Durham Bulls Athletic Park
The Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DBAP) was designed by HOK Sport + Venue + Event, architects of Camden Yards in Baltimore, Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Coors Field in Colorado along with many other new stadiums opened in the past 10 years. The $16-million brick ballpark opened in 1995 and was expanded to a 10,000-seat capacity for the 1998 season, the year the Bulls began playing in the Triple-A International League.
A roof covers approximately 2,500 seats behind home plate and down both the first and third base lines to the end of each dugout. All seats at the DBAP are extra wide with seat backs, extra leg room and over 95 percent of the seats have cup holders. The stadium was designed and built so that every seat gives fans a great view of the field with an intimate ballpark feel.
Durham Bulls Athletic Park is located in downtown Durham and can be accessed from the Durham Freeway. The ballpark reflects many characteristics of old-time parks and the historic downtown Durham architecture. A 32-foot-high wall stands in left field 305 feet from home plate, resembling Fenway Park's Green Monster. The Blue Monster, as it's called in Durham, contains a similar old-style manual scoreboard. The ballpark's most distinctive feature is the Bull that stands tall above the Blue Monster. This Bull was modeled after the bull used in the 1988 film, Bull Durham. The actual Bull from the movie is hung in the concourse level of the DBAP.
Construction of a "warehouse type" building, Diamond View, began in 1997 and was completed during the 1998 season. The Diamond View building is located behind the right field seating sections and uses the same architecture as the DBAP, including the green roof, brickwork and windows.
In 2002, the DBAP unveiled a new playground area in the left field section of the concourse. This new area is sure to provide fun for Bulls fans for many years to come.
Also new for 2002, the DBAP unveiled a new set of signs throughout the ballpark. Every sign, including restroom, smoking, and seating locators, were replaced. The new signs are a part of the season long celebration commemorating the Bulls' 100th Anniversary.
In the Fall of 2003, the field of the DBAP received a major face lift. After nine years of service, the top layers of grass and soil were removed and replaced with brand new top soil and Tissport™ Bermuda grass. The renovation took place over several weeks and cost over $100,000.
Following the 2006 season, the DBAP underwent major renovations in the outfield, including a new left field wall complete with a new video board located above the manual scoreboard. The old video board, installed prior to the 2004 season, was reshaped into a video billboard and placed in right field.
In 2008, with the addition of the Diamond View II building in left field, the Blue Monster pavilion opened allowing fans to watch the game atop the Blue Monster for the first time. One year later, a stairwell was added to the pavilion connecting it to the third base concourse and making the DBAP a 360 degree ballpark.
The final piece of the Diamond View trilogy of buildings, Diamond View III, was completed following the 2013 season. The mixed use building features office and retail space and restaurants.
After the Bulls captured their fourth Governors' Cup title in 2013, their home ballpark began a $19 million transformation. In 2014, the DBAP will boast an all new playing surface, improved field lights, new seats, additional group picnic areas, and upgraded video displays and sound system. With a focus on improving the stadium's concessions experience, a new 10,000 square foot landing area along the 1st base line will feature themed food and beverage kiosks that will allow fans an uninterrupted view of the game. Numerous concessions points of sale will be added throughout the main concourse, with the goal of reducing wait times. The "crown jewel" of the renovations will be the 5,000 square foot Triangle Club, an upscale space that will provide a whole new level of exclusivity for premium ticket holders and groups looking to host special events at the DBAP.