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Pigeon Forge is ready to play ball! The Ripken Experience baseball complex is finally open for business, and hundreds of teams are already signing up for the chance to play like the pros. Designed for little leaguers and young adults, The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge is the brainchild of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and his brother/teammate Billy Ripken. Visit My Smokies has put together a convenient guide with four things you need to know about this state-of-the-art Pigeon Forge baseball park.
1. Perfect for Baseball Tournaments and Spring Training
The Ripken Experience is expected to be one the most popular baseball tournament destinations in the Southeast. The $22.5 million facility specializes in week-long tournaments for kids and teenagers.
In addition to baseball tournaments, The Ripken Experience also hosts high school softball spring training camps in March and April. Players enjoy unlimited access to training areas with 12 batting cages and bullpens. For games, umpires and balls are included, and parents and fans can watch for free. We may be biased, but we think that spending your spring break in Pigeon Forge is a great alternative to flying down to Florida!
One of the coolest parts of The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge, is that all of the complex’s fields are based on the designs of well-known ballparks from around the country. Here is a quick look at the inspiration for the fields you’ll find at The Ripken Experience:
- Camden Yards (Baltimore, MD)
- Isotopes Park (Albuquerque, NM)
- Fluor Field (Greenville, SC)
- Winston-Salem Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)
- Calfee Park (Pulaski, VA)
- Engel Stadium (Chattanooga, TN)
Week-long tournaments at The Ripken Experience are designed so teams start playing at the field based on Calfee Park and work their way up to the championship game at the re-creation of Camden Yards. It is no surprise that Cal and Billy Ripken chose to model the complex’s signature field after Camden Yards, because the brothers both had storied careers with the Baltimore Orioles. All six fields are 70 foot diamonds with synthetic turf and lights.
3. The Ripken Experience Makes You Feel Like You’re in the Big Leagues
Participating in a tournament at The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge is about as close to playing in the major leagues as a young athlete can get! Here are some of the perks of playing at this Pigeon Forge baseball complex:
- Every game is announced from the press box.
- Gatorade is provided for players in the dugouts.
- Walk-Up songs play when each player bats.
- All the games stream live for free on the Trekker Live app.
- The winning teams gets championship rings, and other awards and gifts are available.
When you participate in a summer tournament at The Ripken Experience, you’ll also have the chance to visit Pigeon Forge’s most popular attraction! Players and coaches each receive one 2-day admission ticket to Dollywood and/or Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Adventure Park. The ticket is good for two days at one or both parks and expires seven days after first use.
To learn more about the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge and to sign up for a tournament or spring training camp, click here.
Are you excited about this new Pigeon Forge baseball complex? Let us know what you think in the comments below!