Duke moves 18 games to DBAP

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

DurhamBullStadium DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke baseball team has reached an agreement with the Durham Bulls to play 18 home games in 2010 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, home of the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

"This is another addition to the growing entertainment district of Downtown Durham," Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling said. "Bringing ACC Baseball to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park is a terrific opportunity for fans to watch great college baseball in a fan-friendly setting while giving our staff an invaluable opportunity to prepare for the Durham Bulls season."

The 2010 season will now mark the first time since 1931 that Duke will play home games outside of its home turf at Jack Coombs Field, located on the West Campus of Duke University. Jack Coombs Field, built in 1931 and formally named in 1978 in honor of Duke coaching legend Jack Coombs, will still be in use by the Blue Devils for a number of home games and as a practice field.

"Without question, Jim Goodmon is the catalyst behind so much of the revitalization effort in downtown Durham, and an anchor piece of that puzzle is the Durham Bulls Athletic Park," said Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White. "It is so exciting that the Duke Baseball program will be playing in one of the finest facilities in the sport. Additionally, this is yet another example of Duke and Durham partnering to further enhance the ties between the campus and its surrounding community."

The agreement gives the Blue Devils access to one of the finest minor league baseball stadiums in the country. The Durham Bulls Athletic Park, located in downtown Durham, opened in 1995 and has a seating capacity of 10,000. Constructed by HOK Sport + Venue + Event – the architects who also constructed Camden Yards in Baltimore, Jacobs Field in Cleveland and Coors Field in Colorado – the DBAP features an old-style manual scoreboard at the base of a 32-foot-high wall in left field deemed "The Blue Monster." The DBAP’s dimensions begin at 305 feet in left field, 371 feet at left-center field, 400 feet to center field, 373 feet in right-center field and 327 feet down the right field line.

With the move, Duke joins numerous Division I baseball programs around the country that share their home  field with a minor league or independent league baseball team, including Cal State Fullerton, The Citadel, Nebraska and New Mexico.

  • Cliff McCandless

    Great idea, wonderful venue but the few hundred fans that turnout for Duke baseball will look rather lonely with 9800 empty seats.

  • Robert Allen

    Real nice observation Cliff – the great thing about College Baseball is that it is constantly growing. 20 years ago, Rice Baseball was a doormat in the Southwest Conference. Then along came a great coach with a deep love for the university in his hometown. Graham demanded the best from his players and he challenged them to get to Omaha.

    McNally may be even more passionate as an alum of Duke than Graham was passionate about Rice. Rice is not the only example, Vanderbilt has had a strong program and Stanford is the model. If it happened at Rice, it certainly can happen at Duke. So yeah, good seats for you to heckle the ump will be easy to get next spring – but this is another step in the right direction for Duke Baseball.

  • Scott

    I wish they would have moved first to the old Durham Bulls ballpark, which is undergoing some renovation. While it is not as easy to get to as the DBAP, I think it would have been a good stepping stone out of Jack Coombs, which while ultra-convenient on campus, is only barely better than some high school baseball field as far as facilities. I think the chance for some Durhamites to enjoy the old ballpark might have been a good draw, and it would have helped jumpstart the use of that field. North Caroline Central will be using it in the spring for their games, which was probably the issue. But the combined of the use might have been a real opportunity for the two universities who done a lot to build bonds.

  • Cliff McCandless

    My obervation was not to say that Duke baseball was not good, quite to the contrary. My point was that the venue is too large for the Duke program and even the Carolina program. A more suitable venue would have been the new USA National training center in Cary. UNC played their home cames there in 2008 and it was a wonderful venue for college baseball. Seating around 3000 it is an ideal location. The downside is that it is a drive from the Duke campus. Check it out this spring there are several Div. 1 spring tournaments there as well as the Div. II World Series in May.