New name, stadium makeover for Akron baseball fans

It's been a tough winter, so a lot of us are counting down the days to spring, especially area baseball fans.

In Akron, the buzz around baseball goes beyond what's happening on the field.

With a new name, comes a different look. The Akron Rubber Ducks unveiled their new uniforms to fans in February. But that's not all that's changing, Canal Park is getting a multimillion-dollar makeover.

"This is our epicenter of great affordable family fun in Akron, Ohio and we are going to invest over $5 million before Opening Day" said Ken Babby, the Owner and CEO of the Akron Rubber Ducks.

"Left field we pulled out over a 1,000 seats of our traditional style seats for an area we are calling foul territory."

Foul territory will be a picnic style experience and feature premium seating called Duck Row.

"And you will be literally closer to the third baseman than the catcher is," said Babby.

In right field the bleachers are gone and a new Tiki Terrace will take their place. The Game Bar & Grill, a year round restaurant, will open in March.

And last year the largest HD video board in double A baseball was installed. All this is being done for the fans and they are taking notice."

"Hopefully this will attract a lot of people that would say go to Fairlawn or the Green area that might come downtown and bring the kids. It's affordable fun" said Malinda Sampsell.

"Our motivation is provide the single greatest experience whether or not you are coming for your son's or daughter's birthday party or if you are coming to just have a cold beer with your buddies at the end of a long week" said Babby.

Mark your calendar. Opening Day is April 10th.

"We are looking forward to it even more this year with all of the changes. We are really excited to see everything" said Jen Victor.

"We all ready have our home opener tickets" said Craig Sampsell.

All the additions to Canal Park are privately funded and local construction companies are handling the renovations.


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