The Great Dane Duck Blind Wins Best Ballpark Improvement
After undergoing a complete renovation prior to the 2017 season, the Great Dane Duck Blind at the Duck Pond has captured the Ballpark Digest Best Ballpark Improvement (Over $1M) award.
Located down the right-field line, the original Duck Blind debuted in 2001. It proved to be a popular destination at Warner Park, and the Mallards responded by completing several rounds of renovations and improvements over the years to keep up with the demand. While those adjustments allowed the space to function as a continually sought-after area for fans, the Mallards came to believe that the Duck Blind could be improved to reach a higher standard.
“The demand for this space had always been really great, and we tried to react to that demand,” said Big Top Baseball president Vern Stenman. “What ended up happening was that we had this really disconnected space that was still really popular, but it was not to up to the standards of the rest of the facility.”
Leading up to the 2017 season, the Mallards constructed a new Great Dane Duck Blind that was built from shipping containers. A total of 44 shipping containers were used in the construction project, with the result being a four-level structure and new field-level general admission seating down the right field line.
“We are thrilled to win this award for our renovation of the Great Dane Duck Blind,” said Mallards General Manager Tyler Isham. “This space is truly one-of-a-kind nationwide and it has greatly enhanced the fan experience at the Duck Pond. We look forward to the Great Dane Duck Blind being a staple in Madison for years to come.”
This was a competitive year for ballpark improvements across the nation, with many teams making compelling cases in this category. The Mallards competition included the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Class AA; Easter League) who completed a dramatic overhaul to their entire stadium. The other honorable mention was the Lake Elsinore Storm (High A; California League) who re-did their seating bowl.