5 Reasons to Visit Jimmy John’s FieldStory by Michelle Fusco | Photos by Jimmy John's Field
Want to check out metro Detroit’s freshest, most exciting attraction? The $18 million Jimmy John’s Field opened in 2016 in historic downtown Utica, a northern suburb about 45 minutes from downtown Detroit. The United Shore Professional Baseball League has four teams: Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers, Eastside Diamond Hoppers, Utica Unicorns and Westside Woolly Mammoths, and all four compete at Jimmy John’s Field every weekend in the best months of weather that Michigan has to offer, May through September.
There’s a lot to love about the new stadium. Here are five reasons to come out for a game:
The United Shore Professional Baseball League was designed as an innovative developmental finishing school for players (18-26 years old) seeking to make it to Major League Baseball. The USPBL players come from all across the country, with 44 states represented in 2018. The quality of players and the baseball is very high, and USPBL players are scouted regularly by MLB teams. Since the USPBL was launched in 2016, it has been an astounding success, producing 27 players that have signed with MLB organizations.
It’s a Family Affair
With tickets that are comparable to the cost of going to the movies and free parking, families can enjoy a budget-friendly night out. All fans have access to players and coaches for pictures and autographs. Kids also have the chance to run the bases after every game. But good luck getting them to leave the deluxe children’s play area.
Jimmy John’s Field was designed as a showcase venue for future league expansion, with the goal of being the cleanest, safest and friendliest ballpark in America. You can’t miss the towering grand entrance. Inside, it’s a smart, first-class design with an intimate feel. There’s not a bad seat in the house. The entire ballpark is netted for protection from “screamer” balls (while still allowing fans to catch pop-ups) using the strongest and least visible netting material available. Jimmy John’s Field is one of the most technologically advanced stadiums of its size, with a concert quality sound system and a 50 foot by 40 foot LED scoreboard – the biggest in the minor leagues.
The 2,000 box seats are the same comfort and quality found at major league ballparks. And the first few rows are padded! Corporate suites, on field “Diamond Tables,” three picnic areas, group and birthday spaces and a grass berm seating area add up to a total capacity of 4,500 fans per game. If you’re lucky enough to score an invite to one of the dugout suites, you’ll watch the action just 37 feet behind home plate – the closest in baseball history.
Fireworks will light up the sky after every Friday night game. Check out the Jimmy John’s Field calendar for special giveaways, character appearances and tribute band performances, including Star Wars Night, Superheroes Day, Bobblehead giveaways, Live Music every Saturday night and drink specials every Thursday night that include $2 Bud and Bud Light, and $5 craft beer specials in the newly built Short Hops Craft Beer Garden on the third base side.
If you go, downtown Utica is home to a handful of bars and restaurants within walking distance of the stadium, including Hogs Hollow Smokehouse, Locker Room Saloon and Shamrock Irish Pub.