Cannon Ballers crowned: Atrium Health Ballpark wins fan vote for best ballpark in the country
KANNAPOLIS — Atrium Health Ballpark has brought plenty of attention to downtown Kannapolis, but now the baseball stadium is being recognized in its own right.
After five rounds of online fan voting for more than a month, Atrium Health Ballpark was announced as the winner of Ballpark Digest’s 2021 Best of the Ballparks annual contest in the Low-A division. The stadium, home to the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, beat LECOM Park, home to the Pittsburgh Pirates Low-A affiliate in Bradenton, Florida, in the championship series.
“This award would not be possible without the vision of the city of Kannapolis, all of the design and construction partners that collaborated on the project, and most importantly, the continued support of our community and fan base,” Cannon Ballers General Manager Matt Millward said in a statement. “We are beyond honored to receive the distinction as Best of the Ballparks, but this is only the beginning of an amazing future ahead for the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers and Atrium Health Ballpark. The best is yet to come!”
All 30 Low-A teams throughout MiLB were represented in the fan-inspired contest. Atrium Health Ballpark advanced to the Low-A championship round by receiving 64% of the votes against Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in the semifinals. In the finals, Atrium Health Ballpark jumped out to an early lead during the week-long round, eventually cruising by LECOM Park with 65% of the votes for the White Sox Low-A affiliate home.
The $52 million stadium was designed to be the centerpiece for revitalization efforts in downtown Kannapolis. While the stadium was ready to go before the 2020 season, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the debut of the Cannon Ballers until this spring. The state-of-the-art ballpark celebrated its opening day on May 4. Since then, fans who have stepped foot inside Atrium Health Ballpark have witnessed sold-out crowds, the Human Cannonball Show, walk-off wins and more.
The playground, splash pad and walking trail located in the park are used daily by residents, even on days without games.
“It was a delayed opening for Atrium Health Ballpark after losing the 2020 season, but it definitely was worth the wait,” Ballpark Digest Publisher Kevin Reichard said in statement. “The win in our Best of the Ballparks vote shows the impact the new ballpark has already made in the Kannapolis community.”
To learn more about Atrium Health Ballpark and the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, go to kcballers.com.