It’s because we #DefendtheDen with a fierce loyalty. And because we love watching baseball in #Sensylvania. It’s because our venues are flexible and our destination is central. It’s because playing in and near “Hershey, The Sweetest Place on Earth®” is a pretty sweet selling point. For those reasons and many more, Sports Business Journal ranks the Hershey Harrisburg region as the nation’s 7th best minor league market. The ranking is tops for any Pennsylvania market, and leads the way for the Mid-Atlantic region as well.
“The local support for our sports teams is incredible, and the home teams often get a boost from visitors who are traveling from all over the Mid-Atlantic to experience the destination,” said Hershey Harrisburg Sports & Events Authority Executive Director Gregg Cook. “The Hershey Bears® have a storied past as winners of 11 Calder Cup Championships. I grew up watching the Bears skate at historic Hersheypark® Arena. Now they play at a state of the art facility at Giant CenterSM where they’ve lead the AHL in attendance for more than a decade.”
The Harrisburg Senators play at FNB Field on City Island, where fans take in the view of the city skyline while crossing the walking bridge between the island and the heart of Harrisburg’s downtown. The Senators are the AA affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg lead the long list of big-time big-leaguers who learned the ropes in Harrisburg.
The Harrisburg City Islanders command a strong following in the United Soccer League, and the Harrisburg Heat indoor soccer team draw fans to their home turf at the New Holland Arena at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center.
The ranking goes beyond the ice and the field of play to the world class attractions and amenities in the Hershey Harrisburg Region. Hersheypark® offers thrill rides and entertainment for the entire family, while Harrisburg’s history, arts scene and cuisine offer a variety of cultural escapes for the sports fans who want to explore.
The Hershey Harrisburg Region is a frequent recipient of SBJ Top 10 honors for minor league markets, including #1 rankings in 2009 and 2011.
Facilities at a Glance
FNB Field – Home to Harrisburg Senators Baseball and Harrisburg City Islanders Soccer
Seats – 6,187
Giant CenterSM - Home to Hershey Bears® Hockey, multiple PIAA state championships, U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, concerts and more.
Seats – 10,500 for permanent seating and 12,500 with floor seating
PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center – One million square feet of space under one roof, featuring the 172,000 square feet in the Exposition Hall and the 7,318 seat New Holland Area.
Read: Breaking down the Top 10
Read: Main Article Page (with links to charts and methodology)