Since 2015, crews have been working on creating The Ripken Experience, a $22.5 million Pigeon Forge baseball complex. The complex in Pigeon Forge officially opened on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The modern, state-of-the-art facility is a great addition to Pigeon Forge and we are excited about how many visitors the new complex will attract to the area.
In late 2013, negotiations between Ripken Baseball and the City of Pigeon Forge began (Click here to read more about the original plans for the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge). Then, in 2014, 50 acres of land was set aside for the new complex. Construction did not begin until late 2015, and now baseball is open and tournaments have already begun!
The City of Pigeon Forge signed a 10 year contract with Ripken Baseball to market and manage the complex.
The Pigeon Forge Ripken Experience is the 3rd of its kind. The other two are located in Aberdeen, Maryland and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
What is the Cal Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge?
The Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge is the newest baseball field in the area, featuring:
- 6 full synthetic turf fields
- Lights on every field
- Lighted training areas and batting cages
- 2 level, 14,000 square foot clubhouse
Each field is based on the design of a well-known, big league baseball parks, like Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The 2 level clubhouse has a concession area, gift shop, indoor seating and a balcony that overlooks the baseball fields.
In addition, the Pigeon Forge baseball complex has beautiful views of the Great Smoky Mountains in the distance.
Baseball and softball tournaments are scheduled to take place on the fields 9 months out of the year.
Who is Cal Ripken?
When you read about the Ripken family, it all started with Cal Ripken, Sr. He spent 37 years as a Baltimore Oriole, starting out as a catcher on the team and eventually becoming a team manager. He instilled a love of baseball into his team, and into his family who carried on the tradition once he passed away.
His 2 sons played 33 years (combined) in Major League Baseball. They both set Major League records with Cal Jr. playing a total of 2,632 consecutive games and Bill holding a .985 career fielding average.
Cal Ripken Jr. is considered a “baseball legend,” “baseball’s Iron Man,” and more, since his 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles.
Today, the Ripkens want to see that students, families and teams are doing things “the Ripken way” – keeping baseball standards set high while making sure there’s a lot of fun for everyone along the way.
Dollywood Partners with The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge
Dollywood Company has been named the official entertainment partner of the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge. Now, Ripken Baseball tournament participants will have access to the family-fun theme parks, including Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Park.
All week-long tournament participants will receive an exclusive, all access pass to the Dollywood theme park as well as Dollywood’s Splash Country water park.
For more information about the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge, including tournament registration details and more, click here.
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