The West Michigan Whitecaps, the High-A affiliate team of the Detroit Tigers, are the beloved Minor League Baseball team located outside Grand Rapids. Upon the restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the team’s home, LMCU Ballpark, is in need of some upgrades to follow new Professional Development League (PDL) compliance modifications. In addition to these required changes to the player spaces and the field, the Whitecaps also desire a reimagination of the ballpark to enhance the guest experience, ensuring the facility remain best-in-class for the next 20+ years.
ROSSETTI and the Whitecaps established a vision of reimagining LMCU Ballpark to be rooted in the tradition, character and atmosphere of a West Michigan neighborhood while creating an improved destination for multiple generations. To accomplish the PDL requirements by Opening Day 2023, the design swaps the home and visitor clubhouses, moving the Whitecaps to the 3rd base. This move efficiently allows for a brand new and larger player clubhouse, adding amenities such as a larger locker room, weight room, dining facility and an enclosed batting tunnel. Not only will these spaces be used for the Whitecaps, but some areas‒including the batting tunnel‒can be rented out to school baseball teams, private groups and more. As a first phase of the transformation of the venue, the player enhancements pave the way for new guest experiences at LMCU Ballpark.
The new clubhouse changes the geometry of the ballpark’s current footprint, allowing for the addition of terraced hospitality spaces along the 1st and 3rd base lines. These zones provide diverse seating options that encourage socialization while still connecting guests to the game. Improvements are also proposed for the main entry, clubs, suites, and concessions. As a major move to advance the venue into the next generation, future phasing will add a concourse in the outfield, providing a full 360-degree connection around the ballpark. This addition will allow for more social areas, concessions and guest amenities that take advantage of brand-new vantage points. The outfield addition will also include a new entry and a new stadium club building that can be used for private events, creating an active ballpark even during the off-season. When completed, LMCU Ballpark will be well-known in the industry as a top-notch facility that is sure to surprise and delight the great West Michigan community for many future seasons.
Comstock Park, Michigan