Principal Park Iowa Cubs

Most people will not have a reason for going to Des Moines, Iowa.  Myworld only picked it because Cedar Falls was on the road.  We wanted someplace to stay overnight to go east to visit Dyersville, the Field of Dreams Park, more of which we will write about in a separate blog piece.  The fact the Iowa Cubs have some pretty good prospects in Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara made it an attraction in and of itself.

The nice thing about the park is the Des Moines river runs along side of it, offering a nice backdrop as you approach the stadium.  With all the rain they have been receiving the river is running pretty high.  Good for the crops and the farm community.  Bad for the park if they get too much rain and the river overruns her banks and spills into the park.

They have a railroad track that runs past the stadium.  If you like the sound of a train as it toots its horn while it runs down the track it is pretty cool to be sitting at the park watching the game as a train runs past town.  It gives you a true Americana feel to the evening, a type of small town atmosphere you will never experience at the larger parks.  Myworld has hopes we would improve our national rail system, but expecting Congress to do anything constructive is like hoping for the Marlins owner to spend the money to build a winner.

You can see the golden dome of the Iowa State Capital building if you sit along the third base side.  The problem with the third base side is the sun is in your eyes the first three to five innings of the ballgame as you try to watch home plate.  It is best to sit along the first base side to watch the game, unless you want to strengthen those crows feet wrinkles around the eyes.  If you sit along some of the outfield seats you can get a view of some of the large buildings that mushroom over downtown Des Moines.

The stadium has been around since 1947.  It was rebuilt in 1990 with most of the wooden bleachers of the old stadium demolished to make room for the concrete structures of the new stadium.  In 1993 Mother Nature introduced herself to the new stadium by having the riverbanks overrun in the Great Flood of 1993.

The stadium was called Sec Taylor Field after a Des Moines sports writer, but Principal Financial Group offered $2.5 million for naming rights, so the poor sporswriter was dropped for the cash.  The new influx of cash allowed them to build a right field bleacher and a nice new scoreboard that hangs over right field.  The money was also used to enhance other amenities to the ballpark.

They have a restaurant along the left field outfield so you can dine and watch the game.  Myworld did not go into the restaurant so we don’t know how many tables had a good view of the park.  A giant glove sits on top of the restaurant.  A fountain explodes water out in right field, so if it gets too warm for the game you can take a walk to that area to get sprayed by the fountain.  Don’t tell the people from Iowa about global warming.  On July 1 and 2 when myworld attended two games, the night time game temperature dipped below 60 degrees.

The food choices seem abundant.  Myworld did not eat at the park since my hotel offered some dinner munchies that sucked away our appetite.  It didn’t look like you would starve if you went to the ball park and the prices seemed reasonable for ball park food.  Not a lot of concessions through the stadium, unless you wanted beer, cotton candy or a snow cone treat.

They have a mascot, which is Cubbie the bear.  I didn’t see much of Cubbie during the game.  Maybe he is a bit shy, but looking at his costume there is not a lot he could do in it.  At least you could identify him as a bear.  With some of the mascots it is a challenge to even identify what they are.

As most parks do they have a race during the game, sponsored by the gas station Kum and Go.  The characters are accesories you can purchase at the gas station such as drink cup, hot dog, chips and other characters that escape me for the moment.  The hot dog won both races in the two games myworld attended.  Later in the game they have three kids race dressed in hamburger costumes race around the infield.  In both races the kid with the longest legs won the race.

Nothing really special about the park.  The atmosphere and the sounds of the train noise in the background made it an enjoyable couple nights at the ballpark.  If you are in Des Moines and have nothing else to do, going to a game would not be a bad choice.  The prices are reasonable, a box seat costing you $14.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.