Hot Rods announce stadium improvement plans

The Bowling Green Hot Rods announced a plan Wednesday to make more than $2 million in improvements to Bowling Green Ballpark, to be completed by Opening Day next year.

Perhaps the most visible change will be a new high-definition scoreboard and LED board measuring 35 feet tall and 56 feet wide — almost triple the size of the current videoboard in place. Atlanta-based Foremetco Sports will install the videoboard, which will feature the latest technology offered in outdoor boards, including the highest resolution of any videoboard in Minor League Baseball, and other enhancements that allow the team to have an in-house game feed and to broadcast their home games on for the first time in franchise history.

Also notable will be completion of the 360-degree walkway around the ballpark — a feature included in the stadium’s original design, but cut during construction phase due to budget concerns. Additional signage structures will be added behind the walkway.

A new “Splash Zone” for children will be installed behind the centerfield wall. The 1,500-square-foot zone will feature a 10-foot-tall water fountain shaped like a baseball bat and ball. It also will have 30 ground-to-air water fountains. Two new restrooms and two changing rooms will be installed behind the batters’ eye.

“Finishing the 360 walkway and the splash zone are two of the ideas that our staff have been dreaming about adding for the past five years,” Hot Rods general manager Eric Leach said in a press release. “We feel that both of these additions will allow us to utilize the entire ballpark space and continue to bring quality family entertainment to South Central Kentucky.”

A new Splash Zone for children will be installed behind the centerfield wall at Bowling Green Ballpark. (Artist’s rendering courtesy of the Bowling Green Hot Rods)

Another major part of the project will be on the suite level, where the Reinhart Club will be completely reconfigured, expanding its usable space by over 35 percent. The club’s bar will be relocated to help maximize the space.

“The enhancement with the Reinhart Club will allow the space to be used year-round instead of just during the season,” Leach said. “It will allow for a more functionable space for business meetings, formal dinners, banquets, and holiday parties.”

The entire suite level will get new glass as part of the renovation. The current glass provides a three-foot opening to view games, but the new glass will be 10 feet from floor to ceiling to allow for bigger views and a more open feel, something new Hot Rods owner Jack Blackstock said he wanted to include after noticing at other ballparks how impactful such an enhanced feature can have on the fan experience.

Other, smaller changes that will be made include new signage at the front entry, new entrance gates, and new tables and chairs in the leftfield picnic area.

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