Day Air Ballpark: Home of the Dayton Dragons

Day Air Ballpark: Home of the Dayton Dragons

Dayton, known as the Gem City, hosts a gem of its own in Day Air Ballpark. Built in 2000, the 7,230 seat stadium is located in downtown Dayton and stands as one of the best ballparks in minor league baseball.

When arriving at Day Air Ballpark, parking can be difficult, however, nearby lots will charge $5-$10 for adequate parking within walking distance to the stadium. Street parking is also available but can be hard to find.

Dayton Dragons (affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds since 2000)
Established: 2000
League: Midwest League
Ballpark: Day Air Ballpark (Opened 2000)
Division titles: 2004, 2011, 2021
Notable alumni: Joey Votto, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Sr. (hitting coach), Johnny Cueto, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Jonathan India, Elly De La Cruz

Location/ Scenery/ Amenities (3.9/5)

You can't ask for a better location for Day Air Ballpark. Tucked into the downtown streets of Dayton, the ballpark is surrounded by new modern housing complexes that show the revitalization of this midwestern city.

In terms of the scenery, the outfield view is dominated by a new, modern apartment complex that reminds me of Jackson Field in Lansing, Michigan. If you read that review, you might remember that I felt that the backdrop of an apartment building that is built into the ballpark can be a great touch, especially in areas where there might not be a city skyline in sight as it shows a sense of community. However, at Day Air Ballpark, I felt that they missed an opportunity in having a downtown skyline backdrop beyond the outfield fence as the city of Dayton sits outside the home plate side of the ballpark. While some quirks would need to be addressed, such as the positioning of the sun, rotating this ballpark about 90 degrees could give this park an awesome view.

Lastly, one of the largest downsides of this ballpark was the narrow concourses. The Dayton Dragons are known for having the longest sellout streak in all of professional sports. Walking through the concourse, foot traffic constantly gets backed up and it's hard to move around.

Food (4/5)

When I initially was scanning the food options at the ballpark, I was unimpressed by the lack of unique dishes. Day Air Ballpark is filled with your ballpark classics such as burgers, hot dogs, beers, and cocktails, but there wasn't any 'off the wall' dishes that grab your attention. Ultimately, I did find a burger stand that had a Hawaiian Burger ($12) which was a patty topped with pepper jack cheese, pineapple, a sweet chili sauce, pickles, and lettuce. The burger was great and satisfied me for the game. While there weren't any crazy dishes or local specialties offered, the food was of high quality and didn't have an awful price point.

Entertainment (3.1/5)

Finally, the entertainment aspect didn't disappoint either. There was multiple on field games which were dominated by 'Team Zoom' which featured a dog that performed various tricks and jumps between innings that kept the crowd engaged. Other than that, I felt that the entertainment was pretty average which leads to this middle of the road grade.

Sam's Score: 73.3/100

Day Air Ballpark hits almost every mark and is the embodiment of what minor league baseball should be. The ballpark has a unique personality, something that not many stadiums have. I would go as far to say that I'd categorize Day Air Ballpark as a 'must see' and is, in my opinion, the best ballpark in all of High-A baseball. The park sits in a great location with quality ballpark classics as well as a decent dose of quality entertainment.