Living Here Guide

Top ballparks in the Midlands

Columbia is an area rich with baseball viewing opportunities.

Area residents can watch baseball for nearly eight months of the year if they choose. But what about all of those stadiums?

Capital City Stadium, the city’s oldest baseball stadium, at 301 S. Assembly St., opened in 1945 and has hosted several teams including the Columbia Reds, Mets, Bombers and most recently the Blowfish, all of which had considerable success in the city.

Currently, “The Cap” sits empty after the Blowfish (an amateur team of collegiate players) moved to Lexington to continue their play in the Coastal Plain League under the same moniker. While the Lexington Blowfish recently moved into the brand new Lexington County Baseball Stadium near Lexington High School at 474 Ball Park Road, Capital City Stadium is expected to be transformed into a commercial and retail center in the near future.

On the banks of the Congaree River lies one of the most popular collegiate baseball stadiums in the country, Carolina Stadium. Home to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks at 431 Williams St. since 2009, the 8,242-seat stadium is the place to watch the Southeastern Conference member that has won 90 percent of its games there.

A third stadium, Spirit Communications Park, is in progress and will bring the New York Mets’ organization back to the Capital City. The $37 million stadium will be finished in time for the start of the 2016 season and will be located along Bull Street.

Did you know?

Columbia fielded its first professional baseball team in 1892 and teams in Columbia have had several nicknames – among them the Skyscrapers, Gamecocks, Comics, Comers, Senators, Reds, Gems, Sandlappers, Mets, Bombers and Blowfish.

Aaron Randsell