Classic Park

From BR Bullpen

Classic Park
Location Eastlake, OH United States
Building chronology
Built 2003
Lake County Captains
Classic Park scoreboard.jpg

Classic Park in Eastlake, OH, is the home of the Lake County Captains, the Cleveland Guardians' High-A Midwest League farm team. It was also the then-Indians' 2020 Coronavirus pandemic alternate training site.

The nearby Guardians could use their territorial rights to veto any other parent club. Opened in 2003, then-Eastlake Ballpark blends nostalgia and modern design - yet the city-built playpen's name is corporate, not descriptive: sold to Classic Chevrolet. With specialty seating and standing room, its crowds can top 10,000.

The stadium started out as a "money pit"[1] but seems to have emerged into success. Pitched as a project that would not "cost the residents of Eastlake a dime" by then-Mayor Dan DiLiberto, it was projected in 2012 to cost $35 million when it's paid off in 2031 - although that figure is the total outlay, unmitigated by its economic impact.[2] Eastlake's 2003 was bookended by the ballpark's April 10th debut and a fiscal crisis that started emerging in November - with the stadium clearly playing a large role. A fiscal emergency was declared in May 2004. The city reworked its debt the following December and sold naming rights to the stadium in April 2005, but it would be December 2007 before the city's fiscal emergency would be declared over.[3]

Perhaps the signature moment of the debacle came on February 18, 2005, when DiLiberto's mayoral successor, Ted Andrzejewski, and city workers physically ripped from the stadium a plaque labeling the facility "THE HOUSE THAT DAN BUILT".

MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization expanded existing standards for stadiums hosting affiliated teams. The city of Eastlake and Lake County have agreed to $4.3 million for the necessary upgrades that should be finished by the 2023 season.

Classic was to host the 2021 Midwest League All-Star Game, but the post-Coronavirus minors have had no All-Star Games at any level.

In 2010, the Caps and Bowling Green Hot Rods changed circuits - jointly jumping from the South Atlantic League to the MwL and providing their stadiums the rare pre-2020 boast of hosting the same team in two different leagues.

It seats 6,150 with a stated capacity of 7,273, but its largest home baseball crowd - back in its SAL days - was 10,253.

Current ballparks in the Midwest League
East Division West Division
Classic Park | Day Air Ballpark | Dow Diamond | Jackson Field | LMCU Ballpark | Parkview Field ABC Supply Stadium | Dozer Park | Four Winds Field | Fox Cities Stadium | Modern Woodmen Park | Veterans Memorial Stadium