Team: Gateway Grizzlies
Location: 2301 Grizzlie Bear Blvd. in Sauget, Illinois
★ History: Originally known as GMC Stadium, GCS Credit Union Ballpark opened in 2002 with a bleacher section, reserved box seating, lawn seating, party suites and even a hot tub suite. The Gateway Grizzlies hit a milestone just two years later when they became the first Frontier League team in history to bring in more than 200,000 fans over the season.
★ Must-Try Eats: GCS isn’t shy when it comes to boasting about its burger – the stadium boldly refers to it as Baseball’s Best Burger. A variation on the classic Luther Burger (a cheeseburger with donuts for buns), the version at GCS features a thick quarter-pound hamburger topped with two slices of bacon and sharp Cheddar cheese sandwiched between a split Krispy Kreme Original Glazed donut. Not for the faint of heart, the burger quickly caught the attention of Sports Illustrated, USA Today and Travel Channel’s Man v. Food. Baseball’s Best Nachos, meanwhile, come topped with all the fixings of a classic Philly cheesesteak; the stadium also serves pulled pork, taco and Buffalo chicken variations. On high-profile game nights, chicken kebabs are available, and new this year are barbecued turkey legs with local Country Bob’s seasoning and sauce. In the mood for something a bit more tame? Opt for regular nachos or a classic hot dog with sauerkraut, grilled onions, bacon and nacho cheese sauce.
★ Must-Try Drinks: In addition to ballpark staples like Budweiser and Busch, you’ll also find draft beers from local microbreweries like nearby 4204 Main Street Brewing Co. in Belleville, Illinois. This year, the Grizzlies and 4204 partnered with the St. Louis Browns Historical Society on a limited-edition beer called Tribute to the St. Louis Browns. (Photo by Judd Demaline)