LF: 331' CF: 400' RF: 337'
Affiliate: Cleveland Indians
2016 RubberDucks Schedule
Radio: WARF 1350 AM
|Year ||Total ||Average
|* Attendance listed is the regular season figures drawn by Akron at Canal Park
Where the pursuit of baseball never ends.
The hometown of LeBron James has a ballpark worth bragging about too, as Akron's Canal Park is at the head of the class in its league. The westernmost park in the Eastern League, it's a heart of downtown ballpark with an old canal running beyond it (hence the name) and the location provides a pretty awesome big building backdrop. Canal Park itself has a classic redbrick facade to admire upon approach and there's plenty of room to roam around once inside, although its confines can't quite be fully walked around thanks to the presence of the canal, which can't actually be seen from within the home of the RubberDucks, which was home to the Akron Aeros until the cutesy team name rebranding in 2014. Among the ballpark's nice touches are its pair of rooftop-based infield light towers done up in the way of yesteryear (arched steel supporting wide banks). There's a legit restaurant in the right field corner and the right field area in general is notable, as it's where the signature party/group area is and the big video board and bullpens are placed behind the outfield fences on that side of the park. All in all, Canal Park is one of the modern gems in the minors that just about has it all -- it's good for groups, corporate schmoozing (second-story suites are plentiful) and regular folk, with an ideal setting to enjoy regardless of where you are sitting or standing. So while Akron is best known in the sports world for being home to King James, the city can also boast of being host to a heckuva ballpark.
Canal Park is in downtown Akron, found between the historic Ohio & Erie Canal, which ceased being used by boats in 1913, and a stretch of Main Street that was renamed King James Way on June 23, 2016, with the tribute to the Akron-born-and-bred basketball superstar coming just four days after LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA championship. Parkland is near the baseball stadium, and the surrounding buildings that loom largest from its confines are Children's Hospital (left field corner), the Canal Square (former YMCA) building beyond center field, and strikingly towering over the right field corner is the 16-story Mayflower Manor, a former luxury hotel that was turned into low-income apartments in 1973.
There are no ballpark-operated lots, but parking is available as close as across the street from the Canal Park entrance. Nearby lots and decks are numerous. Parking in them should be inexpensive at most, and on the weekends City of Akron-run lots are free to park in. For a full list and map of where to park, the Downtown Akron Partnership website details all of the parking decks & lots that are within walking distance of Canal Park.
Canal Park Facts & Figures
Construction cost: $31 million
Architect: HOK Sport
Construction manager: Summit Construction
Groundbreaking date: January 5, 1996
Numerous old buildings were demolished to create space for the ballpark. Among the structures torn down was the Anthony Wayne Hotel (est. 1917).
Owned by the City of Akron. The current 25-year lease between the city and RubberDucks for use of the ballpark was approved by the Akron City Council on October 11, 2012.
Named for the Ohio and Erie Canal, which flows behind the left field fence in close proximity to the ballpark.
Has 25 suites.
The playing field was named the 1998 Professional Baseball Field of the Year by the Sports Turf Managers Association. The current playing surface was installed prior to the 2016 season and 100% Kentucky bluegrass grown by Tuckahoe Turf Farms of Hammonton, NJ is the sod that covers the field.
Replaced Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium in Canton as the home for professional baseball in the area. Munson Stadium was used by the Canton-Akron Indians from 1989-1996 and is about 25 miles south of Canal Park, where it still stands and is used by the amateur Ohio Menís Senior Baseball League.
First game: April 10, 1997; the Akron Aeros beat the Harrisburg Senators, 13-2, with 9,086 as the announced attendance. The game was played in 3 hours and 25 minutes.
Official ballpark firsts (all of which occurred on 4/10/97):
|Pitch ||Batter ||Hit (single) ||Home Run ||Winning Pitcher ||Losing Pitcher ||Save
|Jaret Wright ||Hiram Bocachica ||Rob Lukachyk ||Todd Betts ||Jaret Wright ||Tommy Phelps ||Tony Dougherty