TD Bank Ballpark

August 25, 2007
Commerce Bank Ballpark (Capacity: 6,100)
Bridgewater, NJ
Somerset Patriots vs Road Warriors
Final Score: 10 – 6

* The stadium was re-visited for a game on April 8, 2023
* Commerce Bank Ballpark was renamed TD Bank Ballpark


On a steamy late summer night (the 78-degree dewpoint was definitely the muggiest conditions I’ve ever attended a baseball game in), we drove down to Commerce Bank Ballpark in Somerset County. This section of New Jersey is in the north-central part of the state and the area is considered suburban. More specifically, the ballpark is in Bridgewater Township, which has a population of 45,000 and lies about 45 minutes southwest of New York City. As part of the independent Atlantic League, Somerset began play in 1998, but did not move into their home until 1999. That first season, they were a road team until the stadium was completed. Ever since their arrival, the Patriots have been successful both on and off the field. The team won six league championships before being on the good side of the Minor League Baseball reshuffle as Somerset aligned with the Yankees while moving to the Double-A Eastern League. Right off the bat, they won the title in 2022.
Prestige Ranking: 2.5 out of 5

Location and Accessibility / Parking

The area surrounding the stadium is as suburban as it gets. A shopping center (Bridgewater Promenade) is right across from the ballpark and it features Target, Home Depot and the like. It’s a little weird to see a stadium right near a big box center that could be found in a thousand towns across the country. About a mile away at the beginning of the Promenade is a McDonald’s and Applebee’s. Interstate 287 is very close to the stadium, which can be found by taking Promenade Blvd, just off of Exit 13. Anytime outside of 4-6 PM on a weeknight, traffic is manageable. Though the shopping center has a ton of parking within walking distance, you are not technically allowed to park here. Pretty much everyone ignores that and if you want to save $5, it’s across the street from the stadium (getting out though is a little awkward because of a stupid design). Two large, official lots are located on both sides of the ballpark. A nice feature is the location of the Bridgewater train station. NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line has a stop here and fans can ride the train to and from the game.
Location Ranking: 3.5 out of 10
Accessibility / Parking Ranking: 7.5 out of 8


A classic look adorns the outside of the park with a red brick design and a green roof. While standard for mid-late 90s ballparks, the design here is sharp, especially with a main entrance that is built up nicely. The ballpark logo is in the top middle of the entrance, while the top wall has “Somerset” and “Patriots” spelled out on each side. A large American flag waves atop the pole just out front and the nearby open space is maintained nicely. Exterior shape was gently rounded.
Exterior Ranking: 7.5 out of 10


Fans enter through a brick promenade with the team store on the right before getting to the main concourse. Similar to other teams in the Atlantic League era, the concourse is open with a view of the field and what is nice here is that the wall for the press box is not directly behind home plate. So your first impression is the field view and not a wall. Space is wide and the concession stands are very long, so one stand may have six or seven cashiers, which is nice and speeds up service. Walls are outlined in brick and there are signs for everything. At the end of the concourse on the third base side is the “Handle Bar” (a cute little take on the mustache of a former manager). This bar is just that with a small little set-up and a nice place to hang out for a bit.
Concourse Ranking: 4 out of 5


There is a nice variety of food around the ballpark and the best options are found in the open-air section along the first base line. Here, you’ll find portable carts from local places like “Oink and Moo BBQ” and “Let’s Have a Ball (riceballs)”. Oh yeah! Inside, things are good too and I love that they had Pork Roll (or Taylor Ham, depending on where in Jersey you are from). Cheesesteaks are a good choice too. Many beer choices are on tap as well and they highlight a couple local beers through the season. For the 2023 game I went to, they had an IPA, Pilsner and Lager from Hoboken Brewing and Icarus Brewing.
Food Ranking: 7 out of 8


The ballpark has one level of seats with an unnecessary walkway through the middle. Seating extends just into the grass of the outfield with lawn seating at the end in right field and a large picnic area in left. The seating bowl is surprisingly shallow as rows extend a good ways back from the field and not at a decent height. While that means spacious rows with leg room (except for the last one), the view could be better. Green seats are average in terms of width. 20 luxury suites sit over the concourse and the triangular roofing over each one is interesting. There is also a party deck above one end. Brick and green is continued to be used throughout the ballpark, something seen a lot in the Northeast. The outfield is bland with three tiers of advertising, though there is not much of a view even without the ads. Trains are audible outside the park and visible inside through a small corner. Inside underwhelms compared to everything else described thus far and I especially didn’t like how Somerset’s stadium is almost a carbon-copy of the one down the road in Trenton, built five years earlier.
Interior Ranking: 6 out of 14


In right field, the scoreboard goes upward, almost like a castle. Brick columns act as vertical separators between ads, of which there are too many, even though it’s all video screens. The main screen is crisp and there’s a lot of player stat stuff on here during at-bats. A digital line score is at the top. In between innings, the screen goes full video, which is nice. One issue: there is nothing in left-field, so if you are sitting on the first base side, it’s a real pain to crank your neck to see the count.
Scoreboard Ranking: 2 out of 4


The Patriot theme is centered on the fact that the first American flag to fly was right here in Bridgewater in 1777. A cool plaque near the main entrance denotes that and there are 13 gold stars embedded in the sidewalk to pay tribute. Another neat feature is the statue on the outside for founder Steve Kalafer and long-time manager Sparky Lyle. The former major leaguer managed the Patriots for 14 years, quite a feat at this level. The team also retired his number and you can see it on the side of the press box wall. Inside the ballpark, there are several boards down the left field line that describe and honor the history of the Patriots. This was even here in the Atlantic League days. Championship flags fly in the outfield, as does a huge American flag. More title honors can be found in a concourse display case that features the 2022 Eastern League trophy. Somerset really does a great job with overall Displays, something not often seen in the Minors.
Displays Ranking: 5 out of 6


It’s $5 if you use the official lot, but I suggest parking free in the shopping center. Tickets are $14, $16 and $18…with a couple bucks added as a surcharge even if you buy them at the ballpark. These cost a bit more than other Eastern League teams. Concessions feature a $5 hot dog, a $5 bottled water and a $9 beer.
Cost Ranking: 7 out of 8

Fan Support

Attendance has usually been decent in Somerset during the summer-time. Crowds fill up the park more than halfway then and big weekend nights get a real decent showing. Family entertainment is the name of the game as you’ll usually find at this level, however now that they are Yankees’ affiliates, more people come out to watch the prospects then you’d get in the past. For team-oriented stuff, support is disappointing as the playoffs last season had a little less than 1,000 on hand to watch. The divisional round was better because it came on a Saturday and I would guess from videos it was in the ballpark of 1,500 to 2,000 (the announced 4,541 is a joke). My 2023 revisit came early in the season on a decent, but cool Saturday afternoon. It was a sparse showing under four digits for attendance. The team ranks 5th in paid numbers within the Eastern League and that feels right when looking at support for other teams.
Fan Support Ranking: 5.5 out of 8


Pretty standard stuff with background noise and a casual following of the game. It felt like fans were a little more into it than other places and I thought the clapping and cheers was louder and more frequent here than at multiple other places I’ve been to. One cheer is the PA screaming “SOMERSET” and fans responding with “PATRIOTS”. Mixed feelings on that. I watched how fans reacted during their championship run in 2022 and I thought for the close divisional game, it was pretty good despite the low-ish attendance. Fans were waving white towels, brought energy and were quite loud when they won late in the game. When Somerset won the title in a 15-0 route, the celebration was muted as fans slowly rose to their feet and gradually cheered (maybe because it was anti-climatic?).
Atmosphere Ranking: 8 out of 14

Other Stuff

I’ve always been confused by the whole naming of the team. Somerset likely refers to the county that the team plays in. However, there is also the town of Somerset which is about eight miles away. Even closer to the ballpark is the town of Somerville. I guess calling them “Bridgewater” wouldn’t be inclusive enough and taking a stab with “Central Jersey” would’ve been big time controversial….The first time I came, there was a cat and a dog for a mascot. That changed when Sparkee became the main mascot. Still a dog, but better than oddly having both

Game (First Visit)

This game was a marathon. 3:46 for a nine inning affair that ended around 11 PM. The Road Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, which included a triple turned into a run by Steven Doetsch after the throw to third was wide. Somerset then rallied with six runs in the third inning, most of them coming with 2 outs. A pair of runs in the sixth and eight helped the Patriots to put the game out of reach. Todd Leathers went 2 for 5 with a home run and 2 RBI.

Stadium Experience Ranking: 65.5 out of 100

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