Spirit Communications Park
To anchor a new development near downtown Columbia, South Carolina, a community focused ballpark was envisioned. The development is built on the site of the long closed South Carolina state hospital and incorporates several of the existing historical buildings. The ballpark, Spirit Communication Park, is home to the Class A minor league Fireflies which are an affiliate team of the New York Mets.
The ballpark features an expansive concourse the wraps around the entire field. Concession stands and food can be found throughout the park and a lively bar is located just over the right-center field wall. Seating options include traditional ballpark seats, picnic tables, high top tables, and berm seating. The upper level includes 16 suites with both indoor and outdoor seating. The concourse level also features an additional 4 open-air suites with their own food service and taps. A 7,000 square-foot club lounge provides eye-catching views of both the field and the growing development outside. When a game is not ongoing, the grounds are open for everyone to enjoy, especially the concourse which serves as a great walking track.
As with any ballpark design, optimizing space and functionality is highly desired. Walter P Moore worked closely with the architect and other design team members to minimize the impact of structural framing around the site. The ballpark utilizes a complex system of braces and shear walls tucked away throughout the park to provide structural support while limiting obstructions. The seismically active region paired with the unique layout of the ballpark required us to fully understand the structural capability of the building.