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Mascot: Homer the Haymarket Hound (2001-)

Homer the Haymarket Hound card

I'm told that the "Top Dog" at the ballpark is Homer the Haymarket Hound. I never saw any sign of him and hope to see him on a future visit.

Haymarket Park

Sunny park in the land of "Go Big Red"

Photo of ballpark sign
Haymarket was the first American Association park
where you enter at concourse level

Saltdogs home is another great addition to the American Association and a new design with several features not found elsewhere.

Photo of ballpark entrance

The first of these is the fact the field below ground level. As shown in the picture, you enter the gate at concourse level. There are no stairs or ramps just to get to the grandstands. This makes the facility one of the most friendly for fans in wheelchairs or with difficulties walking.

After finding yourself on the concourse, you notice how WIDE it is. The addition of second level seating lead to much more space for getting around the grandstand. This is really noticeable with large crowds as you can still move through even though dozens of people are on them.

Getting around the ballpark is "complete" since this is the first one where you can walk the around the ENTIRE park. This is possible since the park maximizes berms around the field and extends the concourse to a sidewalk encircling the field.

The berms have good views because, instead of billboards on or rising behind the outfield fences, seven "scrolling signs" are along the lower outfield fence. This is the first park to do it, giving a more "professional" feel and ensuring the skyline of Lincoln as well as the railyard are visible

Incorporating the skyline was another intentional design feature. Though this gives fans something to see beyond the park it has two consequences. One is the park faces east-southeast which means day games have nearly no shade despite the tall roofs on the skyboxes.

Photo of right field
Lincoln's skyline rises beyond right field behind the video scoreboard

The second is that Memorial Stadium looms "large" and dominates center field. It almost as if baseball fans can't escape the draw of "Go Big Red." And Husker fans don't need any reminders of how big football is in the state. Visitors late in the season will eventually find out how there is no equivalent to "Go Big Red" anywhere in the midwest.

Other noticeable touches include the "wooded batter's eye" instead of a black fence. The second level stands free of the lower level buildings allowing breezes to pass through the stands --cooling fans on hot nights. A pedestrian street between the baseball and softball fields joins them nicely without a large parking lot or other division. The playground has a soft, spongy floor to reduce injuries as well as a tent cover for shade.

A lot of great ideas were put into this park's design and many work wonderfully!

Fans

Friendly, Polite and Knowledgeable

Photo of crowd in left grandstand
Saltdogs crowd for "Fourth of July" fireworks (2001)

One of the best first impressions ever in the American Association are the Saltdogs fans. Friendly, polite and even the kids know what's going on in the situations on the field. Cheering, spontaneous or lead (from the scoreboard), is loud and strong.