LF: 330' CF: 407' RF: 330'
Affiliate: New York Yankees
2017 Thunder Schedule
Nearby Major Airports:
Newark Liberty International
Nearest Pro Ballparks:
Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA (37.1 miles)
FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood (37.3 miles)
TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater (46.2 miles)
Richmond County Bank Ballpark in Staten Island, NY (59.1 miles)
Frawley Stadium in Wilmington, DE (62.7 miles)
MCU Park in Brooklyn, NY (64.6 miles)
Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls (69.4 miles)
The Baseball Travel Map is one of many great items in our Baseball & Ballpark Store.
|Year ||Total ||Rank *
|* The Thunder's total attendance ranking in the 12-team Eastern League, which had 10 teams in 1994-1998
Where the pursuit of baseball never ends.
Appropriately named based on its riverside location, Trenton's Waterfront Park is a comfortable place within which to watch a ballgame, although its insides lack views of the Delaware River from pretty much everywhere even though the riverbank is only about 20 feet from the right field fence. Still, it's a more impressive structure than the most notable building in New Jersey's capital city, which is the state capitol building that's less than two miles away from the brick-faced ballpark that features a wide variety of concessions on a wide concourse that rings the top of its grandstand. For sure, Waterfront Park is nothing fancy, but it is better than most of the ballparks in the region. The home of the Yankees' Double-A affiliate has a classic look thanks to its attractive brick facade and the sandy-colored rectangular stones that were used to build the press box and back wall of the concourse, which is a story of steps removed from street level. So most people do have to walk up a steep set of stairs to get to their seats, although one of the four gates was designed to be handicapped accessible. That gate is on the left field line, which is where a four-tiered picnic area for groups was added at grandstand's end. It's the only place in the lower level that's off-limits to regular fans, but next to it are three levels of wooden deck picnic table seating that anyone can sit in on a first-come, first-served basis. The upper level is the luxury suite level and there are plenty of them up there, while ad billboards are stacked four levels high everywhere but in right field, where a pretty useless hand-operated scoreboard merely duplicates some of what the main one in left-center lists. To see more than the score walk along the covered concourse, as throughout its length banners above list significant achievements of the franchise, including their attendance milestones. It's nicely done and, in general, this is a pleasing place, but one without much pizzazz that's biggest setback is that you can't really bask in the beautiful surroundings that the ballpark derives its name from.
Location and Parking
Waterfront Park is found in South Trenton, between Route 29 (John Fitch Parkway) and the Delaware River, which serves as the boundary between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The borough of Morrisville, PA is directly across the river from the ballpark, which is just 1.6 miles from the New Jersey State House, the official name of the the gold dome topped New Jersey state capitol building.
Parking is plentiful, paved and on both sides of the ballpark. A smaller lot is behind left field and a very big one extends outward from the first base side facade. For those who prefer covered spaces, the big parking lot also has a four-story garage in it. The cost to park there is the same as the open-air lots.
The large lot is a dual-use one, as it's alongside the four Riverview Plaza office buildings that make up the Riverview Executive Park. The 400 building is the one closest to the ballpark and is where The Times of Trenton newspaper is based.
|Unless it rains you're not going to see water from within Waterfront Park, which has a cross aisle within its grandstand, even though the stadium stands a short distance from the banks of the Delaware River. The river is behind right field but views of it are blocked by trees. Trees, billboards and an old factory across the river make up the ballpark's backdrop.
Waterfront Park Facts, Figures & Footnotes
Construction cost: $16.2 million
Financing: Paid in full by Mercer County with a loan from the state of New Jersey and the sale of bonds authorized by the Mercer County Improvement Authority. The county received a $4 million low interest loan from the state Economic Development Authority; the issuance of bonds financed the rest of construction. Mercer County slightly raised property taxes and collected $1 from each ticket sold as their primary means to pay off the debt.
Architects: Clarke & Caton / Faridy Thorne Fraytak
Construction manager: V.J. Scozzari & Sons
Groundbreaking date: September 29, 1993
Mercer County acquired the land for the ballpark by condemning it on September 21, 1993. The county paid Trenton developer Michael LaMelza $1.35 million for seizing his land, which he owed a lot of back taxes on and had paid $940,000 for in 1987 to US Steel, which had once operated a steel mill on the site.
Officially called Mercer County Waterfront Park.
The playing field is named after Samuel J. Plumeri, Sr., one of the original owners of the Thunder. His father, Joe, helped bring Trenton's previous minor league team to town in 1936. That team folded after the 1950 season, when they were called the Trenton Giants, and played at Dunn Field, which was actually located in nearby Lawrence Township and has since been replaced by the headquarters of the New Jersey Lottery Commission.
Has 16 suites, each with a capacity of 25 people. The upscale Yankee Club is also on the suite level. Found directly behind home plate and set up like a sports bar, it has a dining area, full bar and is only open to groups. Officially known as the Yankee Club & Conference Center, the 1,633-square-foot space can hold up to 100 people.
The left field line picnic area exactly spans the length of the visiting team's bullpen warm-up area. The private area has four levels of picnic table seating and can handle group gatherings in excess of 300.
Has no berm or outfield seating, nor any bleachers. All seats are stadium-style and are contained within one grandstand that has a wide cross aisle running roughly through its middle.
The right field foul pole rises from a support that's actually on the edge of the riverwalk that's directly behind the right field fence.
Retired number ovals and Eastern League championship pennants are on the suite-level facade behind home plate. The Thunder have retired two numbers -- #33 for Tony Clark and #5 for Nomar Garciaparra -- in addition to Jackie Robinson's #42.
On the back wall of the concourse is a big board that lists everybody that has ever played or coached in Trenton and also in the major leagues. The annually updated "road to the majors runs through Trenton...." board is found on the first base side of home plate.
In 1999, a Trenton Thunder game at Waterfront Park was named best "sports experience" in Philadelphia magazine's annual Best of Philly awards. Trenton is so close to Pennsylvania's largest city that it's a part of Philadelphia's media market.
Official Ballpark Firsts
First game: The Binghamton Mets beat the Trenton Thunder, 5-3, on May 9, 1994 in front of 6,941 fans
The first game was supposed to be played on April 27, 1994 against the Albany-Colonie Yankees but was cancelled at the last minute due to the poor condition of the playing field, which was considered too soggy and lumpy and generally unsafe. Yet the game wasn't postponed until after a ceremonial first pitch had been thrown and the unfinished ballpark was filled with fans. The opener was then moved back 12 days to fix the field and its drainage problem, and even then the park was only considered 70% complete on its revised opening date. As a result of its delayed opening, the Thunder only played 51 games in Trenton during Waterfront Park's inaugural year.
Other official ballpark firsts (all of which occurred on 5/9/94, unless noted):
|Pitch ||Batter ||Hit (double) ||Home Run (5/10) ||Winning Pitcher ||Losing Pitcher ||Save
|Trever Miller ||Ricky Otero ||Chris Saunders ||Brian DuBose ||Bill Pulsipher ||Blas Cedeno ||Andy Beckerman