Houston Astros

The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches

West Palm Beach, FL

Year Opened: 2017

Capacity: 7,800

Grade: 83.5 Ranking: FL: #8/14; Overall: TBD

Note: A full, in-depth review will come out in 2017-2018. The following bullet points consist of quick opening thoughts. Likes and dislikes will be extensively qualified in subsequent reviews. They also don’t contain detailed architectural or aesthetic observations.  

March 13th 2017: Field Box
March 19th 2017: Home Plate Box

 

Photo Gallery at bottom of page

 

  • After seeing beautiful and creative renovated parks spring up throughout Florida in the past 7 years, I’m starting to wonder whether those constraints lend themselves to more innovation
  • People keep comparing this park to the new parks in Arizona, saying, “well, this isn’t nearly as good.” This park isn’t as good as 7 parks in Florida. It’s the renovated stadiums in Florida people should be looking at for the best the Grapefruit League has to offer, clearly.
  • Yes, The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches has the widest 360-degree concourse in Florida spring training, but what matters is what you do with that space
  • Even at the end of March 2017, the park feels unfinished and, dare I say, bland
  • The aesthetics simply don’t stand out compared to others, or even the 13 year old Spectrum Field, the last Grapefruit League park done in this style
  • Perhaps its just “understated”; I’ll flesh out my detailed views later, as outlined
  • The sleepy atmosphere and complete failure to represent the teams that play here don’t help
  • The main takeaway is the amenities aren’t as good as they should be
  • Comparing this park to the two parks renovated in 2017 (Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium and Steinbrenner Field) is illustrative
  • BPB doesn’t have anything like the berm bars, climate-controlled eateries, upscale clubs, thoughtful premium seating spaces, unique concessions, or even kids areas of those two parks
  • Almost none of this is due to rushed construction
  • It’s more of a function of the tight budget and the uninspired template the architects used to construct this park
  • The ballpark is “state-of-the-art,” but only in a functional sense

 

Likes and Dislikes

Things I like

  • One of the best spring training concourses to date
  • Superior sightlines (minus obstructions down low)
  • Great videoboard
  • Bringing baseball back to the Palm Beach area
  • Unique exterior silhouettes

Things I don’t like

  • Lack of amenities in all of that space: few sit-down areas, mediocre bar, mediocre concessions
  • Aesthetics aren’t outstanding compared to recent new and renovated parks
  • Astros and Nationals fans haven’t yet taken to this place in large numbers
NEXT - Setting

Gallery

Scorecard:

Setting: 7.5/10

Location/Access: 7.5/10

Architecture & Aesthetics: 20.5/28

Exterior Design: 7/10

Interior Aesthetics: 11.5/15

Concourses: 2/3

Functionality: 24/25

Sightlines: 9/10

Seat Comfort: 5/5

Concourses: 7/7

Scoreboard: 3/3

Atmosphere: 12/17

Ballpark Personality: 7/10

Fan Support: 3/5

Ballpark Policies: 2/2

Amenities: 12.5/20

Concessions: 7.5/10

Premium Seats: 3/4

Sitting Areas: 1.5/4

Entertainment: .5/2

Conclusion

Bonus: 7

Final Score: 83.5