division of the International League. Harbor Park opened on April 14, 1993, and can seat 11,856 people.

Harbor Park
Norfolk Harbor Park logo.png
Harbor park.jpg
Harbor Park in 2006
Location150 Park Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23510
Coordinates36°50′34.04″N 76°16′43.93″W / 36.8427889°N 76.2788694°W / 36.8427889; -76.2788694Coordinates: 36°50′34.04″N 76°16′43.93″W / 36.8427889°N 76.2788694°W / 36.8427889; -76.2788694
OwnerCity of Norfolk
OperatorMaryland Baseball Holding, LLC
Capacity11,856 (2015–present)[1]
12,067 (1993–2014)[2]
Field sizeLeft Field: 333 ft (101 m)
Center Field: 400 ft (120 m)
Right Field: 318 ft (97 m)
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke groundFebruary 21, 1992[3]
OpenedApril 14, 1993
Construction cost$16 million
($2.83 million in 2019 dollars[4])
ArchitectPopulous
(Formerly HOK Sport)
Project managerMcDevitt and Street Co.[5]
Structural engineerKerr Conrad Graham Associates[6]
Services engineerBredson & Associates, Inc.[7]
General contractorOMNI Construction Inc.[5]
Tenants
Norfolk Tides (IL) 1993–present

FeaturesEdit

Seating includes 9,000 lower deck seats, 2,800 upper deck seats and a 300-person capacity picnic area. The stadium also features 24 luxury skyboxes with seating for 400, and a 225-seat full-service restaurant with a panoramic view of the field from the first base side. A record crowd of 14,263 was reached August 31, 1996.[8]

The field is made of natural grass and features a state of the art irrigation and drainage system. The outfield dimensions are 333 feet to the left field foul pole, 400 feet to straightaway center, and 318 down the right field line.

Throughout the 1990s, the stadium served as the home field for some of Norfolk's high school football games, primarily Maury, Granby, and Booker T. Washington. In 1996, BTW opened a new stadium on the school campus; in 2005, Maury and Granby moved to a new facility, Powhatan Field. In the past, the stadium also hosted high school football postseason games, although that has not happened since 2012.

TransportationEdit

The Tide light rail has a station along Park Avenue, adjacent to Harbor Park stadium. Amtrak also has its Norfolk station adjacent to the stadium.

Notable eventsEdit

Harbor Park hosted the 1998 Triple-A All-Star Game in which the International League All-Stars defeated the Pacific Coast League All-Stars, 8–4.[9]

During Major League Baseball's search for a new home for the Montreal Expos, Norfolk submitted a proposal which would have expanded Harbor Park to temporarily accommodate a major league team. Norfolk's bid was rejected and the Expos eventually became the Washington Nationals.[10]

On March 30, 2007, the Washington Nationals played an exhibition game against the Baltimore Orioles at Harbor Park. The game was sold out two weeks in advance; attendance was 12,408.[11] The Orioles and Nationals played another exhibition game in 2009; the Orioles and Tides also play each other in occasional exhibition games, having done so in 2012, 2014, and 2018.

On October 28, 2008, Barack Obama held a rally at Harbor Park.[12]

On December 16, 2008, the city of Norfolk approved a plan by the Tides to build a party deck in right field, behind the home team's bullpen. Completed in March 2009, two weeks before an Orioles–Nationals exhibition game, the deck holds 400 people but did not increase stadium capacity, except during sold-out games, when the deck accommodates some overflow. The right field fence was moved in 20 feet, to accommodate the deck, setting it at its current distance of 318 feet.[13]

The concert band piece Harbor Park Holiday, written in 1996 by Norfolk native James L. Hosay, was written about Harbor Park.

On August 30, 2019, Harbor Park hosted the RIP Paul Walker fantasy football draft party. Actor Leslie David Baker of the hit television show The Office was in attendance as well.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "2015 Norfolk Tides Media Guide". Minor League Baseball. March 15, 2015. p. 164. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  2. ^ "2014 Norfolk Tides Media Guide". Minor League Baseball. March 19, 2014. p. 162. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  3. ^ "Stadium Starting Lineup". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk. February 22, 1992. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  4. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Robinson, Tom (July 1, 1992). "Omni Submits Lowest Bid for Construction of Tides' Stadium". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  6. ^ "Ken Olson Experience". LinkedIn. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  7. ^ "Pro Baseball Sports Facilities". Bredson & Associates, Inc. Archived from the original on April 10, 2002. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  8. ^ Radford, Rich (September 1, 1996). "14,263 Pack Harbor Park as Tides Roll". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk. Archived from the original on June 29, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
  9. ^ "Triple-A All-Star Game Results (1998–2002)". Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  10. ^ Minium, Harry (December 17, 2004). "Norfolk Not Likely to Make Another Push for Expos". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  11. ^ Radford, Rich (March 31, 2007). "A Painful Win for Area's O's Fans". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  12. ^ Watson, Denise M.; Wagner, Lon (October 29, 2008). "For Harbor Park Crowd, Barack Obama Hits a Home Run". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  13. ^ Minium, Harry (December 17, 2008). "Tides Hope to Bring Back the Home Run at Harbor Park". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk. p. 1, Sports section. Archived from the original on February 15, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2008.

External linksEdit

Pictures

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Met Park
Home of the
Norfolk Tides

1993 – present
Succeeded by
current