Time and again Victory Field has been called the “Best Minor League Ballpark in America.” The $20 million park, which opened in 1996, is home to the Indianapolis Indians – the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Designed by Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf in Indianapolis, Victory Field is a success story in urban planning and design. It’s hard to believe this 14-acre site once was a neglected eyesore on a prominent corner of downtown Indianapolis.
Architect John Dierdorf will tell you that it took some delicate and strategic planning to transform this urban brownfield into a major-league attraction. But, Victory Field became a catalyst for revitalizing downtown Indianapolis, which has included more than $3 billion in public and private capital investment over the last decade. It’s also helped Indianapolis build its reputation as the "Amateur Sports Capital of the World."
Several design features make Victory Field unique and architecturally significant, including its open concourse with great views of the playing field, skyline views from every seat in the house and angled outfield seats that hug the foul lines.
The main entry gate and ticketing facility was designed to welcome fans into the park. Concrete pavers radiate from the stadium’s support piers to the street’s edge and guides spectators toward the entrance. Just inside the ballpark, the Indians’ logo is presented in a composition of concrete pavers set into the concourse. Plant material around Victory Field was selected to complement plantings along the adjoining streetscape and in nearby White River State Park.
Victory Field seats about 13,000, but you’ll typically find up to 1,500 more fans sprawled out on the lawn having a picnic with a glove ready should a ball fly over the outfield fence. Plus, there are 28 luxury suites, five suite-level party areas and a couple of picnic areas for pre-game revelers.
These details have not gone unnoticed by fans, players and even some of the most popular sports media in the country, including Sports Illustrated and Baseball America.
NBC’s Bob Costas has said, “I'm probably the 5,000th person to say this, (Victory Field) is a miniature version of Camden Yards or Coors Field in Colorado that have been so successful. Those retro ballparks that have some of the modern amenities that make it comfortable but have the old-time feel that is so much a part of baseball's appeal.”
The Indianapolis Indian’s reached into the history books in naming its home field. The team began playing at Perry Stadium in Indianapolis in 1931, then in 1942, in celebration of the end of World War II, the stadium was renamed Victory Field. In 1967, the baseball field was renamed again, this time to Bush Stadium, after Owen J. Bush, who was a former Indian’s player, manager and owner.