ShoreTown Ballpark

From BR Bullpen

(Redirected from FirstEnergy Park)

  • Name: ShoreTown Ballpark
  • GPS-able Address: 2 Stadium Way, Lakewood, NJ 08701
  • Ballpark Owner: Township of Lakewood
  • Architects: HNTB
  • Groundbreaking: 4/17/2000
  • Minor League Baseball Teams: Jersey Shore BlueClaws (A+) 2021-present; Lakewood BlueClaws (A) 2001-2020
  • Class/League History: A+/South Atlantic League 2022-present; A+/High-A East; 2021; A/South Atlantic League 2001-2020
  • First Professional Baseball Game: 4/11/2001; stadium debut of Class A BlueClaws
  • Others Playing or Operating Here: None
  • Previous Ballpark Names: FirstEnergy Park 2002-2021; GPU Energy Park 2001
  • LF: 325 CF: 400 RF: 325
  • Seats: 6,588
  • Stated Capacity: 9,588
  • House Baseball/Softball Record Attendance: 13,003, 8/26/2002

ShoreTown Ballpark in Lakewood, NJ, is the home of the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, the Philadelphia Phillies' Low-A South Atlantic League farm team. The lease between the 'Claws and Lakewood Township runs through 2055!

Opened as GPU Energy Park in 2000, the ballpark lured the Cape Fear Crocs - née Fayetteville Generals - north. This was the second stadium in two years to which the utility bought naming rights - the other being the former Reading Municipal Memorial Stadium in Reading, PA. After the season, GPU and FirstEnergy merged, with both parks changing names; Lakewood's would be known as FirstEnergy Park through the 2021 campaign.

After leaving Fayetteville, NC, the rebranded Lakewood BlueClaws outdrew 15 other teams in attendance in their first nine seasons and 13 the next seven. The facility has hosted more than 8,000 baseball fans well over 100 times, reaching the million attendance increments faster than any SAL team. Despite the fact that it seats fewer than 6,600, the "simply clawsome" BlueClaws once packed it so full - 13,003 - that they capped per-game sales at 8,000 in 2012. The 13K accrued from a perfect storm of simultaneous factors not likely to be repeated; the 'Claws later rescinded the cap but have not approached 13K since. That August 26, 2002, gate remains the largest at any park currently hosting High-A baseball.

The club was purchased during the 2017 season by locally based Shore Town Baseball. On March 18, 2022 - five seasons after buying the BlueClaws and a year and a half after changing their locale name - STB did not renew the naming rights contract, instead announcing it would rename the stadium to remind fans of the team's local ownership. Since that rebranding, the stadium has added mini-golf, boardwalk games, the Sand Bar and the second-level Blue Wave Bar in keeping with the seashore theme.

Relatively unscathed by Hurricane Sandy, the ballpark served as a staging area for recovery operations.

Current ballparks of the South Atlantic League
North Division South Division
Daniel S. Frawley Stadium | Dutchess Stadium | Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium
Maimonides Park | ShoreTown Ballpark
Bowling Green Ballpark | First National Bank Field | Fluor Field at the West End | L.P. Frans Stadium
McCormick Field | State Mutual Stadium | Truist Stadium