Built in 1935, Historic Calfee Park has been at the heart of the Town of Pulaski ever since. For its 80th birthday, the venerable ballpark at the foot of Draper Mountain is getting quite the facelift.
Owners David Hagan and Larry Shelor, who purchased the ballpark in September 2014, recognize the tremendous historical importance of Calfee Park more than anyone else, but the new ownership also realized that upgrades were necessary to maintain the venue as a viable home for Minor League Baseball.
Preserving the historic nature of Calfee was a primary goal for Hagan and Shelor, even in the face of wholesale renovations to the park. Nothing exemplifies the history of Calfee Park quite like the rock ticket gate which stands on the North end of the grounds. The former layout of the park made this gate, which has stood since 1935, a secondary entrance. In 2015, the rock gate will serve as the primary entrance.
Less than a football field's distance from the rock ticket gate stands the grandest testament to the renovation's modernizing aims-a new jumbotron. This video board is 35 feet wide by 22.5 feet tall and dominates Calfee's left field. The jumbotron unlocks countless new opportunities for Calfee Park
Many of Calfee's upgrades were done with the fans in mind and the park's guests should expect a new and improved experience. This all begins with parking, which has been considerably expanded with new parking lots to the northeast of the ballpark. Walkways will run between Calfee and the new lots, and a complementary shuttle service will be available.
Seating was also overhauled. Eight new suites as well as two VIP towers were added to the park. Additionally, ownership expanded reserved seating to over 500. Bleacher seating was added to the third base grandstand, which now houses all general admission seating as well as the family section.
The park's concessions and souvenir capacity also received a boost. The expanded concession building now includes four windows in order to decrease waiting time.
The Shelor Automotive Group's focus was not limited to Calfee Park itself. The ownership group is also leaving its mark on downtown Pulaski with the creation of the Jackson Park Inn and Conference Center. Sitting five blocks from the park and complete with a first-floor conference room and restaurant, the Jackson Park Inn will house the Yankees' players and coaches throughout the season. During the offseason, it will serve as a conventional hotel. In total, over $7 million has gone into Calfee Park and the Jackson Park Inn.
Fans of the Pulaski Yankees and Calfee Park lovers alike will get their first opportunity to rediscover their favorite ballpark on Tuesday, June 23rd when the Yankees open their season against the Danville Braves with the first pitch at 7 PM.