Bragan Field at 121 Financial Ballpark
|Bragan Field at 121 Financial Ballpark|
|Location||Jacksonville, FL, United States|
|Jacksonville Suns, 2003-2016|
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, 2017-present
|11,000 (largest reported baseball crowd: 17,860)
Bragan Field at 121 Financial Ballpark in Jacksonville, FL, is the home of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Miami Marlins' International League farm team. Baseball has been played on this land since 1954, when Samuel W. Wolfson Baseball Park opened.
Originally the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, the ballpark's name changed after 121 Financial Credit Union bought naming rights in 2020. Before that, in 2012, the playing field was named to memorialize the Jacksonville Suns' recently deceased previous owner. Peter Bragan's successor, Ken Babby, changed the Suns' long-time nickname - 1962-1984 and 1991-2016 - before the 2017 season.
Jacksonville hosted a franchise of the Double-A Southern League from 1970 until MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization. A previous tenure in Triple-A ended when those Jacksonville Suns moved to Virginia's Tidewater region after the 1969 campaign.
In 2003, Wolfson's same-site replacement nearly doubled capacity, and the debut gate of 12,943 remains its largest crowd for a professional baseball game. However, a first-round game in the 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament reported 17,860. Staff concedes that number is startling against the stated capacity but credits temporary seating added for the tourney.
Iconic stadium architect HOK Sport (now Populous) designed the downtown brick playpen. The city created the Sports Complex of Jacksonville near then-Alltell Stadium in 2003 by rebuilding Wolfson and building Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena west of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars' field. The unique outfield has a tiered seating terrace off left, a 420-foot distance to center, and a view of what is now TIAA Bank Field beyond right.
The ballpark holds two unusual distinctions. 1) Its aforementioned CF distance was the longest in the Southern League and is the longest in the International. 2) On April 11, 2018, it drew more fans than did its tenant's MLB parent, 6,960-6,150. The Marlins were the parent then as now, but the Shrimp were still Double-A - marking the only time a Double-A team has outdrawn its parent on the same date.
Although obviously in another ballpark, Jacksonville hosted Florida's first professional baseball spring training, by the original Washington Nationals, in 1888.
|Current ballparks in the International League|
|Southeast Division||Midwest Division||Northeast Division|
|AutoZone Park | Bragan Field at 121 Financial Ballpark | Coolray Field | Durham Bulls Athletic Park | First Horizon Park | Harbor Park | Truist Field||CHS Field | Fifth Third Field | Huntington Park | Louisville Slugger Field | Principal Park | Victory Field | Werner Park||Coca-Cola Park | Frontier Field | NBT Bank Stadium | PNC Field | Polar Park | Sahlen Field|