If you’re lucky enough to get over to Regions Field today, you’ll see work crews putting finishing touches on the $40 million facility. They were busy this morning doing things like installing this signage above the ballpark’s main entrance at the intersection of 14th Street and 1st Avenue South.
The public will get a chance to formally explore and admire their handiwork for the first time at 5 p.m. when the gates open and the buzz leading up to the Birmingham Barons‘ 2013 home opener will reach its climax. The ballpark, part of a larger $69 million project for the area currently set to include a museum looking at Birmingham’s Negro Leagues history, gives the city a pretty unique honor until next April. Until the Charlotte Knights finally move into North Carolina at that time (no, we’re not kidding), Birmingham can lay claim to being the home of both the oldest ballpark in the country (Rickwood Field) and the newest.
Obscure trivia knowledge aside, this will no doubt lead some die hard baseball fans to make the pilgrimage down here for the five-game Barons home stand against the Tennessee Smokies beginning May 28. The following day’s game will be the 18th annual Rickwood Classic. This means fans could see games in both the oldest and newest ballparks in the country on consecutive days if they so chose this year. Pretty cool, huh?
Local media outlets are doing extensive coverage of today’s festivities, with all of the local television stations placing reporters there throughout the day and both The Birmingham News and the Birmingham Business Journal running pieces about what not to miss.
First pitch for the sold-out game is at 7:05 p.m. and it will be available via WERC-FM (105.5 FM and online via live stream).
Of course, the real question is whether or not you’re going to any of the games during this first homestand…