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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

Parade Stadium – Augsburg Auggies


Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

Parade Stadium 400 Kenwood Parkway Minneapolis, MN 55403


Year Opened: 1990

Capacity: 500

 

A Ballpark with A View

Parade Stadium is the home to the Augsburg University baseball club and perhaps offers one of the best views not only in the Twin Cities but in all of Minnesota. The ballpark is located in the Kenwood neighborhood of Minneapolis and adjacent to the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

The Auggies are members of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, a 13-conference league with all members within state borders. The NCAA Division III program played its first season in 1926 and has since claimed 10 MIAC championships and appeared in two National Playoffs.

Augsburg has used Parade Stadium for baseball since at least 1955. It appears that 1959 was the first season that most of its home games were played at the stadium; before that year, the Auggies played most of their home games at Northeast Park, with a game or two at Parade.

The diamond sits on the grounds of the original Parade Stadium, a 16,560-capacity football stadium that was built with $600,000 in bonds over two years and opened in 1951. It was Minneapolis’s first public football stadium and hosted high school, amateur, collegiate, and professional football games. The NFL preseason games were an annual event that netted huge profits for the stadium from 1951 to 1955, including 20,000 that witnessed Green Bay v. San Francisco during the stadium’s first season.

The stadium hosted around 50 games a year and would also be the home during the summertime Aquatennial festivals, midget car racing, circuses, and major concerts that came through the Twin Cities. However, due to complaints of noise and traffic by nearby residents and the cost of maintaining the structure, it needed $250,000 in repairs at one point, the stadium was down to only five events in 1986.

With the sculpture park debuting in 1988 and a need to expand it, the decision was made to tear down Parade Stadium in 1990. The price tag was one million dollars for the demolition of the stadium and relocation of the softball field. Today, a simple baseball stadium remains with a million-dollar view of the Minneapolis skyline.

Food & Beverage 1

The ballpark does not offer food or drinks during baseball games. Fans are recommended to bring in their concession items. On a nice day with the clear blue skies above and the city skyline in the distance, something from home or a restaurant should suffice.

Atmosphere 3

Depending on the weather, the atmosphere is pleasantly charming with gorgeous views of the city skyline and plenty of room to stretch your feet. The majority of home games are played from April to May at Parade Stadium with around 12 dates per season. The ballpark is very basic and can be classified as a glorified high school stadium, but the views and the adjacent sculpture park are worth the price of admission.

The stadium’s structure is quite meager and is slightly higher than a glorified high school field, but its location and views beyond the outfield walls give the place distinction not found in too many other stadiums in the country. Sure, there are skyline views, but based on the ballpark’s structure, it gets swallowed up by the tall skyscrapers and sculpture gardens next door.

The layout of the stadium is a simple press box and aluminum bleachers behind the backstop with two sections of aluminum bleachers down the first and third baselines. There is not any cover protection. There is nothing fancy about Parade Stadium, but it is an interesting experience given its proximity to the sculpture gardens and the views of the Minneapolis skyline.

Neighborhood 5

Parade Stadium is adjacent to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, one of the must-see destinations in town. Numerous sculptures include Spoonbridge and Cherry, Hahn/Cock, and Love. The park also includes the Walker Art Center and Parade Ice Garden. A few restaurants nearby include Cafe & Bar Lurcat (American cuisine), 4 Bells (Lowcountry-inspired), and Sisyphus Brewing.

Downtown Minneapolis is a collection of funky streets, numerous skyways above the streets, and up-and-coming neighborhoods that all seem to converge at Target Center and the neighboring Target Field.

A popular place across the street before games is Kieran Irish Pub, the outside patio is a great place to grab a drink if you arrive a tad early before the game. The Depot Tavern is an old bus station turned into a place for cocktails and beers, and Seven Steakhouse Sushi offers rooftop seating and views before or after the game.

The funky Hennepin Avenue has a collection of local establishments after the game for drinks and music, but the up-and-coming Warehouse District is just a few blocks away featuring casual seafood restaurant Smack Shack and craft breweries Fulton Brewing Taproom and Inbound BrewCo.

Fans 3

The crowd attendance is typical for Midwestern Division III baseball from around 100 to 200. Many of the people in attendance are friends and family of the players out on the field. The focus is on the game on the field and many of the sounds are from the players on the diamond. When it comes to a pure baseball atmosphere, Parade Stadium has what you’re looking for.

Access 3

Parade Stadium is easily accessible by car and once inside the simple layout is perfect for an afternoon or an evening of baseball. There is also mass transit that offers bus stops within a 3 to 5-minute walk from the stadium. There is also a parking lot that is shared with the sculpture gardens that costs $4.

Return on Investment 4

There is no admission charge for baseball games but it does cost $4 to park in the adjacent lot via parking meters. A small price to pay for beautiful views and the beautiful sculptures to view before or after the game.

Extras 2

Parade Stadium offers a stunning view of the Minneapolis skyline, perhaps the best views in the city–or a close second behind Target Field.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens are one of the city’s must-see destinations that is adjacent to the baseball stadium.

Final Thoughts

Parade Stadium is by no means a perfect stadium and is quite simple in design and atmosphere. However, its location and skyline views of the city make it a hidden gem when visiting the Twin Cities.


Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunter and his YouTube channel.

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