Coca-Cola Park is a minor league baseball stadium in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It is the home ground of the Triple-A franchise the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, which relocated to Allentown and became an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. The baseball stadium located at the heart of the Lehigh Valley adored for its rich Pennsylvania Dutch heritage boasts a starry history of sports events. Built with a price tag of $50.25 million in 2008, the Coca-Cola Park draws inspiration from Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, the home of the major league’s Philadelphia Phillies.
Allentown first appeared on the professional baseball scene in 1884. Its team the Allentown Dukes was part of the Eastern League. Until 2003, it hosted several Minor League Baseball franchises interrupted by several stretches that saw the town without having a team. The Allentown Cardinals ceased to exist in 1956 while the Allentown Red Sox moved to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, after the 1960 season. The bankruptcy proceedings caused the Allentown Ambassadors to disband after the 2003 season.
A group of local businessmen led by Joseph Finley and Craig Stein stepped up efforts in 2004 to bring a minor league baseball team to Allentown. They started parleys with the Triple-A team Ottawa Lynx. The Baltimore Orioles affiliate was looking for a new home after canceling its proposed Harrisburg move for want of a new stadium. Allentown began the construction of Coca-Cola Park on September 6, 2006. The Lynx agreed on a player development contract with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2007.
In 2008, the Ottawa Lynx became the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and began playing at Allentown’s Coca-Cola Park, which opened on March 30 of that year.
Design and Features
Coca-Cola Park has been among the most beautiful baseball stadiums since its exceptionally acclaimed debut in 2008. It has won various distinctions and accolades, including Ballpark Digest’s “Ballpark of the Year” and “Best Game Operations and Presentation” titles. The AAA ballpark is also a fan favorite for offering a constantly-evolving baseball experience and an enlarged socializing arena.
Coca-Cola Park has a seating arrangement for 10,178. This includes its grass berm, which has a capacity to hold 1,900 spectators. There are also picnic benches, fold-down seats, and a standing room. The ballpark has a 43-by-73-feet main HD video board and a 76-feet LED ribbon board.
The Majestic Clubhouse at Coca-Cola Park is the place to buy the Lehigh Valley IronPigs’ team merchandise. There is a dedicated area for socializing next to the right-field wall. This is called the Bud Light Trough. Stores and concession facilities in the ballpark prefer to have displays and decors showcasing the “pig” theme. Coca-Cola Park also has a Picnic Patio behind the left-field wall serving buffet food and is available for group bookings. The Capital Blue Tiki Terrace complete with tables and eateries is another facility available for groups.
The baseball stadium has an indoor concourse that leads to the club-level seats. It also connects the accessway to enter the suites and two party porches. Many prefer to have a seat at the VIP Dugout Suites for the exclusive game experience these suites offer. Coca-Cola Park’s KidsZone has a children’s baseball speed pitch, slides, interactive games, a playground, and a host of facilities for kids visiting the AAA ballpark.
A classic Coca-Cola bottle stands as the most iconic symbol of the baseball stadium. Fireworks come out of it every time a run is scored.
Purely Baseball Things To Know
- The center field of Coca-Cola Park is 329 feet, one foot less than that of Citizens Bank Park.
- The Majestic Clubhouse Store has a ball autographed by musician John Mayer, who caught it while watching a game on July 2, 2008.
- It was the venue for the 2010 Triple-A All-Star Game.
- The inaugural game saw eight RBIs scored. So Taguchi and Geoff Jenkins scored two each.
- On April 14, 2008, the IronPigs won their official first home game to end the season-opening 11 consecutive losses.
- On June 16, 2008, the rehab game of ex-Red Sox star pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka drew 8,900 fans to Coca-Cola Park despite the pouring rain.
- On July 6, 2008, IronPigs pitcher Les Walrond dismissed 17 Louisville batters, as the home team won the game 2-0.
- Coca-Cola Park hosted the first AAA All-Star game in 2010.
- With a home win over Norfolk at Coca-Cola Park, the IronPigs recorded their first .500 (38-38) on June 28, 2009.
- On August 13, 2009, Michael Taylor scored a cycle and five hits against Louisville.
- Louisville’s Ardolis Chapman threw a ball clocking 100 mph at Coca-Cola Park on May 9, 2010.
- On July 19, 2010, Brian Bocock led the IronPigs’ ninth-inning fightback against Indianapolis with a “triple, a two-out, and a two-strike.” The home team won the game 10-8.
- The IronPigs had to wait for 3 years to have their first opening-night win on April 9, 2011.