Last month, a dream for The Magic City became a reality.
April 10, the Birmingham Barons moved into Regions Field. One month later, fans keep coming through the gates.
However, work to finish the ballpark still is ongoing.
"The first 16 games have been incredible," says Birmingham Barons general manager, Jonathan Nelson. "We're definitely learning the operation, we're learning to work through a lot of the ballpark issues that we've had."Nelson admits there have been some growing pains in the last month. "Whether it be parking or whether it be the concession operation, or just the other small duties that come with running a ball park. There's no doubt we're getting better at what we do," says Nelson.Since the home opener, the Barons average attendance is 5,200. The stadium holds 8,500. "Season tickets have been off the charts, even though opening day has come and gone, people are still asking and purchasing, whether it be full season tickets or many season ticket plans," Nelson says. "We're leading the league in attendance and I think we're leading the league in fans just having a really good time too."While the Barons are continuing to build on the early success of the new ball park. What about the surrounding areas, where more development is needed?Rick Davis with the Birmingham Business Alliance knows it will take more than a month to bring more restaurants and retail near the stadium.
But, just having the stadium is a catalyst,"This is a fabulous ball park. It takes a while, this is not something that just happens overnight, especially if you're talking about retail development," Davis explains. "I know people say, you've got a new ballpark why aren't we seeing restaurants. You will. Just not today. Give it a little time and I think you will."