C.O. Brown Stadium
- Location: Battle Creek, MI
- Opening Date: 1990
- First Opened to Professional Baseball: 1995
- Playing surface: Grass
- Seating Capacity: 6000
C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek, Michigan was built in 1990 to house the American Amateur Baseball Congress national championship. Following the event, the stadium lay dormant until arrangements were made for a Midwest League team to call the stadium home. The original name for the team was the Battle Creek Golden Kazoos. However, by the time the team settled into C.O. Brown Stadium, they were known as the Michigan Battle Cats, a much more popular name with the fans of Battle Creek. C.O. Brown Stadium is situated in the 80-acre Bailey Park, a large municipal sports complex which is home to three full-size baseball fields. In addition to the 6,000 seats of Brown Stadium, the park features another 3,000-seat field. C.O. Brown Stadium was last used for professional baseball during the 2006 season prior to the departure of the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays. The Devil Rays' final home game was a doubleheader with the home team winning on the last pitch of the last game.
Unique Features and Problems
C.O Brown Stadium is built predominantly from aluminum and cinder block, and is far from either the attractive styling of modern ballparks or the classic styling of parks from the past. Although the heavy use of aluminum created a very distinct sound as foul balls would hit the roof, this design proved to be an issue of contention between the franchise and the city of Battle Creek. The stadium is situated back from the road, and from the city of Battle Creek did not put up a sign at the road until 2004 when other cities began bidding for the club. Concessions and restrooms were awkwardly located, and fans had to move down behind the stands to utilize these services. The stadium was also not designed to have retail facilities, and offices were poorly converted to accomodate this need. One of the more interesting features was the field box seating. Located parralel to first and third bases and only six inches above the playing surface, the field boxes allowed fans to get up close and personal to the game. However, the heavy guage plywood used to protect fans from foul balls made it difficult for younger fans to see the game.
The stadium name memorializes Cooper Othniel Brown, a baseball entrepreneur who helped make Battle Creek a hub for amateur tournament baseball in the 1930s.
Professional Baseball Teams Calling C.O. Brown Stadium Home
- Michigan Battle Cats- Midwest League 1995-2002
- Battle Creek Yankees- Midwest League 2003-2004
- Southwest Michigan Devil Rays- Midwest League 2005-2006