Sections of Fifth Third Ballpark Destroyed by Fire

Crews in Grand Rapids worked for much of the day on Friday to fight a fire at Fifth Third Ballpark.

The blaze started around 11am… and emergency responders were on scene quickly to fight the flames, which reportedly started near newly renovated luxury suites along right field.

Cold temperatures and a lack of fire hydrants made it difficult to douse the fire. Early reports indicated parts of the building may have been in danger of collapsing. Crews say that meant they could not fight the fire from inside the building.

Fifth Third Ballpark was built in 1994 and is the home of the West Michigan Whitecaps. In a press conference on Friday afternoon, Whitecaps co-founder Denny Baxter stated that the ball park will be open for the April 8th opening day. Baxter went on to say that “if you re-build it, they will come.”

Crews are still assessing the full damage that the fire caused but it does appear that the concourse and all suites on the first base line have been destroyed.

The bowl and playing field appear to be untouched.


About Eric Wotila

Eric Wotila has been working in television in northern Michigan since 2002, working at numerous local stations over the years. Since 2011, he's worked as an anchor, photojournalist and reporter at MI News 26.
“Like” our page to keep up with the latest local news, access exclusive content, participate in contests and much more!