by Kevin Reichard
With over 46,000 voters weighing in on the top Low Single-A facilities, Four Winds Field, home of the South Bend Cubs, was the winner in the third-annual Best of the Ballparks 2017 fan vote from Ballpark Digest.
Fans selected Four Winds Field over Modern Woodmen Park, home of the Quad Cities River Bandits, in a bracketed online competition at ballparkdigest.com that saw over 178,000 fans vote on their favorite MiLB ballparks.
“When Andrew Berlin took over the South Bend baseball team in 2011, he set out with a plan to revitalize the old Silver Hawks by focusing on improving the fan experience,” said Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard. “Fans love committed ownership, especially ownership that invests in a ballpark, a strong front office and the community. That investment has paid off with the team setting attendance records and fans turning out to support Four Winds Field in our competition.”
“This award is the culmination of years of work that has gone into our 30-year-old stadium,” said South Bend Cubs Team President Joe Hart. “This award is not just about the bricks and mortar. It’s our friendly and accommodating staff. It’s about the quality of our food, the cleanliness of the facility and the atmosphere created when 8,000 fans pack into the seats and the lawn. We are incredibly honored and humbled by the number of votes Four Winds Field has received to be named the Best of the Ballparks.”
This is not the first time the South Bend Cubs has been honored by Ballpark Digest. In 2015 the South Bend Cubs received the Team of the Year Award in the annual Ballpark Digest Awards.
Voters were asked to choose amongst Midwest and South Atlantic League ballparks in five rounds of voting. Since the voting began in 2015, three different ballparks have snared the honors, all from the Midwest League: Modern Woodmen Park (2015), Parkview Field (2016) and now Four Winds Park.