Fifth Third Field – Dayton, Ohio

– Matt Nelson

Dayton’s Fifth Third Field is the Midwest League stadium that most resembles a Major League park. It has two decks of seating, and it’s got huge crowds. The number of fans who come to Dragons games each night totals about 8,500, and that always leads the Midwest League. It means every seat is sold every night.

At the end of the 2010 season Dayton expects to have 774 consecutive sellouts. On a given day, fans who arrive at Fifth Third Field may still find some seats available through the box office, but there is also ample standing room and grass seating available, so there’s always a way into the park.

Fifth Third Field, not to be confused with Toledo’s Fifth Third Field or Comstock Park, Michigan’s, Fifth Third Park, is a brick covered park that fits its neighborhood on the eastside of downtown Dayton. Wedged between existing streets and structures, the park opened in 2000 after the franchise moved to Ohio from Rockford, Illinois. It’s been a key to revitalizing downtown Dayton. The architects and the city really did a nice job of incorporating this stadium into the neighborhood. It feels like it fits the location, and there is an urban feel as baseball fans watch the Cincinnati Reds affiliate in the Midwest League.

The between-innings entertainment at Dayton is second to none. The Dragons have crews out rehearsing the routines several hours before gametime and it shows. The club pulls out all of the stops to keep the entertainment at the ballpark going, even when the action on the field is halted.

A large scoreboard dominates the left field side of the facility. Visitors to Dayton should pay special attention to the Dragons on the scoreboard as they periodically breath smoke throughout the course of the game.

In the Midwest League there are many parks that offer a traditional, small-town, no-frills, minor league baseball experience. It’s fun to visit those parks. At the same time Dayton’s ballpark is a large park with all of the amentities fans have come to expect in the ballpark experience these days. It gives you an urban feel, with well-planned entertainment, and gives Dragons fans a feel that is closer to the big league level, than can be found anywhere else in the Midwest League. It is a stadium that ranks near the very top of the Midwest League.

Be sure to check out the video reports from Dayton by clicking here!!

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