Greensboro Baseball Stadium

  • Nov. 11, 1926: War Memorial Stadium dedication. Columns supporting the main entrance hold bronze tablets inscribed with 138 Guilford County World War I dead. The new stadium had 8,500 concrete-cast seats and costed $160,000. The venue provided a place for professional and college baseball in summer, high school and college football in the fall and various levels of track and field in the spring. The community also had access to tennis courts and picnic facilities located beyond the outfield fence.
  • April 5, 1927: First baseball game played: Wake Forest 2, N.C. State 1.
  • July 18, 1930: Lights turned on for the first time. 5,500 fans watched Patriots lose to the Raleigh Caps 22-6. Box seats were $1, reserved seats 75 cents and general admission 50 cents. Future Hall of Famer, Hank Greenberg played for the Caps in that game.
  • 1950: Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers played an exhibition game that attracted 8,434 spectators.
  • 1975: City began replacing old wooden bleachers with aluminum seats.
  • 1977: New grandstand roof installed.
  • 1990: Locker rooms enlarged; additional kitchen and concessions facilities were built behind third-base.
  • 1991: Greensboro Hornets drew 186,434 to the stadium to lead the South Atlantic League for the 13th straight year. Owner Steve Bryant offered the team for sale, asking $3 million.1994: Name changed to Greensboro Bats.
  • November 1994: The City Council studied building a new minor-league baseball stadium.
  • March 1995: The City Council opposed using public money for a new stadium.
  • May 1995: Greensboro Bats owners offered to build a $15 million stadium and share costs with the city.
  • 2001: New York Yankees file paperwork to terminate relationship with Bats.
  • 2003: Greensboro voters authorize building a ballpark in downtown, construction begins for eventual home of Greensboro Grasshoppers.
  • April 3, 2005: The $21.5 million First Horizon Park (now known as NewBridge Bank Park) opens .
  • 2007: Some scenes of the movie “Leatherheads”, was filmed at the War Memorial Stadium. The movie, staring George Clooney and Renée Zellweger opened in April, 2008. Duncan Brantley, a former Greensboro resident, wrote the “Leatherheads” screenplay.
  • Apr. 3, 2014: Greensboro Hoppers celebrate the opening of 10th season.

  • Source: News & Record archiveCompiled by Diane Lamb, News & Record researcher

  • Proposed stadium construction phases
  • All plans concerning War Memorial Stadium are contingent on approval by Greensboro City Council.
  • Phases I: Cost would be $1.4 million. Demolition to existing seating; replacement of aluminum bleachers; support and restore towers and archway; renovate restrooms, storage and umpires room.
  • II: Cost would be $1.3 million.Renovate concrete grandstand and plastic seating; install perimeter fencing; renovate grandstand canopy and team locker rooms and storage.
  • III: Build plaza spaces near entrance and along the field; further renovation to the stadium.

  • Source: City of Greensboro

  • March 1995: The City Council opposes public money to build a new stadium.
  • May 1995: Greensboro Bats owners offer to build a $15 million stadium and share costs with the city.
  • August 1995: Local business leaders unveil a plan to recruit a Major League Baseball team to the Triad.
  • July 1996: Bats owners petition the council again for a new stadium.
  • November 1996: Voters reject a $2 million referendum to rehabilitate Memorial Stadium.
  • 1997-1998: Several business leaders propose buying the Minnesota Twins and building a new stadium near Kernersville.
  • May 5, 1998: Voters in Guilford and Forsyth reject a new tax to pay for a Major League Baseball stadium, ending attempts to recruit the Twins.
  • Sept. 11, 1998: Greensboro Coliseum Director Matt Brown proposes a new minor-league stadium next to the coliseum.
  • June 23, 1999: A local group of business leaders buys the Bats franchise and pledges to study prospects for a new stadium.
  • September 2000: The Bats' parent team New York Yankees threatens to end its relationship with Greensboro because of poor stadium conditions. The Yankees renew but want a new stadium.
  • April 11, 2001: City Manager Ed Kitchen hires a consulting firm to study several city sporting venues, including Memorial Stadium.
  • Nov 5, 2002: Council members vote 6-3 for closing a block of Lindsay Street - a key part of the stadium proposal.
  • Dec 2002: Stadium foes filed a lawsuit asking a judge to reverse the City Council decision.
  • January 2004: Demolition work begins on the old Kroger and Burlington buildings along Edgeworth and Eugene streets. When the buildings are down, work will begin on preparing the site for the construction of the stadium, which will seat about 6,200 people
  • Oct 2004: Greensboro's Class A farm team for the Florida Marlins announces new name: Greensboro Grasshoppers – and new colors - green and orange, the hues of a grasshopper's natural habitat - and a new logo and merchandise.
  • Dec 2004: For the next 10 years, the home of the Greensboro Grasshoppers will be called First Horizon Park. The company that secured the naming rights is First Horizon National Corp., which has headquarters in Memphis. Terms of the deal were not announced, but Kelly Starkey, Southeast region president for First Horizon, said it would pay the minor-league team close to $3 million.
  • Apr 3, 2005: The exhibition game between the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the Florida Marlins opens $21.5 million stadium, privately funded by Downtown Greensboro Renaissance, a subsidiary of the Bryan Foundation. 8,540 fans attend the opening game. Grasshoppers lose 21-2.
  • Sep 2006: Bellemeade Village, a mixed-use project is planned for 6 acres behind First Horizon Park’s left field fence. The stadium continues to be one of the top draws in Class A minor-league baseball.
  • 2007: NewBridge Bank and the team sign a 10-yr.agreement for naming rights for the stadium.
  • 2007: The Grasshoppers attracted 441,109 fans — the fourth straight year the team has improved its attendance. Only the Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws drew more fans (442,256) this season in the South Atlantic League.The Hoppers averaged 6,487 a game.
  • 2008: NewBridge Bancorp of Greensboro replaces First Horizon National Corp. as the naming-rights holder. The field will be known as NewBridge Bank Park under a 10-year agreement to run through 2017.
  • 2012: The Grasshoppers’ owners, Greensboro Baseball, bought the stadium from the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation of Greater Greensboro.
  • 2013: NewBridge Bank has extended its naming rights agreement for NewBridge Bank Park by four more years, through 2021.
Grasshoppers 2009
Sponsorships: 100-plus
Luxury boxes: 15 full-season boxes; Nightly rental suite: 1; Party Decks: 3

Compiled by Diane Lamb, News & Record Researcher
Source: News & Record archive

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