The Minor League Ballpark Guides series spotlights each stadium across baseball’s affiliated ranks. Each edition provides ballpark highlights, from concessions to seating options to in-game entertainment to mascots. Ballpark Guides also take travelers through each facility’s surrounding area, encompassing the best places in town to eat or drink, nearby tourist attractions and more. Plan your Minor League Baseball road trip today!
The road to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field may not be fully symmetrical, but then again, it's not supposed to be easy. Fans who want to follow the path of their favorite Cubs prospects will need to travel a bit, but that just means there is more to explore.
Start out in the Midwest in Des Moines with Triple-A Iowa and venture east to High-A South Bend or kick things off with a trip to the shore and Single-A Myrtle Beach. Just don't forget to stop off in Knoxville and head a few minutes east where Double-A Tennessee toils in the shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Here's a look at each of the stops along the way to the Windy City:
Single-A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans, TicketReturn.com Field
What's better than topping off a day at the beach with a night of baseball? Fans in Myrtle Beach have been able to enjoy the benefits of the Pelicans' proximity to the Atlantic Ocean for nearly 25 years. Buoyed by its presence in one of the top tourist destinations on the East Coast, TicketReturn.com Field boasts good food, good baseball and most importantly, plenty of fun. Read more »
High-A: South Bend Cubs, Four Winds Field
Sitting less than 100 miles from Wrigley Field via Interstate 90, Four Winds Field has plenty to offer, even if it is overshadowed by one of the most renowned colleges in the country. The ballpark will begin its 36th season in 2023. Redevelopment of the area in 2010 produced the The Ivy at Berlin Place, an apartment complex which features rooftop seating reminiscent of those in Wrigleyville. Make sure to check out the club's team store, located in a former synagogue built in 1901. Read more »
Double-A: Tennessee Smokies, Smokies Stadium
There's no time like the present to drop in on Smokies Stadium ... because its time as a Minor League ballpark is coming to a close. Only 22 years old, Smokies Stadium still provides a great experience for fans to take in a game. The outfield section of the concourse, once dominated by berm seating, now includes a pair of group areas: Yee-Haw at the Yard (in left field) and the Pioneer Porch (in right). And don't forget the famed Chicken Run, a between innings event where a giant chicken crosses the outfield, pursued by screaming children who are never quite able to catch up. Read more »
Triple-A: Iowa Cubs, Principal Park
It may not be Heaven, but it is Iowa! Located on the banks of the Des Moines River with the city skyline serving as a backdrop beyond the left-field corner, Principal Park boasts one of the largest capacities in the Minors at 11,500 seats. The 30-year-old ballpark offers a picturesque opportunity to watch players one step away from The Show. A special treat is the I-Cubs' annual July 4th citizenship ceremony, where individuals from all over the world formally obtain status as legal permanent residents of the United States. Read more »