Ballparks of America
The Ballparks of America project is a stay and play little league tournament venue that incorporates five 2/3 scale Major League replica ballparks including Tiger Stadium, Busch Stadium, Wrigley Field, Ebbets Field, and Fenway Park. Each of these iconic replica ballparks feature state-of-the-art synthetic turf fields with professional sports lighting, sunken dugouts, and stadium-style seating. This adaptive reuse project challenged Paragon Architecture to transform an abandoned outlet mall into a baseball tournament facility. Today, the attraction allows spectators and players to enjoy grandstands, ballpark concessions, merchandise retail shops, an arcade, and team suites. The 46 team dorm suites feature major league-style open lockers, private showers, flat-screen televisions with gaming consoles, and separate bunk areas for sleeping. Each suite is approximately 1,000 square feet. The ability to use so much of the existing mall in the design plans, along with Branson’s reputation as a family-friendly destination, ample hotel rooms at reasonable rates (for players’ families) and its centralized location — just a one-day drive for a third of the nation’s population — solidified Branson as the home for this attraction. At the time when this facility was built, there were only two like it in the country that allowed little league players to stay and play at. Nowadays, Ballparks of America hosts weeklong tournaments that stimulated the local economy and gives young players a chance to feel like pros on big league-inspired fields.