Mudcats 'Play Ball' At New Stadium
Posted April 15, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
ZEBULON — If you're looking for some good, clean muddy fun this weekend, you can find it in Wake County.
The Carolina Mudcats had their home opener Friday night in a new-look stadium, and got a crowd pleasing 12-6 win over West Tennessee.
Baseball fans are in for some big changes when they come out this season. The Mudcats have just finished the first phase of a two-year $15 million improvement project at Five County Stadium. Except for the baseball field, everything else in brand new.
Bulldozers tore down the stadium last fall leveling the ballpark the Mudcats called home for eight years. After eight months of construction, the stadium has been completely revamped.
The number of armchair seats has more than doubled to 4,500, and the old bleacher seats are gone. The Mudcats say their new stadium is a winner.
"There isn't a bad seat here," says Mudcats President Steve Bryant. "Every seat is a reserved armchair seat, and you are very, very close to the field."
So close that they had to add extra netting to protect the fans. With the new stadium comes a brand new team. This is the Mudcats' first season as a AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. They started the season with a seven game road trip, but they are happy to play their home opener in a bigger, better Five County Stadium.
"I'm very excited," says catcher Ben Petrik. "We heard that there was a pretty good fan base, and we have a great stadium here. They have a few more things to get done, but it is looking really good."
Renovations will continue at the ballpark. Next April, they will open a restaurant, some party decks and more seating, which will bring the total close to 7,000.