The home of the West Virginia Mountaineers and the West Virginia Black Bears has been named the ballpark of the year for 2015 by ballparks.com. This annual award is given to a new or newly remodeled pro baseball stadium.
Even though the field was originally constructed for the use of the Mountaineers, because they needed an upgraded facility to host their Big 12 match-ups, Monongalia County Ballpark is eligible since it is shared with the Black Bears.
They say bigger is better; however, this is not the case for the Mon County Ballpark as it cost the least to build of the finalists. The park won with a combination of the best location, appearance and design and amenities, criteria used by ballparks.com to determine the winner.
This award has been given out by ballparks.com since 1999 with past winners including AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants, 2000) and Huntington Park (Columbus Clippers, 2009). A Short-season A ball team has not won since 2001 (Brooklyn Cyclones).
Prior to the Black Bears game on August 25th, Joe Mock of ballparks.com will present the plaque for recognition of the award.
Matt Drayer, General Manager of the Black Bears commented on receiving the award, “Monongalia County Ballpark is fan- friendly and has all the modern-day fan amenities such as an open concourse, bowl seating, party deck and an amazing view of both Morgantown and the West Virginia hills. The Black Bears and their fans couldn’t be any happier with the overall design and layout provided by Populous, DLA+ Architecture and Mascaro Construction. We are also very pleased to be sharing such a great facility with WVU. This project is a home run that was a collective effort from the State, County, WVU, local area leaders and Rich Baseball. The Black Bears have received positive feedback from the local community so we look forward to having Monongalia County Ballpark enjoyed by fans for years to come.”
This is the ninth time that Populous has been involved in the construction of a winning ballpark. “It’s an honor to see Monongalia County Ballpark awarded Ballpark of the Year,” he said. “Our project team is proud of how community-oriented the design is. When you’re in the ballpark, there is a very distinct sense of place. You know exactly where you are and feel completely immersed in the community,” Zach Allee said.