Maybe I need to re-think the title of these Stadium of the Month posts as a five word arena makes for quite the jumbled headline. The city of Fort Wayne, Indiana is a hidden attraction for stadium aficionados. Consistently ranking as one of the best minor-league ballparks in the country, the five-year old Parkview Field is the template on how to revitalize a downtown section of a city with a ballpark. While the new is done in spectacular fashion for baseball, Fort Wayne’s other minor league team plays at a facility that showcases the old.
Though the northern neighborhood is not as ideal as Parkview, the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum has a little bit of old-time hockey feel with a facility that certainly stands out against today’s often duplicated new minor-league, mid-city designs here on the East Coast (see Reading, Trenton and Bridgeport). Built in 1952, the arena has recently been majorly renovated, yet still retains some of the character in an older building. While the seating design and set-up isn’t all that charming (a 600 level!), it is the fans that make this old barn worth a visit. The Komets have been around for a long time and after many years in the IHL, they had to work their way back up the food chain after that top minor-league folded. Now in the ECHL, the team draws exceptionally well and are the very rare minor-league exception that sees their attendance rise during the playoffs. Fans get the place rocking and make this an arena to see. The best time to make a trip to Northeast Indiana might be in May, where you can combine a Komets Playoff game with a visit to Parkview Field.