Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DBAP) is a stadium located in downtown Durham, N.C. It serves as the home ball park for the Durham Bulls, a Triple-A minor league baseball team that currently plays in the International League. It is adjacent to the American Tobacco entertainment district.
The venue's architecture incorporates characteristics of downtown Durham and was designed to create an intimate experience for fans. The $16-million brick ballpark is also home to the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Central Eagles college baseball teams.
Construction began on DBAP in 1993 by architect HOK Sport and the Freelon Group (now Perkins+Will), and the Park opened April 6, 1995. The Park was built out of demand to both revitalize downtown Durham and for a space for the Durham Bulls to grow into.
DBAP was built adjacent to the old American Tobacco factory campus, now designated the American Tobacco Historic District. The campus was home to the American Tobacco Company which manufactured and marketed Lucky Strike cigarettes, among others, for more than a century before closing in 1987.
Impact on the Economy
This campus has been credited with twice revitalizing the economy in Durham: the first by becoming one of the pillars of the tobacco industry, and, in last twenty years, because of the establishment of the DBAP and a public-private partnership to revitalize the rest of the campus.
Since 1993 when construction began for DBAP, the campus has experienced significant growth. It now is host to restaurants, businesses, office space and performing arts.
By comparison to prior to the DBAP development, the number of employees on the campus has grown by 434 percent, the number of business tenants has grown by 277 percent, and annual visitors have more than tripled. In 2008, Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) opened right next door, and in the most recent tally by city officials they attributed the influx of nearly 10 million annual visitors to the DPAC.
The current capacity is 10,000. A roof covers approximately 2,500 seats behind home plate and down both the first and third base lines to the end of each dugout. All seats at the DBAP are extra wide with seat backs and extra leg room. More than 95 percent of the seats have cup holders.
The Blue Monster
The Snorting Bull
The ballpark's most distinctive feature is the Snorting Bull that stands tall above the Blue Monster. This Bull was modeled after the bull used in the 1988 film, Bull Durham.
Jackie's Landing, a 10,000-square-foot social space along the first base line, features the 42 Bar as well as themed food and beverage kiosks that allow fans an uninterrupted view of the game.
PNC Triangle Club
The 5,000 square foot PNC Triangle Club is an upscale space provides an exclusive experience to premium ticket holders. The space is also open to groups hosting special events at the venue. Located directly behind home plate, it provides a full glass view of the field and easy access into the seating bowl. It also features a private bar, a high quality sound system, and 17 high-definition televisions.
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3. The American Tobacco Campus website, accessed September 16, 2017. https://americantobaccocampus.com/district/10
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5. "Because No One Else Would." WRAL.com, January 16, 2015,http://www.wral.com/news/local/video/14362373/
6. "More Dining Options Await Durham Bulls Fans." WRAL.com, April 1, 2014.http://www.wral.com/more-dining-options-await-durham-bulls-fans/13521455/