Principal Park continues to rate as one of the top minor league facilities in the country. The stadium, which was built prior to the start of the 1992 season, has seen over seven million fans pass through its gates.
The ballpark has earned many awards for the Iowa Cubs. In 1992, the Cubs were honored by Baseball America magazine with the Bob Freitas Award, which recognized Iowa as the top triple-A team in the country. Also in 1992, the Iowa Cubs were named the top tourist attraction in the state by the Iowa Tourism Council. In 1996, Baseball America ranked Principal Park as one of the best minor league ballparks in the country, and did so again in 1998. The stadium was also regarded as the minor league facility with the best view.
The stadium was built on its current site in 1947 and called Pioneer Park. In 1959, it was renamed Sec Taylor Stadium in honor of former Des Moines Register and Tribune sports editor Garner W. (Sec) Taylor. The ballpark was renamed Principal Park during the 2004 season.
Planning for a new stadium began in August 1988. The $12 million rebuilding effort began with the demolition of the old stadium on Sept. 10, 1991. The new stadium was constructed on the old site beginning that October. The first game was April 16, 1992.
In 1995, the ballpark added a new look with a remodeled clubhouse and 12 skyboxes in left field. The $2 million clubhouse expansion featured new locker room facilities for both the Cubs and visiting clubs. The locker room complex also included: new offices for the manager and coaches, laundry and storage facilities, an expanded training room, an indoor batting cage, a new weight room and a family lounge.
Many new features were added prior to the 2000 season. A skybox was added to the first base side, 88 new Home Plate Club seats were constructed behind home plate and a $100,000 sound system was installed. The Cub Club also was extensively remodeled and Principal Park became a smoke-free facility.
After the completion of the 2002 season, a new playing surface was installed at Principal Park. The three-month long project cost just under one million dollars, and features the same grass as Wrigley Field and one of the best playing fields in the minor leagues.
The largest single-game crowd to witness a game at Principal Park came on July 4, 2006, when 14,149 fans packed the park to watch a holiday fireworks show. The franchise season attendance record was set in 2006 when the team drew 546,554 fans.
Since triple-A baseball arrived in Des Moines in 1969, more than 11.3 million fans have flocked to Principal Park.
In 2005, the ballpark became the host venue for the Iowa High School Athletic Association state baseball championship tournament.
Over the winter between the 2005 and 2006 seasons, Principal Park underwent an extensive renovation at a cost of $6.8 million. New seats were installed throughout the ballpark, a new scoreboard and videoboard were installed and a fountain in right field was completed for the 2007 season. A bleacher seating area in front of the scoreboard and a giant kids' playland was installed on the first base concourse.