Day Air Ballpark
Aerial shot of Day Air Ballpark
Former namesFifth Third Field (2000–2019)
Location220 North Patterson Boulevard
Dayton, OH 45402
Coordinates39°45′51″N 84°11′6″W / 39.76417°N 84.18500°W / 39.76417; -84.18500Coordinates: 39°45′51″N 84°11′6″W / 39.76417°N 84.18500°W / 39.76417; -84.18500
OwnerCity of Dayton
OperatorPalisades Arcadia Baseball LLC
Capacity7,230 seats
~1,000 lawn area
Record attendance9,507 (June 19, 2009)[6]
Field sizeLeft field – 320 ft (98 m)
Center field – 400 ft (122 m)
Right field – 320 ft (98 m)
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke groundApril 26, 1999[1]
OpenedApril 23, 2000
Construction cost$23.5 million
($35.3 million in 2020 dollars[2])
ArchitectHNTB
Architects Associated, Inc.
Project managerConstruction Process Solutions Ltd.
Structural engineerFink Roberts & Petrie, Inc.[3]
Services engineerWoolpert LLP[4]
General contractorDanis Building Construction Company[5]
Tenants
Dayton Dragons (MWL/High-A Central) 2000–present

Day Air Ballpark, formerly known as Fifth Third Field, is a minor league baseball stadium in Dayton, Ohio, which is the home of the Dayton Dragons, the High-A Central affiliate of the nearby Cincinnati Reds. In 2011, the Dragons broke the all-time professional sports record for most consecutive sellouts by selling out the stadium for the 815th consecutive game, breaking the record formerly held by the Portland Trail Blazers.[7][8]

The park has a total capacity of 8,200 people and opened in 2000. With two-deck seating and large skyboxes, some compare it to Triple-A fields.[9]

History

The Dayton Dragons played their first baseball game at Fifth Third Field on April 27, 2000. In attendance was Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, who caught the ceremonial first pitch.

In their inaugural season, the Dragons managed to sell-out every home game of the 2000 season before the season even started.

Day Air Ballpark has hosted the Midwest League All Star Game twice: in 2001 and 2013.

In 2005, 2007, and 2009, the venue hosted the Atlantic 10 Conference Baseball Tournament. In 2005, Rhode Island won the tournament, in 2007, Charlotte won, and in 2009 Xavier won.[10]

2011 field renovation

In the 2011–2012 offseason, a new Kentucky Blue Grass playing surface was installed at Fifth Third Field as well as new drainage and irrigation systems.

2014–2015 video enhancements

In 2014, over $1.2 million was spent upgrading Fifth Third Field's entertainment control room and adding HD cameras throughout. In 2015, the existing video board was replaced in the off-season with a new 2,054 foot 13HD video board that was three times brighter than the previous board, twice the height and 2½ times the width. Described as featuring the clearest picture ever used on any board in a Minor League Baseball stadium, the board, at the time of installation, was the tallest and widest in a single A facility and in the top five in terms of size for any Minor League Baseball stadium. As of 2015, only three out of 30 Major League Baseball stadiums sported a board of this type.[11]

Renaming and renewal

In January 2020, the naming rights to the field were purchased by Day Air Credit Union and the stadium was renamed Day Air Ballpark.[12] In January 2021, it was reported that the Dayton City Commission had renewed the park's lease agreement, which had previously been scheduled to expire in September 2030, until 2060. Under the terms of the new agreement, the city will also secure financing for up to $4.5 million in improvements to the park, including improvements relating to energy efficiency.[13]

Facts and figures

Amenities

Day Air Ballpark has contracted with Donatos Pizza to offer individual cheese and pepperoni pizzas at the ballpark. It has also contracted with Cold Stone Creamery to offer hand dipped ice cream available at a free standing cart on the third base side of the stadium as well as individual ice cream cups available at most concession stands. Along with the contracted food, many nonprofit organizations including churches, fraternal organizations and schools operate the concessions stands.[21] In 2009, The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) rated Day Air Ballpark one of the most vegetarian-friendly minor league ballparks in the United States.[22]

References

  1. ^ Bebbington, Jim (April 27, 1999). "Ground Symbolically Broken For Stadium". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  2. ^ 1634 to 1699: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy ofthe United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700-1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How much is that in real money?: a historical price index for use as a deflator of money values in the economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "Athletic Facilities". Fink Roberts & Petrie, Inc. Archived from the original on September 9, 2013. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  4. ^ "Dayton Minor League Baseball Stadium". Woolpert LLP. Archived from the original on January 10, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  5. ^ "Danis Building Construction Company". Archiplanet. Archived from the original on December 13, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  6. ^ Nichols, Tom (June 20, 2009). "Record Crowd Sees Votto Homer, But Dragons Lose". Minor League Baseball. Archived from the original on January 10, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "Dragons Break All-Time Sports Sell-Out Record". Minor League Baseball. July 9, 2011. Archived from the original on July 23, 2015. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  8. ^ "Dayton Dragons Break Sellout Record". WHIO-TV. Dayton. July 19, 2011. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  9. ^ Merzbach, Brian. "Fifth Third Field". Ballpark Reviews. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "Atlantic 10 Conference Baseball Record Book" (PDF). Atlantic 10 Conference. pp. 12–3. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 16, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  11. ^ Clark, David (February 11, 2015). "Dayton Dragons getting giant HD video board". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on January 10, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ Gnau, Thomas (January 29, 2020). "Dayton Dragons to rename stadium Day Air Ballpark". WHIO-TV. Archived from the original on January 29, 2020. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  13. ^ "Dayton Dragons stadium lease extended through 2060, city commits up to $4.5 million for upgrades". WHIO-TV. January 21, 2021. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  14. ^ "SI.com - Photo Gallery - Hottest Tickets in Sports". Sports Illustrated. April 1, 2007. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  15. ^ Meale, Tony (July 10, 2011). "Dayton Dragons Set Consecutive Sellout Record". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  16. ^ "Dayton Dragons All Time Professional Sellout Streak". The Washington Post. July 9, 2011. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  17. ^ "Past Attendance". Minor League Baseball. December 14, 2006. Archived from the original on January 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  18. ^ a b "About Fifth Third Field". Minor League Baseball. March 8, 2009. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  19. ^ "Baseball Minor League to Dbq". City of Dubuque. Archived from the original on January 10, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  20. ^ Vecsey, George (July 2, 2011). "For One Minor League Baseball Team, Never an Empty Seat". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  21. ^ Katz, Marc (June 15, 2009). "Groups Work Dragons Games to Raise Money". Dayton Daily News. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  22. ^ Shannon, Dan (June 8, 2009). "Fifth Third Field Among Most Vegetarian-Friendly". Dayton Business Journal. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
Events and tenants
Preceded by
Marinelli Field
Home of the Dayton Dragons
2000 – present
Succeeded by
Current
Preceded by
Philip B. Elfstrom Stadium
Fifth Third Bank Ballpark
Host of the
Midwest League All-Star Game

2001
2013
Succeeded by
Oldsmobile Park
Fifth Third Ballpark
Preceded by
Dodd Memorial Stadium
Jim Houlihan Park at Jack Coffey Field
Campbell's Field
Host of the
Atlantic 10 Conference
Baseball Tournament

2005
2007
2009
Succeeded by
Jim Houlihan Park at Jack Coffey Field
Campbell's Field
Campbell's Field