BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Steve Kalafer, Founding Chairman of the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club, has announced that the team’s home, TD Bank Ballpark (Bridgewater, NJ), has been named Ballpark Digest’s Best Independent Minor League Ballpark in the nation.
“We are very proud, excited and honored to be voted as the Best Ballpark in all of Independent Minor League Baseball by Ballpark Digest, the most respected industry leader in ballpark news and coverage in the world. These results reinforce what our fans, marketing partners, and our entire community knows- that TD Bank Ballpark is a very special place for families, businesses, organizations, and friends to enjoy quality time together. We may be locally family owned, but our brand is nationally known,” said Kalafer, a Founding Member of the Board of Directors of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
Ballpark Digest’s “Best Of The Ballparks” competition put minor league venues against each other in their given classifications- Independent, Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, Low-A, Short Season-A, Rookie, and Summer Collegiate- to determine by fan voting the “best of the best.”
“This is not just an honor for our ballpark, but also for everybody that works here in every capacity to make TD Bank Ballpark and the Somerset Patriots experience the best it can be all season and year long,” said Jonathan Kalafer, Vice Chairman of the Somerset Patriots.
Somerset Patriots Vice Chairman Josh Kalafer added, “We were honored to be in the discussion with all the great ballparks and teams involved in the competition. We know what a great job all the other organizations in minor league baseball do to provide affordable family entertainment and America’s favorite pastime. To come out on top is extraordinary and we are proud to receive this honor on behalf of our community.”
TD Bank Ballpark won the voting over CHS Field, the brand new $64 million home of the St. Paul Saints in Minnesota, in the final round by a margin of 58% to 42%.
“We want to thank all of our fans, marketing partners, and the entire community that continue to show their unwavering support of the Somerset Patriots and our home TD Bank Ballpark. After 17 years, we continue to grow and be an important part of our community and beyond. We are very proud of this honor and thank Ballpark Digest and everyone that participated in the contest. We would especially like to thank the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders for having the vision to build our ballpark in Bridgewater at no tax payer expense, and their continued partnership to provide affordable family and community entertainment to Central New Jersey residents,” said Patrick McVerry, President/General Manager of the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club.
In previous rounds, TD Bank Ballpark bested Community America Ballpark (Kansas City T-Bones, Kansas City, KS), Shaw Park (Winnipeg Goldeyes, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), Boomers Stadium (Schaumberg Boomers, Schaumburg, IL), and Yogi Berra Stadium (New Jersey Jackals, Montclair, NJ).
TD Bank Ballpark, the “Jewel of the Atlantic League,” officially opened its gates in June of 1999, and has been the premier family and community destination in Central New Jersey since that time.
The 6,100-seat ballpark is owned by Somerset County and managed by the Somerset Patriots, who have consistently drawn over 5,300 fans per game and 370,000 fans per season since 1999.
“This award confirms what thousands of Somerset County residents already know - at a Somerset Patriots game at TD Bank Ballpark people will have a great time. The facility is first class, and the Somerset Patriots organization goes the extra mile to give their fans a classic American baseball experience,” said Mark Caliguire, Somerset County Freeholder Director.
TD Bank Ballpark will welcome its 6,000,000th Fan to attend a Somerset Patriots game in mid-August of this season.