Garrison Commander Col. Kelsey Smith and Command Sgt. Maj. Billy Counts got a tour Friday of the minor league baseball’s new Trash Panda stadium from Trash Panda owner Ralph Nelson and Emo Furfori, Trash Panda director of community relations.
Nelson shared his vision of what the stadium in Madison will look like on opening day April 15.
“It’s classy,” he said. “In my opinion, it’s the best minor league ballpark I’ve ever been in. It’s just very, very first-class, top of the line.”
Nelson pointed out some of the unique features of the ballpark including a huge scoreboard with a video screen, a zig-zag wall in the outfield and a grassy seating area.
The Rocket City Trash Pandas’ stadium will seat 500 more fans than initially expected. The team says architects found room in the ballpark for additional box and reserved seats that will be sold to season ticket buyers.
“We went back to the drawing board. We looked at the shop drawings. We knew that we had some additional seating that had been added,” Nelson said. Some changes to the stadium helped make extra space for seating that initially wasn’t planned. “We also had to make some changes in the ballpark. One was we added a restroom to the visitors dugout, which actually added some seats,” Nelson said.
After touring the franchise just outside the Redstone Arsenal gate, Smith said of the Trash Pandas, “I think it pulls together the community we all work and serve in and it certainly improves the quality of life for anyone who works on the Arsenal. Anything that’s good for Huntsville, the Tennessee Valley and Madison city is certainly good for Redstone Arsenal.”