In addition to being a lifelong baseball fan I’m also an unabashed ballpark lover. If you’re familiar with City Island, home of the Eastern League’s Harrisburg Senators, then you know that the ballpark is nothing to write home about. The ballpark went though a few names over the years (Riverside Stadium, Metro Bank Park) but regardless of the name it remained a charmless concrete and steel structure with butt-numbing metal bleachers and all the atmosphere of the Owings Mills Mall food court.
That’s all set to change this Spring with the unveiling of the new and improved Metro Bank Park. It’s really a demolition and rebuild rather than a renovation. The first phase of the work was completed last Summer with the opening of The Boardwalk, a raised wooden deck that spanned the entire outfield wall with seating and refreshment options. My son and I attended the opening night of The Boardwalk and I was so impressed that I’ve been looking forward to the completion of Phase II ever since.
I drove past City Island today and the outdated grandstand has been replaced by a much larger structure. It looks like the only thing left to do is add some comfortable backed seating and take a snowblower to the baselines. You can check out the construction photos at this link:
The Senators and their new ballpark have added another family friendly, first class sports venue in Central PA, to go along with the Hershey Bears, York Revolution and Lancaster Barnstormers. It should be an exciting Spring in Harrisburg, in addition to the opening of the new ballpark the city will play host to the Eastern League All Star game in July and could be the early season home of pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg. If you’re a baseball fan looking for a new experience I’d recommend a trip up I-83.