PLAYING AT "THE JOE"
Opened in time for the 1997 season, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park remains one of the premier atmospheres in all of minor league baseball. Named after the city's longest-serving mayor, "The Joe" is the home of the RiverDogs and The Citadel baseball team. Riley Park hosted the 2014 Southern Conference Baseball Championship and previously hosted the South Atlantic League All-Star Game in 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2012.
The facility is unique in several ways - visually, of course - however, its uniqueness stems from the relationships fostered by the City of Charleston, the state of South Carolina (The Citadel) and a private enterprise (RiverDogs).
In the first season at The Joe, the RiverDogs set a new single season attendance of 234,840 - a record that would be eclipsed almost annually. The record was even broken in 2002 despite the outlandish game night promotion of "Nobody Night," when no fans were allowed in to the ballpark until the game became official thus allowing the RiverDogs to set the record for lowest official single game attendance: zero.
Most recently, the RiverDogs set a single season franchise attendance record in 2015 when 292,661 fans passed through the turnstiles at the Joe.
The facility is named after the long-time former mayor of Charleston, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Mayor Riley, an avid baseball fan who is often in attendance having escaped the pressures of directing one of America's most historic cities. He is one of the city's great promoters of the game of baseball, and despite his objections, city council voted unanimously to name the facility in his honor.
Riley Park was designed by HOK Sports, of Kansas City, MO., known primarily for their work at Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore), Jacobs Field (Cleveland) and Coors Field (Denver), among many others.
In 2006, RiverDogs co-owner Mike Veeck hired Mike Williams to serve as the facility's head groundskeeper. Williams previously was the head groundskeeper for Major League Baseball's New York Mets and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He and his staff do a marvelous job in maintaining the playing surface, one that players and fans admire simultaneously. Under Williams' leadership, the park has earned South Atlantic League Playing Surface of the Year awards in 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2014.
Riley Park has been rated among the best playing facilities on the collegiate and minor league levels, and once you've visited The Joe, you will concur.
360 Fisburne St.
Charleston, SC 29403