Fifth Third Ballpark, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps, is making some cosmetic changes for this up and coming season. This is very exciting news compared to that of which came a few short years ago.
Image from MiLB.com
In 2014, the ballpark took quite a set back while the crew were getting ready for the the opening of their season. With just 95 days before their home opener, disaster struck. A fire that had started in one of the suites spread rapidly, causing the Whitecaps to panic. The fire had apparently destroyed roughly 40% of the ballpark. Miraculously they were able to fix up the mess, and play their home opener that very same year!
With this in their rear view mirror, they have decided to now make even more contributions to improving the stadium. The first thing on their agenda is the expansion of the warning track. The grounds crew is in the process of adding 2-3 along the sides. This is to increase the players safety by giving them sooner acknowledgment of the distance between them and the wall. The current warning track has not been altered for roughly 23 years.
Additionally, the Whitecaps have decided convert their 3rd baseline into more of a viewer friendly spot in the stadium.
Image from Mlive.com
The ballpark has decided to make use of the previously empty spot on the complex. What previously was just a mere grass hill will now be converted into a 3,000-square foot hospitality area. The two tier, 120 capacity seating will bring much joy to Whitecaps fans. Now allowing more up close seating, placed directly near the visitors bullpen. The space will serve for both booked private reservations, and individual seated games.
The final addition to the ball park is an expansion to their playground area. The Meijer Hometown Playground is directly past the right field corner. The expansion will almost triple the current size, bringing it from 2,500-square feet to 6,400-square feet. Bringing plenty more room for kids and families to enjoy their experience at the West Michigan Whitecaps, Fifth Third Ballpark.