First park up on our Ohio ballpark tour is Fifth Third Field, home of the Toledo MudHens. Opened in 2002 at a cost of $39 million in 2000, Fifth Third Field has been one of the most popular minor league stadiums in the country. The park was named one of the best minor league parks in America by Newsweek and ESPN.com rated “The Roost” section of Fifth Third Field as the best seats to watch a minor league game. With a capacity of 10,300 (8,943 seats), the park offers more than just a good place to sit.
The most popular seating location in the park is “The Roost.” It is located in the right angle of the St. Clair Village Buildings and is designed after the home run porch of historic Tiger Stadium. “The Roost” is also connected to a building in the St. Clair Village that opens up to a party facility that can be reserved for events.
The MudHens offers several restaurants and bars both inside and across the street from the park. Inside the park, your ticket will get you into the BirdCage Bar and Grill on the Club Level, which features hand-carved meats, sandwiches, and antipasti. You will also have access to regular ballpark food and drinks around the stadium at different vendors.
Now, here is where Fifth Third Field gets cool. Created in 2016, Hensville is the newest edition to the ballpark and the surrounding area. Hensville is located in Toledo’s warehouse district and offers food, drinks, rentable spaces for events, and nightlife activities such as live music and beer tasting events. The two highlights from Hensvill are Fleetwood’s Tap Room and Nine at Hensville. Fleetwood’s is located in the first floor of the Fleetwood Building across from Fifth Third Field and boasts 48 regional beers on tap (with more than 75 offered in total) and nearly 50 kinds of whiskeys on hand. The Tap Room has plenty of space on the first floor, but on nice days you can go to the outdoor patio that overlooks Hennsville Park. On every Friday and Saturday, regardless of if there MudHens are playing at home, there is live music from the park.
Nine at Hensville is a “traditional Americana” that uses local ingredients to make custom dishes. The tables are handcrafted from reclaimed wood. The biggest feature is that Nine offers both patio and rooftop dining that overlooks Fifth Third Field that gives you an unbelievable view.
Overall, Fifth Third Field and surrounding Hensville creates a baseball experience like no other, especially on the minor league level. While neither Scott nor I have visited the park, we are excited that this is not only one of our stops but our first stop. With the game starting at 10:35 a.m., we plan on exploring the Fifth Third Field before the game and then checking out Hensville afterwords. We can’t stay long, however. We have to drive to Cleveland for the 6:05 game at Progressive Field. Tune in next week for the second edition of our Great Ohio Ballpark Tour Preview.