Mudcats Owner Follows Dream, Builds Five County Stadium
Posted April 8, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — TheCarolina Mudcatsnow have a permanent home in Wake County.
It was not too long ago when Mudcats owner Steve Bryant was discouraged from building Five County Stadium. Critics told Bryant his idea would never work, but he stuck to his dream and built his field.
"It really is a field of dreams in more ways than one," Bryant says.
What used to be a tobacco field was transformed into a temporary baseball field for the farm team of the Colorado Rockies.
"I think people just think we had a renovation, and we actually bulldozed the old stadium and started over," Bryant says.
The temporary Mudcats field was only supposed to last two years, but it took Bryant nine years to start over. Today, the state-of-the-art stadium has 11 sky boxes, two picnic areas and one of the best playing fields in the minor leagues and netting that protects the entire crowd.
"Our ball players won't let their families sit anywhere but behind the net," Bryant says. "If they won't let their families sit there, why should we ask you?"
One of the many things Bryant is most proud of is the view from the seat.
"A lot of stadiums they have the higher elevations, but they put you so far back," Bryant says. "Here, it's almost like you're in the game."
With theBullsplaying in Durham, Bryant says he always knew the Triangle had room enough for two.
"It's a world class facility and Wake County deserves that," Bryant says. "They have the arena, they have the amphitheater, now they have this."
The Mudcats will play their first game at the new Five County Stadium 7:30 p.m. Friday against the Tennessee Smokies.