tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-53881794764912336692016-12-21T10:01:41.585-05:00The Sports TravelerHotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.comBlogger110125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-47344488780914568412015-01-01T17:43:00.002-05:002015-01-01T19:54:15.471-05:00Santander Arena, Reading PA<h3><span style="color: red; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Basic Information</span></h3><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Team: Reading Royals (ECHL)</span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Game: 11/28/14 Royals vs Greenville Road Warriors</span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Team Website: </span><a href="http://www.royalshockey.com/"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">www.royalshockey.com</span></a><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Ticket Information: (610) 898-PUCK or </span><a href="http://www.royalshockey.com/"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">www.royalshockey.com</span></a><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Visitors Information: (610) 375-4085 or </span><a href="http://www.gogreaterreading.com/"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">www.gogreaterreading.com</span></a><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Online Broadcasts: </span><a href="http://www.sportsradioberks.com/"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">www.sportsradioberks.com</span></a><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Local Newspaper: Reading Eagle </span><a href="http://www.readingeagle.com/"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">www.readingeagle.com</span></a><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Team History:</strong> The direct descendant of the legendary Columbus (OH) Chill, the Royals dropped their first puck in Berks County in the winter of 2001. For their first eight seasons, the Royals were affiliated with the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, but prior to the 2009-10 season, the club signed an agreement to join the farm system of the nearby Philadelphia Flyers. The affiliation paid dividends, as in 2013, the team won it's first Kelly Cup, symbolizing the championship of the ECHL. Probably the best known "graduate" of Reading is&nbsp;goaltender Johnathan Quick, who backstopped the Kings to the 2014 Stanley Cup championship. </span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Affiliation:</strong> The Royals are affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, their top farm club. </span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Seating Capacity:</strong> Santander Arena has a seating capacity of 7,083 for ice hockey. </span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Other Tenants:</strong> Previously, Santander Arena has hosted professional indoor soccer, minor league basketball, and indoor football. However, at this time, the Royals are the only professional sports tenant. </span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Getting There:</strong> From the Pennsylvania Turnpike, take exit 286 (US 222). Continue on 222 North to Reading. Merge on to 422 East towards Pottstown. Take the Penn Street exit, the second exit after the North Wyomissing Blvd. exit. The Santander Arena is located at 7th and Penn Streets. Parking garages are available on Franklin or Court Street.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>How About That Name (And Some History):</strong> Opened in September 2001, the Santander (pronounced Sahn-tahn-dehr) Arena is located in downtown Reading on the site of the old Astor Theater. The building was originally known as the Sovereign Center, but was changed when the Spanish-based Santander Bank purchased the naming rights to the building. The Santander Performing Arts Center is also part of the arena complex.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>On The Town:</strong> The seat of Berks County, Reading is located in south east Pennsylvania, and has a population of 87,893, making it the fifth largest city in the Keystone State. It is located approximately 70 miles from Harrisburg to the west and Philadelphia to the east.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The city was first established in 1748, when the Richard and Thomas Penn, the sons of state founder William Penn, mapped the area. The town was named Reading after the town of Reading in England. Many of the first settlers were originally from Germany who bought tracts of land from the Penn family. The first Amish settlement in the New World was built in the greater Reading area. </span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The Reading area became known as an iron and manufacturing center. During the Revolutionary War, Reading kept Washington’s troops supplied with rifles, cannon, and ammunition which helped him defeat the British. </span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">With its central location, Reading became a transportation hub during the nineteenth century. The famous Reading Railroad was incorporated in 1833.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Famous natives of Reading include Pulitzer Prize winning writer John Updike, golfer Betsy King, Brooklyn Dodger legend Carl Furillo, and actor Michael Constantine. </span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Major Airport:</strong> Reading is served by Reading Regional Airport, but its proximity to Harrisburg and Philadelphia makes flying into those cities a viable alternative. </span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>What To Do Before The Game:</strong> For me, this was an “in and outer”, so if you’re in the town for an extended period of time, you might want to contact the visitors bureau for more information. <br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game:</strong> With the arena being in downtown Reading, there are several restaurants within a walk. However, after the dark, the downtown area might be considered a bit “dicey”<br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Where To Stay:</strong> I stayed in Harrisburg on this trip, so I can’t report on lodgings in the area, but most major chains are serviced in the Reading area.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Ticket Prices:</strong> Royals tickets are priced as follows: $28.00 (glass), $23.00 (purple), $20.50 (red), $17.50 (green), and $12.00 (silver).</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Getting In:</strong> The main entrance is on the Penn St side of the building, which brings you into the area which holds the ticket sales windows. This area isn’t particularly large, so I would recommend getting there fairly early to avoid waiting on the street. Once the building opens, there is a staircase which takes you up to the main concourse.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>The Good Seats:</strong> With a capacity of just over seven thousand, virtually all the seats in the Santander Arena are close to the action and give a good, unobstructed view. The seats are all of the plastic, “flip-up” style. </span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Parking:</strong> There is a large covered garage directly behind the arena. It was just a five minute walk from the front entrance, and for $5.00, it was a good deal.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Arena Food:</strong> This is where the home of the Royals really shined for me. Not only were there a significant amount of different concession choices, the pricing wasn’t totally outlandish.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">I stopped at an Italian themed stand, and ordered a meatball sandwich. It was not quite as big as your garden-variety foot-long Subway sandwich, but it was more than sufficient. It had a good amount of meatballs, sauce, and cheese, and combined with a bag of potato chips for $7.00, it was (to my wallet), a bargain. I added a large Diet Coke (which for eight dollars might seem to be high, but it came with a free refill), so I was well fed for $15.00.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">In addition to the standard arena fare, there were stands selling fresh soup, kettle corn, Carvel ice cream, Mexican food, gourmet coffee, sticky buns, and crab fries made by Chickie and Pete’s, a famous Philadelphia restaurant.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Here is a selection of concession prices at the Santander Arena: </span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Hot Dog:</strong> $8.00 (combo meal)&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos:</strong> $5.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer:</strong> $6.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Large 0oda:</strong> $8.00 (one refill)&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries:</strong> $6.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Personal Pizza:</strong> $7.00</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>ATM:</strong> There is a Santander Bank ATM near the main entrance.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Souvenirs:</strong> There are two “Fan-Attic” shops in the main concourse with an average sized line of merchandise, mostly shirts and caps.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Restrooms:</strong> There are matching sets of men’s and women’s rooms along the “long” sides of the building. The facilities appeared to be of the correct size and were clean, operable, and well stocked. </span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Mascot:</strong> “Slapshot” and “Tiara”, matching male and female lions</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Dance Team:</strong> The Royal Ladies</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Program:</strong> The team provides a free roster card with updated statistics. </span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Scoreboard/Arena Voice:</strong> The Santander Bank Arena has a large, center hanging scoreboard which features full video capability. It got a decent amount of use, but wasn’t “overdone”. There is a smaller scoreboard behind one of the goals which is used mostly for advertisements and promotional information. </span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The arena has very good acoustics, and the PA announcer has a good, solid delivery. The music is also pretty good and is played at a decent volume. </span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Stadium Staff:</strong> Most of the people seemed fairly helpful, but were not overly so. One usher reminded me rather sternly to “not shoot any video” when she saw my camera.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Atmosphere:</strong> Fairly good. It was a hockey-smart crowd, and despite the attendance of about three thousand, they knew when to cheer and when to heckle. </span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Overall Rating:</strong> I was told by several friends who visited the arena during the reign of the ill-fated Pennsylvania Roar soccer team that the Santander Arena was a jewel. I have to agree. It had everything that a small arena needs and more, and is something for the citizens of Reading to be proud of. </span><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-87102716212840845392014-06-22T17:37:00.003-04:002014-07-03T20:53:04.930-04:00McCormick Field, Asheville NC<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Asheville Tourists (South Atlantic League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>6/8 and 6/9/2014-Tourists vs Kannapolis Intimidators<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.theashevilletourists.com/">www.theashevilletourists.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(828) 258-0428 or <a href="http://www.theashevilletourists.com/">www.theashevilletourists.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(828) 258-6101 or <a href="http://www.exploreasheville.com/">www.exploreasheville.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong>WRES-FM 100.7 <a href="http://www.wresfm.com/">www.wresfm.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Asheville Citizen Times <a href="http://www.citizen-times.com/">www.citizen-times.com</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9qBtS7qUaQc/U6dMWFgHp3I/AAAAAAAACSE/De-Op0KkPnA/s1600/IMG_3356.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9qBtS7qUaQc/U6dMWFgHp3I/AAAAAAAACSE/De-Op0KkPnA/s1600/IMG_3356.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Team History: </strong>While minor league baseball has been played in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains since the end of the nineteenth century, the current franchise known as the Asheville Tourists came to be in 1976. The Asheville Orioles moved to Charlotte after the 1975 season, but McCormick Field would not be empty for long, as an expansion team in the Western Carolinas League (now known as the South Atlantic League) was awarded to Asheville&nbsp;in time for the 1976 season. The current franchise has won two league championships, in 1984 and in 2012.<br /><br /><strong>Affiliation: </strong>The Tourists have been the "high-A" affiliate of the Colorado Rockies since 1994, making it one of the longest current affiliations in minor league baseball. <br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>McCormick Field has a seating capacity of 4,000.<br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>McCormick Field is also the home of the University of North Carolina-Asheville men's baseball team. <br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-R_Kr-uWXDxw/U6dOkDsh5SI/AAAAAAAACSQ/i0JGeH6TkjA/s1600/IMG_3327.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-R_Kr-uWXDxw/U6dOkDsh5SI/AAAAAAAACSQ/i0JGeH6TkjA/s1600/IMG_3327.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>Named after Dr. Lewis McCormick, a local resident, McCormick Field was built in 1924. At ninety years of age, the home of the Tourists one of the oldest minor league ballparks still in use today. Lights were added in 1930, and&nbsp;after 1991, the largely wooden ballpark was rebuilt in concrete, as the original facility developed severe leaks. One of McCofrmick Field's "trademarks" is it's short right field distance. In order to combat the short 300 foot home run distance, a new 38 foot high wall was erected in right and right center field. <br /><strong></strong><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>With a population of 84,000, Asheville is the largest city in western North Carolina, and the 11th largest city in the state. Asheville is located in the western third of the state, approximately 2 1/2 hours from the Charlotte and&nbsp;four hours from the state capital of Raleigh. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xO0sQZyuPgM/U6dS_di7arI/AAAAAAAACSc/M8F1Xk8VNwQ/s1600/Seal_of_Asheville,_North_Carolina%5B1%5D.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xO0sQZyuPgM/U6dS_di7arI/AAAAAAAACSc/M8F1Xk8VNwQ/s1600/Seal_of_Asheville,_North_Carolina%5B1%5D.png" height="200" width="200" /></a></div>The first European to&nbsp;come to&nbsp;what is now known as Asheville was Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. In 1540, de Soto's party made their way to western North Carolina, and came across the Cherokee nation, who had lived in the area for centuries. Unfortunately, the meeting would have long-lasting effects, as the Spanish brought diseases to the aboriginals which they had no resistance to. This seriously depleted the local population.<br /><br />In 1784, Samuel Davidson received a "soldiers land grant" and built a cabin at the banks of a creek near what is present-day Asheville. Soon after, Davidson was killed by a Cherokee hunting party, and his family sought refuge at a large fort nearby. After making a safe return, other members of Davidson's family made a punitive expedition against the Cherokee who killed Samuel. After the expedition, members of Davidson's family returned to the area and built a settlement. In 1797, the settlement, now with a population of a thousand, incorporated. The settlement, originally called Morristown, as renamed Asheville, after state governor Samuel Ashe. <br /><br />Famous Asheville natives include soul singer Roberta Flack, author Thomas Wolfe, and MLB umpire "Country" Joe West. <br /><br /><strong>Major Airports: </strong>Although the city is serviced by Asheville Regional Airport, the nearest "major" airport is located in Charlotte. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_NHV7Ao74CA/U7X33YY2XFI/AAAAAAAACSw/parFMUpPiak/s1600/IMG_3328.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_NHV7Ao74CA/U7X33YY2XFI/AAAAAAAACSw/parFMUpPiak/s1600/IMG_3328.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_NHV7Ao74CA/U7X33YY2XFI/AAAAAAAACSw/parFMUpPiak/s1600/IMG_3328.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a></div><strong>What To Do Before The Game: </strong>If you're in the area, a visit to the Biltmore Estate is an absolute must. The Biltmore is the largest privately-owned house in the US, measuring almost 180,000 square feet. The estate took almost seven years to build, starting in 1889 and finishing in 1895. It was the home of the famous Vanderbilt family and was opened as a tourist attraction in 1930 while the family still lived in the mansion. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>There really isn't much in the immediate area of the stadium, so I would check with your lodging choice or on the city's visitors information website.<br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay</strong>: On this trip, we stayed at the Red&nbsp;Roof in Asheville, which is located approximately ten minutes from McCormick Field. This location is&nbsp;right near the interstate, and is close to several restaurants. For more information, call (800)&nbsp;THE ROOF, or visit <a href="http://www.redroof.com/">www.redroof.com</a>.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XDEqT55M0HU/U7X4Uo_bkaI/AAAAAAAACS0/Wha6mUEKNE0/s1600/IMG_3331.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XDEqT55M0HU/U7X4Uo_bkaI/AAAAAAAACS0/Wha6mUEKNE0/s1600/IMG_3331.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Tickets</strong>: Tourists tickets are priced as follows $25.00 (dugout suites), $15.00 (press row), &nbsp;$10.50 (box seats), $7.50 (general admission). Note that there is a $1.00 additional charge for tickets purchased on game day. <br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>The main entrance is near the right field foul pole, and is up a hill from street level. However, if you time it right, you might be able to hitch a ride up to the ballpark from the nice gentleman who drive's the team's golf cart. <br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>Parking is at a premium in the immediate area of the ballpark. There are two small lots, one which is reserved for season ticket holders, and the other is open for general parking. The general parking lot costs $5.00 to use, is supplanted by some street parking. <br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>With a capacity of four thousand seats, McCormick Field is intimate, with all of the seats near the action. The first five rows are flip-up plastic seats and the upper ten rows are aluminum bleachers with backs. About half of the upper level is under cover. <br /><br /><strong>Stadium Food: </strong>For a park of it's size, the home of the Tourists had&nbsp;an excellent selection of concession choices. The selection runs the gamut from the standard ballpark favorites to Carolina barbecue to cheese steaks. I sampled the traditional ballpark hotdog, which was very good, served freshly made and hot when presented. The pizza wasn't half bad, with the $6.75 portion consisted of what would be two normal sized slices. <br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TnPDLm4WqUY/U7X41oEYmyI/AAAAAAAACS8/DomvHTwDUrQ/s1600/IMG_3333.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TnPDLm4WqUY/U7X41oEYmyI/AAAAAAAACS8/DomvHTwDUrQ/s1600/IMG_3333.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a>Linda had the barbecue pork sandwich which was served "Carolina style", which means with cole slaw on a large Kaiser bun. She ordered the "meal deal", which&nbsp;included&nbsp;a bag of potato chips and a soft drink, which for $7.50 was a pretty good value. She said the sandwich was "very good", and not "pre-sauced", which means you can add as little&nbsp;or as much as you'd like. Joan had the taco salad, which could be made with either beef or pork in a large taco shell with a substantial amount of add ins for $7.75. <br /><br />Linda and I split a funnel cake which was absolutely huge! It was freshly made, not greasy or overdone at all, and was&nbsp;a definite winner. <br /><br />Here is a selection of the concession prices at McCormick Field: <br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$3.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Cheeseburger: </strong>$5.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos: </strong>$4.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer: </strong>$5.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Large Soda: </strong>$3.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries: </strong>$3.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pizza Slice: </strong>$6.75&nbsp; <br /><br /><strong>Soft Drinks: </strong>Coca Cola is the soft drink of choice at McCormick Field<br /><br /><strong>ATM: </strong>An ATM is located near the main entrance adjacent to the merchandise stand. <br /><br /><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>The "Tourist Trap" (love the name) merchandise store is located near the main entrance. The store, while small, has a nice sized line of merchandise. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JPFhu6gKwHI/U7X6OdqOPJI/AAAAAAAACTE/aAtF5WX4brI/s1600/IMG_3358.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JPFhu6gKwHI/U7X6OdqOPJI/AAAAAAAACTE/aAtF5WX4brI/s1600/IMG_3358.JPG" height="200" width="150" /></a></div><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Located in the concourse along the first base side, they are large, clean, and serviceable. They were recently renovated. <br /><br /><strong>Mascots: </strong>The Tourists have two mascots: Ted E. Tourist, a large friendly bear, and Mr. Moon, a large "moon headed" character. Both are very active in the crowd, and some of the best mascots I've seen in some time. <br /><br /><strong>Scoreboard/Stadium Voice: </strong>The Tourists have a large scoreboard built into the&nbsp;38 foot high&nbsp;right field wall. The scoreboard features a large area for the score and basic game information, and a smaller video screen which is used for advertising and player data. <br /><br />The stadium voice is good and clear, and the music played at the stadium is very good.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l9o0KNuc-6A/U7X6qwMn-AI/AAAAAAAACTM/6F9uCg1M-ys/s1600/IMG_3361.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l9o0KNuc-6A/U7X6qwMn-AI/AAAAAAAACTM/6F9uCg1M-ys/s1600/IMG_3361.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a><strong>Stadium Staff: </strong>One of McCormick Field brightest points is the class of people that work at the park. The place just&nbsp;oozes "Southern Hospitality". Everyone I encountered was friendly, helpful, and welcoming, almost to a fault.<br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>Tourist fans are loyal, baseball savvy fans who know the game and are loyal to their team. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>McCormick Field is a true jewel in western North Carolina. While recently renovated, the old ball field in Asheville retains the old time and small town charm which should make it a "must see" for anyone who appreciates fine old ball parks and anyone who just likes a great night out on a balmy Southern night.HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-66054531616253159282014-06-21T17:36:00.001-04:002014-06-21T19:59:28.064-04:00NYSEG Stadium, Binghamton, NY<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Binghamton Mets (Eastern League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>5/23 and 5/25/14 Mets vs New Britain Rock Cats<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.bmets.com/">www.bmets.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(607) 723-METS or <a href="http://www.bmets.com/">www.bmets.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 836-6740 or <a href="http://www.visitbinghamton.com/">www.visitbinghamton.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong>WNBF-AM 129O <a href="http://www.wnbf.com/">www.wnbf.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Binghamton <br />Press and Sun-Bulletin <a href="http://www.pressconnects.com/">www.pressconnects.com</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3VBGXs0spEI/U6X8TtrmOUI/AAAAAAAACQQ/zHLPSS1bgFk/s1600/IMG_3163.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3VBGXs0spEI/U6X8TtrmOUI/AAAAAAAACQQ/zHLPSS1bgFk/s1600/IMG_3163.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Team History: </strong>The Mets have had their double-A affiliate in New York's Southern Tier since 1992. Prior to that, the team played in Williamsport, PA as the Williamsport Bills, and were affiliated with the Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners before being purchased by the Orange and Blue. The Mets have won the Eastern League championship on two occasions (1992 and 1994), and have reached the playoffs on five other occasions.<br /><br /><strong>Affiliation: </strong>The Mets are (logically enough), the Eastern League affiliate of the New York Mets.<br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>NYSEG Stadium has a listed capacity of 6,012.<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6TI17hE8Ky8/U6X-d96zyvI/AAAAAAAACQc/LyUTSkXMqAU/s1600/IMG_3169.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6TI17hE8Ky8/U6X-d96zyvI/AAAAAAAACQc/LyUTSkXMqAU/s1600/IMG_3169.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>Construction on the home of the B-Mets was begun in July of 1991, and was completed in time for Opening Day the following season. The park, which was known as Binghamton Municipal Stadium from 1992 through 2001, cost $4.6 million to build. The park received it's new name, NYSEG Stadium (pronounced nice-egg), prior to the 2002 season when naming rights were purchased by the New York State Energy and Gas Company. <br /><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>Binghamton is located in New York's "Southern Tier", which runs along the border the state shares with Pennsylvania. Binghamton, which is seat and largest city in Broome County, has a population of just over 46 thousand, according to the latest census. <br /><br />Binghamton is located in a bowl-shaped valley at the confluence of the Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers. Today, it is serviced by Interstates 81 (which connects it to Syracuse) and Interstate 88 (which connects it to Albany). State Route 17, which runs along the southern border of New York and connects Binghamton to the greater New York City area, is in the process of being upgraded, and will, when completed, be renamed Interstate 86.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-P-5hx1yYz6w/U6YE16IiAlI/AAAAAAAACQs/Wu_X3CPNjww/s1600/Binghamton.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-P-5hx1yYz6w/U6YE16IiAlI/AAAAAAAACQs/Wu_X3CPNjww/s1600/Binghamton.jpg" height="138" width="200" /></a></div>What is now known as Binghamton was named after William Bingham, a wealthy Philadelphia land speculator, who purchased the rights to the area in 1786. His agent decided upon a pleasant point between the Chenango and Susquehanna rivers, and in 1834, the city of Binghamton was incorporated. While agriculture was a major force in the growth of Binghamton, the opening of the Chenango Canal in 1837, which created a link to the famous Erie Canal, helped spark industrial growth in the area. Binghamton became a major transportation hub ten years later with the opening of the Erie Railroad, which connected Binghamton with New York City. <br /><br />Binghamton was the home of the "Link" Trainer, which to this day, has helped pilots of all types hone and practice their flying skills. Edwin Link invented the trainer, which was originally invented to help pilots fly on instruments without visual cues, was built in the pipe organ factory his family owned in 1927.<br /><br />Notable Binghamton natives include sixties and seventies actor Jim Hutton, comedienne Amy Sedaris, and former major league umpire and author Ron Luciano.<br /><br /><strong>Major Airports: </strong>Greater Binghamton Airport is located eight miles outside of downtown Binghamton. <br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QtWaqL5LVN0/U6YG6pPIM1I/AAAAAAAACQ4/zghVJZ8QU2M/s1600/IMG_3190.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QtWaqL5LVN0/U6YG6pPIM1I/AAAAAAAACQ4/zghVJZ8QU2M/s1600/IMG_3190.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a><br /><strong>What To Do Before The Game:</strong> As a part of this trip, I made it a point to spend part of one day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The Hall is approximately ninety minutes north of Binghamton, and for even a baseball fan, is worth at least a once in a lifetime visit. <br /><br />The Hall of Fame is located in downtown Cooperstown, on Main Street, and is the main focal point of the entire city. In addition to the enshrinement area, the museum features exhibits on the history of baseball, it's influence on American culture, and the game around the world. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.baseballhall.org/">www.baseballhall.org</a>.<br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>With the exception of a small Italian restaurant/bar across the street from NYSEG Stadium, there really isn't much within a walk of the ballpark. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>I stayed at the Red Roof Inn in Johnson City, which was a ten minute drive to NYSEG Stadium. It was convenient to the interstate and had several restaurants (Friendly's, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, and Friday's) just adjacent. For more information, call (800) THEROOF or visit <a href="http://www.redroof.com/">www.redroof.com</a>.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JiVft6QoEeU/U6YMv1mArrI/AAAAAAAACRM/htS9d_rh740/s1600/IMG_3177.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JiVft6QoEeU/U6YMv1mArrI/AAAAAAAACRM/htS9d_rh740/s1600/IMG_3177.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>B-Mets tickets are priced as follows: $11.00 (Box Seats) and $9.00 (Reserved Seats). There is a one dollar increase for tickets purchased on game day. <br /><strong></strong><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>The main entrance is located on Henry St, which leads you into the main concourse behind the seating area. There is a ticket window outside the stadium and inside on the concourse as well. <br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>NYSEG Stadium is designed in the traditional wishbone style with the main grandstand extending just past first base to a similar position on the opposite side. All of the seating provides a good view of the game. <br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>There is a stadium-run lot behind the right field fence, which cost $4.00 and&nbsp;a small private lot across Henry St, which costs $3.00. Parking anywhere else isn't exactly recommended since the area can be a little "dodgy", especially after dark.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZXT5oShTUsU/U6YUdo5aFTI/AAAAAAAACRY/VVqlTp_4Oys/s1600/IMG_3171.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZXT5oShTUsU/U6YUdo5aFTI/AAAAAAAACRY/VVqlTp_4Oys/s1600/IMG_3171.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a><strong>Stadium Food: </strong>NYSEG Stadium has a decent selection of concession items, ranging from the ballpark standards to local favorites. <br /><br />On Saturday night, I sampled the stadium's barbecued pork sandwich, which was one of the best I've eaten in some time. It was of a good size, made fresh, well marinated with a sweet, yet tangy sauce, and for just $4.50, was a real bargain. The pizza wasn't quite as good, however. I purchased a slice around the bottom of the fourth inning, and it had obviously been sitting for a while. While it was fairly warm and crispy, it didn't have much of a taste, just generally "meh". On Sunday, I sampled the ballpark burger, and that was a definite plus! It was a half pound patty, grilled fresh, and served on a Kaiser bun with white cheddar cheese. The ballpark hot dog, made by Hatfield's, was quite tasty, and despite being purchased around he midpoint of the game, was still warm, and the bun was still fairly fresh. <br /><br />In right field, a local restaurant, Lupo's runs a small stand which sells spiedes, a local sandwich made of marinated cubed chicken or pork. <br /><br />Here is a sampling of the&nbsp;concession prices at the home of the B-Mets: <br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog</strong>:&nbsp;$3.50<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Hamburger</strong>: $7.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Nachos: </strong>$4.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer: </strong>$6.25&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Large Soda: </strong>$4.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries: </strong>$3.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pizza Slice: </strong>$3.50<br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dnyb7HLzg_E/U6YZOeco9uI/AAAAAAAACRk/VIazWQJd5Os/s1600/IMG_3181.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dnyb7HLzg_E/U6YZOeco9uI/AAAAAAAACRk/VIazWQJd5Os/s1600/IMG_3181.JPG" height="200" width="150" /></a><strong>Soft Drinks: </strong>Coca-Cola is poured at NYSEG Stadium<br /><br /><strong>ATMs: </strong>A "no-brand" ATM is provided in the main concourse in the team office<br /><br /><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>A nice-sized souvenir store is located adjacent to the team office on the third base side.<br /><br /><strong>Restrooms: </strong>While showing a big of age, they are all useful and clean and well stocked. <br /><br /><strong>Mascot: </strong>Buddy the Bee<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C0IGR53S2wg/U6YcDuD1OII/AAAAAAAACR4/uZT63y-57vw/s1600/IMG_3166.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C0IGR53S2wg/U6YcDuD1OII/AAAAAAAACR4/uZT63y-57vw/s1600/IMG_3166.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Scoreboard/Stadium Voice: </strong>NYSEG Stadium has a large video-capable scoreboard in right center field, which provides all the basic game information, as well as good quality video playback. A nice touch is the pre-game show shown as fans walk into the park. The show, hosted by the team's radio announcer, gives a recap of the most recent game as well as information on that day's game. There is a small color "ribbon" board in left center which is used exclusively for advertising messages. The team's PA announcer is good and the "in-game" host is enthusiastic without being overly so. <br /><strong></strong><br /><strong>Stadium Staff: </strong>Everyone I encountered was pleasant, friendly, and welcoming. <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>While both crowds were both on the "smallish" side (around three thousand), everyone there knew their baseball and had a good time. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>NYSEG Stadium is a nineties era park, but is still in good shape, and will continue to serve Binghamton and their fans well. It's definitely worth a stop if you're in the beau<br /><br /><br />HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-33898747200448894552014-05-18T18:03:00.001-04:002014-05-18T19:40:25.268-04:00Lockhart Stadium, Ft. Lauderdale FL<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (North American Soccer League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>4/11/15-Strikers vs Ottawa Fury<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.strikers.com/">www.strikers.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong><a href="http://www.strikers.com/">www.strikers.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 22-SUNNY or <a href="http://www.sunny.org/">www.sunny.org</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong><a href="http://www.sofloradio.com/">www.sofloradio.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel <a href="http://www.sunsentinel.com/">www.sunsentinel.com</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0OcYw5jiyfs/U3kwYsOTyvI/AAAAAAAACOA/uUILFhgjXMU/s1600/IMG_3093.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0OcYw5jiyfs/U3kwYsOTyvI/AAAAAAAACOA/uUILFhgjXMU/s1600/IMG_3093.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Team History: </strong>While this edition of the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers has only been around since 2011, Ft. Lauderdale has hosted professional soccer since 1977, when the Miami Toros of the original North American Soccer League moved 30 miles up I-95 to intimate Lockhart Stadium. The team, under colorful coach Ron Newman, began to take hold, and by the end of that first campaign, sellout crowds of eleven thousand began to pack the stadium. The Strikers thrived during those years, and the stadium was expanded periodically, growing to a capacity of over 20,000. The Strikers moved to Minnesota after the 1983 season,&nbsp;but pro soccer established was in Broward County, as several other clubs called Lockhart home. In 1998, the ill-fated Miami Fusion of&nbsp;MLS played at Lockhart for 3 seasons before&nbsp;being folded by the league. In 2009,&nbsp;the story went full circle, as the Miami FC&nbsp;club of the USL moved&nbsp;up to Ft. Lauderdale, and in 2011,&nbsp;the Strikers name was reborn. <strong>&nbsp;</strong><br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>Lockhart Stadium has a total capacity of 20,450, however the north grandstand is not sold for Strikers matches, reducing capacity to about 14,000.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SBGR4hbdEGY/U3kzsg9DkBI/AAAAAAAACOQ/cTKnj-jJNtc/s1600/IMG_3104.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SBGR4hbdEGY/U3kzsg9DkBI/AAAAAAAACOQ/cTKnj-jJNtc/s1600/IMG_3104.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>Opened in 1959, Lockhart Stadium was part of a sports complex which also featured Ft. Lauderdale Stadium, a ballpark which until recently, was used by several Major League teams for Spring Training. The home of the Strikers, originally designed to host track and field and high school football, was named for Doug Lockhart, a former Ft. Lauderdale city commissioner. <br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>Lockhart is still used by several local high schools for football and soccer. <br /><br /><strong>Getting There: </strong>From I-95, exit onto Commercial Blvd westbound. Follow for approximately a a half mile, then turn right onto NW 12th Ave. Follow NW 12th Ave for approximately a half mile, and the stadium will be on your left. <br /><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>With an average high temperature of 77 degrees, Ft. Lauderdale is a true "all-season" playground. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2NgrCXzc0Qs/U3k3Ot3ihCI/AAAAAAAACOc/4mCKY7g_f90/s1600/Seal_of_Fort_Lauderdale,_Florida%5B1%5D.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2NgrCXzc0Qs/U3k3Ot3ihCI/AAAAAAAACOc/4mCKY7g_f90/s1600/Seal_of_Fort_Lauderdale,_Florida%5B1%5D.png" height="200" width="199" /></a></div>Located on the southeast coast of the State of Florida, Ft. Lauderdale is 23 miles north of Miami and is the seat of Broward County. The city has a population of 165,000, but if you include the remainder of the south Florida metropolitan area (which includes Dade and Palm Beach counties), the total population of the area is over five million. Ft. Lauderdale is serviced by Interstate 95 and Florida's Turnpike, which run on either side of the city, and I-595 which cuts across it east to west. <br /><br />The city got it's name from William Lauderdale, who led a detachment of soldiers in building a fort on the site where the city now stands during the Second Seminole War (1835-1842). However, development of the city did not start until fifty years after the war ended. <br /><br />The area was originally inhabited by the Tequestra indian tribe. However, when Spanish explorers came to the area in the 17th century, they unwittingly brought smallpox to the area. The Tequestra had no immunity to the disease, and combining that with frequent conflicts with their neighboring tribes, the Tequestra slowly shrank in numbers, until the final members of the tribe were evacuated to Cuba when the Spanish ceded Florida to England in 1763.<br /><br />Ft. Lauderdale began to grow in 1896, when the Florida East Coast railroad came through the area, and by the 1920's, the area boomed in population. By the time World War II was underway, Ft. Lauderdale became a major military base, with a Naval Air Station and a Coast Guard station was built. After the war, another population boom hit the area, dwarfing the one earlier in the century. <br /><br />Famous Ft. Lauderdale natives include former NFL great wide receiver Isaac Bruce, NBA star Mitch Richmond, and tennis legend Chris Evert. <br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WoNalsZD130/U3k79cEirII/AAAAAAAACOo/Q7kNcMtmYvY/s1600/IMG_3110.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WoNalsZD130/U3k79cEirII/AAAAAAAACOo/Q7kNcMtmYvY/s1600/IMG_3110.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a><strong>Major Airports: </strong>Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport is 12 miles south of Lockhart Stadium.<br /><br /><strong>What To Do Before The Game: </strong>This was a quick trip for me, so I didn't have a lot of opportunity for sightseeing. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>There isn't a lot on Commercial Blvd on the approach to the stadium other than fast food. There is a McDonalds, a Miami Subs, and a Waffle House at the intersection of Commercial and Powerline Rd (the only major intersection between I-95 and NW 12th Ave). <br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>For simple convenience, you can't do better than the Red Roof Inn on Powerline Rd. If you were so inclined, you could walk to Lockhart from the Red Roof, but the area is a bit dicey, especially at night. However, that shouldn't dissuade you from choosing the Red Roof it you plan on attending a Strikers game. All of the rooms are comfortable, and at approximately $80.00 per night, it's not a bad deal. For more information, call (800) THE ROOF or <a href="http://www.redroof.com/">www.redroof.com</a>.<br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KCFr_xpktE8/U3k9ngoF-1I/AAAAAAAACO0/geQt_VDFnOI/s1600/IMG_3100.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KCFr_xpktE8/U3k9ngoF-1I/AAAAAAAACO0/geQt_VDFnOI/s1600/IMG_3100.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>The Strikers have two ticket options: Reserved Seats (main grandstand) are $20.00 if you purchase in advance ($25.00 on game day) and general admission (goal view) are $12.00 in advance ($15.00 on game day). The supporters section is located in sections 131 and 132 in the east grandstand. <br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>The main entrance to Lockhart is in front of the south grandstand. Once you get in there is a small courtyard which has picnic tables, assorted inflatables for children, the souvenir trailer, and concession stands. <br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>The south grandstand is the "main" grandstand used for Striker matches. It is a combination of plastic "bucket" seats and aluminum backless bleachers. The east and west grandstands have all aluminum backless bleachers.<br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>There is a large gravel lot in front of the stadium which serves as a parking area. Parking here costs $7.00.<br /><br /><strong>Stadium Food: </strong>To be honest, there isn't much. There is a smallish stand directly under the south grandstand which serves the basic items. Service is OK, not great. Here is a selection of prices:<br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$2.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos: </strong>$3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel</strong>: 3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Large Soda</strong>: $3.<strong>00&nbsp;&nbsp; Pizza Slice</strong>: $4.00<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-V-3cZaVajmo/U3k_4a7iNRI/AAAAAAAACPA/f9lFAT6vOdE/s1600/IMG_3097.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-V-3cZaVajmo/U3k_4a7iNRI/AAAAAAAACPA/f9lFAT6vOdE/s1600/IMG_3097.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a>I ordered the pizza slice. It was filling, acceptable taste-wise, and that was about it. I did get a pretzel at half time&nbsp;being served out&nbsp;of a small cart in the entrance area. It was freshly made, cooked over charcoal, and salted to my taste. It was quite tasty and definitely quashed the hunger.<br /><br /><strong>ATM: </strong>None<br /><br /><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>There was a trailer next to the south grandstand which was run by a local soccer shop. They had an average sized line of merchandise, which to my eyes, was fairly well priced. I purchased a Strikers scarf, which was a bargain at $10.00 (most scarves I've purchased cost somewhere in the $15-$25 range.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-euFqDFRmrJ8/U3lA3vm-FRI/AAAAAAAACPI/1Gp5HlmSfus/s1600/IMG_3132.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-euFqDFRmrJ8/U3lA3vm-FRI/AAAAAAAACPI/1Gp5HlmSfus/s1600/IMG_3132.JPG" height="200" width="150" /></a><strong>Restrooms: </strong>There are two sets of restrooms, a permanent set under the south grandstand, and a "temporary" looking set on the west side of the stadium. The permanent men's was in fairly good order. The other set was....about what you would expect. <br /><strong></strong><br /><strong>Mascot: </strong>Hot Shot, a human character with a flaming red hair do was a carry over from when the team was known as Miami FC.<br /><br /><strong>Dance Team: </strong>The Striker Girls performed a few numbers during the game and passed out programs to fans entering the stadium. <br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>A complimentary full-color program was handed out to fans entering the stadium. An interesting feature was the listing of each Striker player's twitter handle with the roster. <br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-B2ZBAfAxcTs/U3lCd8Zn2qI/AAAAAAAACPU/pAznTUE5urk/s1600/IMG_3109.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-B2ZBAfAxcTs/U3lCd8Zn2qI/AAAAAAAACPU/pAznTUE5urk/s1600/IMG_3109.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a><strong>Scoreboard/Stadium Voice</strong>: Lockhart has two scoreboards. The west side scoreboard is used for advertisements and player pictures, as it has animation capability. The problem is that the sun sets right behind the scoreboard and makes it difficult to see at times. Above the east stand is a smaller scoreboard which shows the score, time, and pertinent game information. The stadium's PA announcer is good, and the music selection is OK.<br /><br /><strong>Stadium Staff: &nbsp;</strong>Abundant and helpful.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0Voj9R0l5CE/U3lEo8Jr2TI/AAAAAAAACPg/n7keZtLBNf0/s1600/IMG_3129.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0Voj9R0l5CE/U3lEo8Jr2TI/AAAAAAAACPg/n7keZtLBNf0/s1600/IMG_3129.JPG" height="150" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>I was a little disappointed at the opening night crowd, which was in the four thousand range. However, it was a lively crowd, led by the bunch in Flight 19, the Strikers' main supporters group. Like any good supporters group, they were up and enthusiastic, singing and chanting for the entire ninety minutes. When the Strikers scored what would be the game winning goal late in the second half, the game winning goal scorer (I can't remember his name), immediately ran to the Flight 19 section, leaping into the arms of the fans. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>OK. Lockhart will never be confused with a modern soccer facility with all of the bells and whistles. However, the team makes do with what they have to work with, and the home of the Strikers is a lively place to watch a match on a gorgeous, cloudless, Florida night. HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-63647783805245312982014-01-01T18:41:00.001-05:002014-01-05T18:07:19.317-05:00Copps Coliseum, Hamilton ON<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Hamilton Bulldogs (American Hockey League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>11/29/13 Bulldogs vs Toronto Marlies<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com/">www.hamiltonbulldogs.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(866) DOGS-TIX or <a href="http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com/">www.hamiltonbulldogs.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 263-8590 or <a href="http://www.tourismhamilton.com/">www.tourismhamilton.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong><a href="http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com/">www.hamiltonbulldogs.com</a> or <a href="http://www.ahllive.com/">www.ahllive.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Hamilton Spectator <a href="http://www.thespec.com/">www.thespec.com</a><br /><br /><strong>Team History: </strong>The Bulldogs have made the Copps Coliseum home since 1996, when the former Cape Breton Oilers moved from the Maritimes to Ontario. Now in their seventeenth season, the Bulldogs are the longest-tenured non-NHL city in Canada. The Bulldogs have appeared in the Calder Cup finals on three occasions: 1997, 2003, and 2007, in which the Dogs finally won the AHL's playoff trophy. <br /><br /><strong>Affiliation: </strong>The Bulldogs are the AHL affiliate of the NHL's legendary Montreal Canadiens. <br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>Copps Coliseum has a hockey seating capacity of 17,383, but for Bulldogs games, the upper concourse is usually closed off, giving the building a capacity of approximately 7,500.<br /><br /><strong>How About That Name (And Some History):&nbsp;</strong>Opened in September 1985, the Copps Coliseum was built in hopes of bringing NHL hockey to Ontario's&nbsp;third largest city. Since it opened, several attempts have been made to purchase an expansion team or moving an existing team to Copps, but were thwarted by the ownerships of the teams in Buffalo and Toronto, feeling that a Hamilton based team would cut into their market. The most recent&nbsp;effort to bring the NHL to town came&nbsp;in 2009, when a&nbsp;Canadian investor attempted to purchase the&nbsp;Phoenix Coyotes&nbsp;and move them to Hamilton. The investor, Jim Basille, previously attempted to purchase and relocate the Nashville&nbsp;Predators and move them to a renovated Coliseum. <br /><br />The Coliseum, which has hosted events such as curling, pro wrestling, and myriad other events, was named for Victor Copps, a former mayor of Hamilton.<br /><br />Copps Coliseum will be a venue used during the 2015 Commonwealth Games, which will be hosted by Toronto and Hamilton.<br /><br /><strong>Getting There: </strong>Copps Coliseum is located in downtown Hamilton, on York Blvd. From Buffalo, cross over the Peace Bridge and get onto&nbsp;the Queen Elizabeth Expressway eastbound. Proceed for approximately 50 miles into Hamilton. Exit the QEW at Burlington St (exit 90). Follow Burlington St for 4.3 miles, making a left onto Wellington St N. Follow for a mile, making a right onto Wilson St. Take Wilson St until it turns into York Blvd, and the Coliseum will be on the left. <br /><br /><strong>On the Town: </strong>Known as Canada's Steel Capital, Hamilton is located on the shores of Lake Erie in south central Ontario, approximately one hour east of Buffalo, NY and an hour west of Toronto. With a population in the metropolitan area of almost 750,000, Hamilton is the third largest city in Ontario, and the ninth largest metropolitan area in all of Canada. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-s_pr6Yy0VCQ/UsSsj0gXW_I/AAAAAAAACNg/eFnrymZfaYM/s1600/500px-Flag_of_Hamilton.svg%5B1%5D.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="100" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-s_pr6Yy0VCQ/UsSsj0gXW_I/AAAAAAAACNg/eFnrymZfaYM/s200/500px-Flag_of_Hamilton.svg%5B1%5D.png" width="200" /></a></div>What is now known as Hamilton was originally inhabited a aboriginal nation known as the Neutral Indians. They were driven out of their homeland by the Five Nations before the French and Indian War. The Five Nations allied with the British in their battle against the French and their Huron allies. In 1784, ten thousand British settled in "lower Canada" (southern Ontario). Shortly after the end of the War of 1812, one George Hamilton (the son of a local entrepreneur, not the heart-throb actor), purchased a local farm. Hamilton, along with the local representative of the British crown, began selling land parcels in the area, and in 1846, the town of Hamilton was incorporated. <br /><br />Well known Hamilton natives include Second City TV alumni Martin Short,&nbsp;Dave Thomas and Eugene Levy, Neil Peart, drummer from the legendary Canadian rock trio Rush, Olympic ice skating star Toller Cranston, and Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden. <br /><br /><strong>Major Airport: </strong>Munro Hamilton International Airport is located approximately seven miles southwest of downtown Hamilton.<br /><br /><strong>What To Do Before The Game: </strong>This was an "up and back" for Linda and I, but on a previous trip, I visited the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, which is located in downtown Hamilton, not far from the Copps Coliseum. Like it's counterpart in Canton, the museum in Hamilton tells the story of not only the Canadian Football League, but the growth of high school and collegiate football in Canada. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.cfhof.ca/">www.cfhof.ca</a>.<br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>We arrived at the Copps just before the doors opened, so we decided to eat at the arena. However, the Jackson Square mall is located just adjacent to the Coliseum, and the mall has a food court if you want a quick meal beforehand. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>I didn't stay in Hamilton on this trip, deciding to stay closer to home in Buffalo. I would check with your favorite chain to see if they have locations in the area.<br /><br /><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Bulldog tickets are priced between C$34.80 to C$24.00. Note: the Bulldogs sell their tickets online through Ticketmaster, so expect to pay the normal ludicrous surcharges. <br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>The main entrance is on York Blvd. Once entering the building, there is a flight of stairs which takes you to the concourse. <br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>While there are several surface lots within a walking distance of the Copps. we decided to park next door at the Jackson Square shopping mall. For five dollars, it was a good call, as it was adjacent to the arena, and was well lit for departing. <br /><br /><strong>Arena Food: </strong>As one might expect for an arena of this size, Copps Coliseum has a significant selection of concession items and prices. In addition to the standard hot dogs and other arena fare, the Coliseum featured stands featuring several Canadian and local products including Pizza Pizza, Coyote Jack's (gourmet sandwiches), and Cin City Mini Donuts. Linda and I decided to purchase our dinner at the Coyote Jack's stand, which we found we really enjoyed while visiting the arena in Sarnia two years ago. I had a hot dog, an order of French fries, and a bottle of Diet Pepsi, which as a "combo" meal, cost C$10.00, which I didn't find to be too out of the ordinary. The fries were hot, salty, and tasty, and the frank was larger than average sized, delicious, and served (in what seems to be a Canadian thing) on a large "hoagie" style bun. <br /><br />Linda had a sausage sandwich, and (for the purposes of this article), sampled the Canadian staple, poutine. Here's what she had to say:<br /><br />"I had turned down several prior opportunities to try poutine, which is French fries, with cheese curds and beef gravy, at other hockey games in Canada. This time, I promised Rich that I would try ut for the sake of the website. After stopping at the Coyote Jack's stand, I bravely ordered a portion. It was huge! There was definitely enough to share. The fries were hot, and&nbsp;done to a crispy finish that really held the thin and savory&nbsp;beef&nbsp;gravy. The white cheddar cheese curds provided a touch of melty goodness. In a word, I&nbsp;have to say that I found&nbsp;poutine to be-DELICIOUS! The hearty dish was a perfect choice to have at a hockey game. It was my first serving of poutine, but definitely won't be my last!"<br /><br />My impressions of the poutine were similar. I thought it was quite tasty, but I think I would have enjoyed&nbsp;it a bit more if the cheese was a bit warmer. However,&nbsp;that wasn't a deal breaker for me. <br /><br />Here&nbsp;is a sampling of&nbsp;concession prices at the Copps Coliseum: <br /><br /><strong>Hot&nbsp;Dog</strong>: C$4.42&nbsp;<strong>&nbsp; Hamburger</strong>: $7.08<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Nachos</strong>:&nbsp;C$5.99&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer: </strong>$8.63&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel: </strong>C$4.40&nbsp; <strong>Bottle Soda: </strong>C$3.79&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries:</strong>&nbsp;C$4.20&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pizza Slice: </strong>C$4.42<br /><br /><strong>Soft Drinks: </strong>Pepsi is the brand of choice at the Copps Coliseum.<br /><br /><strong>ATMs: </strong>There are several "no brand" ATMs in the arena main lobby.<br /><br /><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>There is a small alcove in the concourse which sells a smaller than expected line of merchandise.<br /><br /><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Scattered along the main concourse, all are clean and well stocked. <br /><br /><strong>Mascot: </strong>Bruiser the Bulldog<br /><br /><strong>Dance Team: </strong>None<br /><strong></strong><br /><strong>Scoreboard: </strong>The Copps Coliseum has a fairly standard sized center-hanging scoreboard, which has four HD-quality video screens, as well as four sections which provide all of the standard game information.<br /><br />The PA announcer had a good delivery and voice, and the music (due to a promotion with a local country station) leaned towards that genre, which thrilled Linda no end!! The music was clear and was played at a decent volume.<br /><br />At one end of the arena was a large Bulldogs sign which emitted smoke after the home team scored. <br /><br /><strong>Stadium Staff: </strong>As in most buildings I've visited in the Great White North, the staff at the Coliseum was quite pleasant and friendly, although they get a small black mark from me when I tried to get directions back out to the QEW after the game, and one or two had absolutely no clue. One girl I asked smiled at me sweetly and said "I take the bus, I don't know any of the streets here". <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>It was a rowdy Friday night at the Copps when the Bulldogs took on their provincial rivals, the Toronto Marlies. While there were a decent amount that came from Toronto, the atmosphere was friendly, yet passionate. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>It's obvious that the Copps Coliseum was built with the NHL in mind. The arena has all the bells and whistles that a "top flight" arena needs, it serves the AHL quite well. While I think the ticket prices are a little on the high side, the home of the Bulldogs is definitely worth a look if you're in Canada's Steel City.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-76974740961603098862013-11-28T18:36:00.000-05:002013-11-28T20:10:30.706-05:00The Convocation Center, Athens OH<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Ohio University Bobcats (MAC)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>11/16/13 vs Heidelberg College<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.ohiobobcats.com/">www.ohiobobcats.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(800) 575-2287 or <a href="http://www.ohiobobcats.com/">www.ohiobobcats.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 878-9767 or <a href="http://www.athensohio.com/">www.athensohio.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong>NA<br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>The Athens News <a href="http://www.athensnews.com/">www.athensnews.com</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9Io4p9HdtUY/UpfQCB3EBhI/AAAAAAAACL4/fIqbr2fEW3s/s1600/IMG_2598.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9Io4p9HdtUY/UpfQCB3EBhI/AAAAAAAACL4/fIqbr2fEW3s/s200/IMG_2598.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Team History: </strong>The final charter member of the Mid American Conference still in the league, Ohio University has had a men's basketball program since 1907. The Bobcats have won 6 Mid-American Conference tournament titles in 1983, 1985, 1994, 2005, 2010, and 2012. As well as 9 MAC regular season titles in 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1985, and 1994. In addition, Ohio has qualified for the NCAA men's basketball tournament thirteen times, most recently in 2012. The have played in the National Invitational Tournament four times, with their best finish being runner-up in 1941.<br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>The Convocation Center is the largest arena in the Mid American Conference, with a seating capacity of 13,080.<br /><br /><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>The Convocation Center was opened on December 3, 1968 when the Bobcats defeated Indiana University 80-70. The arena, which cost over eight million dollars to build, is directly across Richland Ave from Peden Stadium, the home of the Ohio Bobcat football team. Recent renovations of the building have included new offices for the men's' and women's basketball programs, expanded locker rooms, and a new playing surface and scoreboard.<br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-d5dypHWZyWk/UpfTN6rq2jI/AAAAAAAACME/HKWb92dQmnA/s1600/IMG_2599.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-d5dypHWZyWk/UpfTN6rq2jI/AAAAAAAACME/HKWb92dQmnA/s200/IMG_2599.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>The Convo is the home of both the men's and women's basketball teams, women's<br />volleyball, and wrestling squads. The building has also been the host of many concerts, including Led Zeppelin in&nbsp;1969.<br /><br /><strong>Getting There: </strong>From US-50 West, take Exit 17, for OH-682 North. Turn right at the first traffic light, onto Richland Ave. Follow&nbsp;for less than a quarter mile. At the traffic circle, make a right.&nbsp;The Convocation Center will be on your immediate right. Turn right into the second parking lot. <br /><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>Located in south central Ohio on the banks of the Hocking River, Athens is approximately an hour south east of Columbus, 45 minutes south of Zanesville, and 45 minutes from Marietta. As of the 2010 census, Athens has a population of just over 23,000. <br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A2pyagtg2bc/UpfXt1TZhXI/AAAAAAAACMQ/cy_NPhk9bjI/s1600/logo2%5B1%5D.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="77" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A2pyagtg2bc/UpfXt1TZhXI/AAAAAAAACMQ/cy_NPhk9bjI/s200/logo2%5B1%5D.jpg" width="200" /></a>The area that is now known as Athens was the home of aboriginal tribes for over&nbsp;a thousand years, with the Adena and Hopewell, and later on, the Algonquin tribes residing in the fertile valley. The first white settlers came in 1797, but Athens did not become an incorporated village until 1811. The learning institution which would become Ohio University began in January 1802, when the governor of the Northwest Territory (part of which would become the state of Ohio in 1803)&nbsp;approved a bill from the territorial legislature&nbsp;establishing what was then called the American Western University. In 1804, the name was changed to reflect the new state, and Ohio University was born.<br /><br />After the city passed five thousand residents in 1912, the state of Ohio granted Athens city status. <br /><br />Well known Athens natives include long time Major League Soccer star goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, Austin Page, the founder of video game outfit Xbox, and artist Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DxW4tB8JcVc/UpfZf-V9eII/AAAAAAAACMc/Gli1Ow0mFRA/s1600/IMG_2622.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DxW4tB8JcVc/UpfZf-V9eII/AAAAAAAACMc/Gli1Ow0mFRA/s200/IMG_2622.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Major Airports: </strong>The largest airport near Athens is Port Columbus International, approximately sixty<br />miles from Athens. <br /><br /><strong>What To Do Before The Game: </strong>This trip was an in-and-out for me, so there wasn't any real time for sightseeing in the area. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>There wasn't anything immediately near the Convocation Center, but if you go south of Richland Ave, there are several fast food restaurants (McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy's) as well as a few smaller local pizza shops and other restaurants. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>I didn't stay in Athens on this trip, having decided to stay in Parkersburg, WV for the night. However, if you're planning on being in the area, I would check with the local visitors&nbsp; bureau for lodging information. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nvKKPja4gDg/Upfk1F4ZaCI/AAAAAAAACM4/E-nS9Fz6KEI/s1600/IMG_2607.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nvKKPja4gDg/Upfk1F4ZaCI/AAAAAAAACM4/E-nS9Fz6KEI/s200/IMG_2607.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Bobcat men's basketball has tickets in all price ranges. My seats were in the fifth row of the upper level at the top of the free throw arc. This seat, which cost $15.00 (with a one dollar service charge, gave a very good view of the action. <br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>The main entrance and ticket window is located on the east side of the arena.<br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>There are several lots on the Convo grounds, as well as a large lot across the street at Peden Stadium. I chose to park at the football stadium, and for $5.00, was not too bad, and made for easy egress after the game. <br /><br /><strong>Arena Food: </strong>While the Convo doesn't have&nbsp;a huge line of concessions, what they do serve is actually pretty good. I ordered two hot dogs and a diet Pepsi for my pre-game meal. The hot dogs were of a good size, and although they were pre-made, were fairly warm and pretty tasty. The whole meal cost a total of ten dollars, which, in my eyes, wasn't a bad deal.<br /><br />Here is a sampling of the concession prices at the Convo:<br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog:&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong>$3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>Pretzel: </strong>$3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Souvenir Soda: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Personal Pizza (Donatos): </strong>$4.00<br /><br /><strong>ATM: </strong>There is a "no brand" ATM located in the lobby of the building near the ticket booth. <br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nA1P2jgqnUA/UpfmR8DqO1I/AAAAAAAACNE/Xc7NYCaDLZ0/s1600/IMG_2635.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nA1P2jgqnUA/UpfmR8DqO1I/AAAAAAAACNE/Xc7NYCaDLZ0/s200/IMG_2635.JPG" width="150" /></a><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>The "Coach's Corner" is a small alcove near the main entrance which sells a (in my opinion) tiny line of team merchandise. <br /><br /><strong>Restrooms: </strong>There are several restrooms located along the arena's concourse, but signage is non-existent. I just happened to stumble across a men's room, which was fairly clean and in good working order. <br /><br /><strong>Mascot: </strong>Rufus the Bobcat prowled the stands during the game. <br /><br /><strong>Dance Team: </strong>The Bobcats have both a dance team and a co-ed cheerleading squad. <br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>The Bobcat's basketball yearbook is a large-format color magazine which covers both the men's and women's squads. For a cost of $5.00, it is a pretty good deal. <br /><br /><strong>Scoreboard/Arena Voice:&nbsp; </strong>One of the more unusual features of the Convocation Center is the scoreboard system. Instead of the standard center-hanging scoreboard, the Convo has the score and video boards on the floor level behind each baseline. Each side has a scoreboard that has the basic game information and a small video screen opposite. The video screen, while seemingly capable of showing video replays, is used sparingly, only showing "rah-rah" messages and advertisements during the game.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Mia35d0AGj4/Upfo9FmdYdI/AAAAAAAACNQ/yTvrER507f4/s1600/IMG_2603.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Mia35d0AGj4/Upfo9FmdYdI/AAAAAAAACNQ/yTvrER507f4/s200/IMG_2603.JPG" width="200" /></a></div>The Convo's PA announcer is good, having a good voice and delivery style. The music is of the standard style and the building has good acoustics.<br /><br /><strong>Stadium Staff: </strong>Didn't see a lot of them, mostly yellow jacketed arena ushers who basically stood around and smiled.<br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>I'm sure that if the game was a mid-season game against a better known opponent, there would have been a more lively atmosphere. However, a Saturday afternoon against a Division III school wasn't much of a draw, with only about three thousand in attendance. The people there were loyal fans who were into the game. <strong></strong><br /><strong></strong><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>The Convo for an Bobcats game is a pleasant way to spend time if you're in the area. With ticket and concession prices&nbsp;reasonable, the Convocation Center is&nbsp;something the people of Athens can be proud of. HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-82786650786297762182013-10-08T16:18:00.001-04:002013-10-08T16:20:12.053-04:00The England Adventure-Part One<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Game 1: Blackpool at Millwall 9/17/13</span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial;"></span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">“You’re going to Millwall?” was the most commonly heard response when I told people that we would be attending that night’s match.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I admit that reading some stories about the old Millwall stadium, it was a place that foreigners feared to tread.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>However, the experience was much more pleasant and stress-free than I expected.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">As our cab driver, a wonderful Cockney, (I wish I had gotten his name) navigated the streets of East London, he told us that the Millwall area was where the “real Londonder’s” lived.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>By the way, we had no intention of driving to the stadium.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Driving in London is just simply something you don’t do if it can at all be avoided.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The “new” Den, now in it’s 20<sup><span style="font-size: x-small;">th</span></sup> year is in a rather dicey neighborhood, with the approach to the stadium with middle income housing and some ramshackle-looking tire shops.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We were concerned about getting back to our hotel, but fortunately our driver said he would come back for us and wait for us until the end of the match.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"></span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Right before you enter the stadium, there is a small open air café which serves (meat) pies, hot dogs, beer, etc.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Our first stop was the Millwall club shop, a small while building under one of the grand stands.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The store had a good-sized line of team merchandise and was doing a brisk business.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The club’s soccer shops in the UK are located outside the stadiums and close before their games start. No merchandise is sold inside the stadium.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">It look a while to find the correct window to pick up our tickets and then finding the right entrance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Unlike most stadiums in the US, your entrance is marked on the ticket and that is the only one that you can use.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Some of the more plump fans will have trouble getting through the very narrow turnstiles at UK stadiums (but they will let you in another door).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Once inside the stadium, your movements are restricted to the area near your section; you cannot walk completely around the stadium.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The New Den is made up of four separate stands of seating which enclose the pitch.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>All four of the seating sections have wind screens on either end and have covered roofs.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There is a video score board in the East corner, which shows game action and advertisements. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>It was almost impossible to read the time and the score of the game from where we were sitting because they were so small, and there was no auxiliary scoreboard.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If there were any “luxury boxes”, we could not see them from where we were sitting.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The stadium was “basic”, not having the “bells and whistles” that were have been accustomed to in newer US stadiums. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>By American standards, the layout would be considered quite basic, but with that being said, it is every utilitarian and services the needs of the fans quite well.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We enjoyed not being overwhelmed by advertising at every turn, not outside the stadium, inside the stadium, on the scoreboard, or over the PA system.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">As opposed to stadiums or arenas in the U.S., concessions at the Den were quite limited.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There was a larger variety of food available outside.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In our area, there were a hot dog stand, a (meat) pie stand, and a burger stand and a beer stand.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>(When we were leaving and were able to more freely walk around the stadium, we did notice some additional types of food stands, but those were not accessible to us during the game.)<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The hot dog stand advertised “New York Style” hot dogs.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>This was slightly untrue.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The hot dog was good sized and served on a hoagie bun, but tasted like a kielbasa.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>My travel companions who like kielbasa said it was very good.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>They also said the steak pie was very good. One of the more interesting things was that although beer was available in the concourse, it must be consumed in the concourse.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You cannot take your beer to your seat.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Many fans rushed out to have a pint at the half, just finishing it as the second half whistle blew.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"></span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">I found the staff to be friendly and helpful, especially after they found out how far we’d come to see the match.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I found the fans we spoke to were the same.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>After mentioning that we were Americans that had come to see the game, broad grins spread across their faces.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Our seats were approximately 6 rows from the field giving an excellent view of the match.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We seat between the center line and the top of the penalty area.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The seats were of the plastic flip up type but were comfortable and had good leg room.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"></span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The crowd was working class regular people and we felt very comfortable with them.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They were very genuine fans.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The crowd was mostly men with few women and fewer children.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We didn’t hear any racial slurs but some of the language was unique- the security and ushers didn’t respond. We were impressed at how many times they could use the “F” word in one sentence!<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Some of their other language and cheers were a little colorful as well. This was interesting because there were signs down by the field saying anyone using foul language or racial slurs would be expelled.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The crowd of 8,415 (about half the stadium’s capacity), was treated to an unexpectedly exciting game.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Millwall was in last place and the opponents, Blackpool, were in first place; it seemed that the home fans didn’t have great expectations for the game.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Blackpool got the first goal of the match, and a sense of dread came over the fans.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>However, Millwall could equalize in injury time of the first half on a penalty kick and would score twice in the second half to ice the match.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>The Millwall faithful absolutely exploded in cheers after equalizing and again after the go ahead goal was scored in the 71<sup><span style="font-size: x-small;">st</span></sup>minute.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>After they scored the third goal, they went absolutely bonkers.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We really enjoyed the home fan’s cheer of “We scored 3 goals, you must be shit!”</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Blackpool, on the northwest side of England, brought travelling support of approximately 300-400 who were seated in the upper level behind the goal, separated from any local fans.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They were vocal and boisterous and made a good counterpoint to the home fans. There was a substantial police presence around the visiting support, but other than some verbal jabs, there were no issues.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">We left a few minutes before the game ended in hopes that our faithful cabbie was waiting for us.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The stewards and security were more than helpful in getting us to the main entrance and after a 5 minute walk we were happy to find that our ride was waiting.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>(The roads right near English stadiums are closed down before/during and after a match, so you always had to walk a ways to where you can catch a cab.)<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Calibri;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Overall, my first experience with soccer in England was a more than positive one.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The new Den is a fine facility and despite a few drawbacks a terrific place to catch the atmosphere of English soccer.</span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span>HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-12602849545142007032013-08-13T14:45:00.001-04:002013-08-13T15:58:20.009-04:00Bowman Field, Williamsport PA<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Williamsport Crosscutters (New York-Penn League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>7/20/13-Crosscutters vs Lowell Spinners<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.crosscutters.com/">www.crosscutters.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(570) 326-3389 or <a href="http://www.crosscutters.com/">www.crosscutters.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 358-9900 or <a href="http://www.vacationpa.com/">www.vacationpa.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong><a href="http://www.crosscutters.com/">www.crosscutters.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Williamsports Sun Gazette <a href="http://www.sungazette.com/">www.sungazette.com</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RF-yILHGi6U/Ugp7dSftJMI/AAAAAAAACIo/KNi_k40RTBE/s1600/IMG_1898.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RF-yILHGi6U/Ugp7dSftJMI/AAAAAAAACIo/KNi_k40RTBE/s200/IMG_1898.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Team History: </strong>Nestled in the rolling hills of north central Pennsylvania, the city of Williamsport has hosted baseball since the early part of the 20th century, when clubs named the Millionaires, Billies, Grays, and Tigers made "Bill-Town" home. The most recent portion of pro baseball history in Williamsport&nbsp;started in 1987, when the Cleveland Indians placed their "AA" affiliate at Bowman Field. That team lasted&nbsp;until 1990, when the&nbsp;Bills moved to Hagerstown, MD. The Eastern League quickly moved their foundering Pittsfield (MA)&nbsp;franchise to Williamsport as an affiliate of the New York&nbsp;Mets. After two more years,&nbsp;the Mets moved&nbsp;the&nbsp;"new" Bills to a brand new stadium in Binghamton, NY. After a three year hiatus, the Chicago Cubs moved their affiliate in the single-A New York-Penn League to Bowman Field. The Cubs stayed in Williamsport until 1998, when the Pittsburgh Pirates took over, and renamed the team the Crosscutters.&nbsp;The Philadelphia Phillies took over the affiliation in&nbsp;2007.<br /><br /><strong>Affiliation: </strong>The Crosscutters are the short season A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. <br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>Bowman Field has a seating capacity of 4,200.<br /><br /><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>"Historic" Bowman Field was opened in 1926 when the Williamsport Grays started play in the New York-Penn League. The park was named for local booster J. Walton Bowman, who was a part owner of the Grays. This New York-Penn League is not to be confused with the current league in which the Crosscutters play. The "original" league was the precursor to the current Eastern League. <br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7wQUsSX5-_Q/Ugp-sFjFhvI/AAAAAAAACI4/ld2utLNkb0U/s1600/IMG_1911.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7wQUsSX5-_Q/Ugp-sFjFhvI/AAAAAAAACI4/ld2utLNkb0U/s200/IMG_1911.JPG" width="200" /></a>Bowman was beginning to show its age when&nbsp;pro baseball returned in 1994. Fortunately, the city fathers decided to help renovate and improve Bowman field, and in the almost 20 seasons since 1994, the park has undergone twelve renovations, which included a complete renovation of the concourse, expansion and renovations to the clubhouses, a new scoreboard, and a picnic deck. These renovations have turned&nbsp;Bowman Field into a true jewel of minor league baseball. <br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants</strong>: None at this time, but for a short span in the winter of 2012, professional ice hockey was played at Bowman Field. A temporary rink was set up along the first base line for the Williamsport Outlaws of the Federal Hockey League. The Outlaws encountered some financial issues during that first season, and the rink was repossessed by the company that built it, and the team folded soon after. <br /><br /><strong>Getting There: </strong>Take Interstate 80 to Route 220 North into Williamsport. Take the Fourth St. exit. Follow for approximately&nbsp;four&nbsp;miles. Historic Bowman Field will be on your left.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jrdKn-JCirc/UgqES1B52NI/AAAAAAAACJI/v0LBDVQTol8/s1600/Picture_17%5B1%5D.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jrdKn-JCirc/UgqES1B52NI/AAAAAAAACJI/v0LBDVQTol8/s200/Picture_17%5B1%5D.png" width="198" /></a></div><strong>On The Town: </strong>With a population of just under thirty thousand, Williamsport is the largest city in Lycoming County. Williamsport is located in the northern part of Pennsylvania, just over 230 miles east of Youngstown, OH and 85 miles north of Harrisburg. The city is serviced by three major <br />highways: Interstates 80 and 180 and US route 220. <br /><br />Incorporated in 1806, Williamsport&nbsp;was at one time known as the "Lumber Capital of the World", due to the town's thriving lumber industry. At the same time, it was the home of more millionaires per capita than any place in the United States due to the strength of the timber industry. However, something which has a little connection with timber is probably the best known contribution to American and world culture is Williamport's true "claim to fame".<br /><br />In 1939, Williamsport resident Carl Stotz started a three team baseball league for boys in the area. The program exploded, and the world famous Little League Baseball program began. Every August, the best little league teams come to Williamsport to find out which is the best program in the world. The focus of children throughout the world is Lamade Stadium, on the south side of Williamsport. Built in 1959, Lamade Stadium seats an incredible 40,000, with the vast majority sitting along the outfield berm. The actual grandstand seats approximately 15,000.<br /><br />Notable Williamsport natives include former star pitchers Mike "Moose" Mussina and Jamie McAndrew.<br /><br /><strong>Nearby Airport: </strong>Williamsport Regional Airport is located just east of downtown Williamsport, but<br />the largest "major" airport is Harrisburg International Airport. <br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xBJwM-hUoJI/UgqIAqQxsqI/AAAAAAAACJY/epxKb5B5_fs/s1600/IMG_1903.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xBJwM-hUoJI/UgqIAqQxsqI/AAAAAAAACJY/epxKb5B5_fs/s200/IMG_1903.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>What To Do Before The Game: </strong>Although Linda and I didn't have time on this trip, a visit to the Peter McGovern Museum at the "World of Little League" is a must if you're in the area. The museum tells the story of how the three team circuit became the world wide experience that it is today. For more information, call (570) 326-3607 or visit <a href="http://www.littleleague.org/">www.littleleague.org</a>. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before the Game: </strong>There wasn't much in the immediate area of the ballpark, but there were several chain, local, and fast food restaurants on W 3rd St, near our hotel. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>On this trip, we stayed at the team's official hotel, the excellent Best Western Williamsport. Located ten minutes from Bowman Field, this property, while not particularly large, had everything you could need. The hotel had large, up to date sleeping rooms, a complimentary hot breakfast, an outdoor pool, and a TGI Friday's restaurant on site. While the room was a bit more than we would normally pay (the final bill was a little over a hundred dollars), the excellent service and quality accommodations were well worth the cost. For more information, call (570) 326-1981 or visit <a href="http://www.bwwilliamsport.com/">www.bwwilliamsport.com</a>. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sTlMwqou4Tw/UgqKC52iVrI/AAAAAAAACJo/EvEbu_6BfyQ/s1600/IMG_1900.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sTlMwqou4Tw/UgqKC52iVrI/AAAAAAAACJo/EvEbu_6BfyQ/s200/IMG_1900.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Crosscutters tickets are priced as follows: $8.00 (reserved box), $6.00 (general admission), and $5.00 (children 5-12 and seniors). <br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>Bowman Field has a large grass lot adjacent to the grandstand, which costs $2.00 to utilize.<br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats</strong>:&nbsp;The majority of the seating at Bowman&nbsp;Field&nbsp;is under a large covered grandstand which runs from first base to third base. This grandstand has 16 rows of seats, five of which are flip down seats, and the remaining are standard backless bleachers. While the bleachers can be a little rough on the spine, they give a good view of the action. <br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>During one of the many renovations of the park, Bowman Field received a face lift which included a new entrance rotunda and concourse. The main rotunda features the ticket window, and after entering, has the souvenir store and the customer service booth.<br /><br /><strong>Ballpark Food: </strong>While Bowman Field will not be confused with Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park for their concession lineup, what the 'Cutters do sell is of a fairly good quality and of an agreeable price. <br /><br />Linda sampled the pulled pork sandwich, and said it was quite good, and definitely worth the price (I believe it was $5.00). I had two hot dogs, and while they were pre-made, they were pretty tasty but could have been served a little warmer. The team also serves a bucket of French fries with Old Bay seasoning, and Hersheys' ice cream. <br /><br />Here is a sampling of the Bowman Field concession prices: <br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$2.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Hamburger: </strong>$3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos: </strong>$3.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer: </strong>$6.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel: </strong>$3.25&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Bottled Soda: </strong>$2.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Ice Cream: </strong>Various Prices&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries: </strong>$3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pizza Slice: </strong>$3.25<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C6XMKza1WcQ/UgqNZYiBe-I/AAAAAAAACJ4/eGa91qeyST4/s1600/IMG_1906.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C6XMKza1WcQ/UgqNZYiBe-I/AAAAAAAACJ4/eGa91qeyST4/s200/IMG_1906.JPG" width="150" /></a><strong>ATM: </strong>There is an ATM located in "the Sawmill" merchandise store.<br /><br /><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>"The Sawmill", located just inside the main entrance on the first base side of the concourse, has a nice sized line of merchandise in a well organized store.<br /><br /><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Located just under the grandstand behind home plate, they are clean and serviceable. <br /><br /><strong>Mascot: </strong>"Boomer" is a large blue furry animal of an unknown species. <br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>The 'Cutters game night program is packed with information about the team and the history of the club, and for $2.50, a good deal. <br /><br /><strong>Scoreboard/Stadium Voice: </strong>Bowman Field has a average-sized scoreboard in right center field, which provided the basic game information, and had a smaller board above it which was used for promotions, player information, and the like. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6tQkrnK6mR8/UgqPCOs0sBI/AAAAAAAACKI/7Gq4lkTuxgs/s1600/IMG_1899.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6tQkrnK6mR8/UgqPCOs0sBI/AAAAAAAACKI/7Gq4lkTuxgs/s200/IMG_1899.JPG" width="200" /></a></div>It was "Irish Heritage" Night at Bowman Field the day we attended, and through the entire game, Irish-themed music was played and the PA announcer spoke an Irish accent. It had to make you chuckle a little bit. <br /><br /><strong>Stadium Staff: </strong>Despite the steamy temperatures, everyone I encountered at the park was more than helpful and friendly. <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>A decent sized crowd of about two thousand attended the game, and despite the 'Cutters not playing up to snuff, it was a lively gathering. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>A wonderful old ballpark which has stood the test of time, Bowman Field will hopefully serve the good folks of Williamsport for years to come. A pleasant drive, great hotel, and a positive ballpark experience...yup, it was a good weekend. <br /><br />HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-28147999950189688162013-07-04T18:32:00.000-04:002013-07-04T20:01:54.998-04:00McBride Stadium, Richmond IN<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Richmond River Rats-Frontier League</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>6/15/13-River Rats vs West Virginia Miners<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.richmondriverrats.com/">www.richmondriverrats.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(765) 935-RATS or <a href="http://www.richmondriverrats.com/">www.richmondriverrats.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 828-8414 or <a href="http://www.visitrichmond.org/">www.visitrichmond.org</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts</strong>: <a href="http://www.pal-item.com/">www.pal-item.com</a><br /><strong>Local&nbsp;Newspaper</strong>: Richmond Palladium-Item <a href="http://www.pal-item.com/">www.pal-item.com</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kzJZ0n1LKZU/UdX6PTlvTkI/AAAAAAAACGs/cJW8tnmWEv4/s1600/IMG_1451.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kzJZ0n1LKZU/UdX6PTlvTkI/AAAAAAAACGs/cJW8tnmWEv4/s200/IMG_1451.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Team History: </strong>Richmond, IN can boast a long history of professional baseball, going back to 1908 when the Richmond Quakers played in the Ohio-Indiana League. The modern history of pro baseball in Richmond starts in 1995, when the Richmond Roosters joined the Frontier League. The Roosters made Richmond their home until 2005, when new ownership purchased the team and moved them to Traverse City, MI. McBride Stadium was without baseball until 2009 when several former small market Frontier League teams decided to give the sport another go, and formed the Prospect League, a summer "showcase" league for college players who wanted to play in the summer yet keep their eligibility. <br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>McBride Stadium has a seating capacity of 1,787.<br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ObnrXkex4j4/UdX8Zq46a6I/AAAAAAAACG8/k7i1tf__498/s1600/IMG_1450.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ObnrXkex4j4/UdX8Zq46a6I/AAAAAAAACG8/k7i1tf__498/s200/IMG_1450.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>McBride Stadium was built in 1936, and is located west of downtown Richmond on Northwest 13th St and Peacock Rd. It has hosted pro baseball since 1948 with teams named the Roses, Robins, and Tigers in addition to the Roosters and River Rats. Future major league legends Joe Nuxhall, Leroy "Satchel" Paige, Bob Feller, and Jim Bunning got their starts in Richmond. <br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>McBride Stadium is also the baseball home of Richmond High School and Earlham College.<br /><br /><strong>Getting There: </strong>Fron I-70 West,&nbsp;Take to&nbsp;Exit 149A. Exit ramp will loop around and put you southbound on Williamsburg Pike. Follow this road (name changes to N.W. 5th St) to the seventh traffic light to West Main St. Turn right onto&nbsp;Main St and&nbsp;follow for approximately&nbsp;three quarters of a&nbsp;mile. Go past the Armory to the stop sign at N.W. 13th Street and turn right. McBride Stadium will be on your right side.<br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cXJUuRkmO3I/UdYBxy-94ZI/AAAAAAAACHM/mBysSMuEUng/s1600/IMG_1557.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cXJUuRkmO3I/UdYBxy-94ZI/AAAAAAAACHM/mBysSMuEUng/s200/IMG_1557.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>On The Town: </strong>Richmond, IN is located&nbsp;less than fifteen miles&nbsp;from the Indiana/Ohio border in east central Indiana. Richmond is approximately 75 miles east of the state capital of Indianapolis, and 92 miles due south of Fort Wayne. Richmond is serviced by three major highways, I-70 and US Routes 27 and 40. The 2010 census shows that that Richmond has a population of 37,000.<br /><br />While the area had been inhabited by Native Americans for centuries, the first European settlers came to the area in 1806, when a group of Quakers from North Carolina moved to the bank of the Whitewater River. To this day, Richmond is still the home to several Quaker institutions, including Earlham College and is the home to the Friends United Meeting, an association of Quaker ministries.<br /><br />Richmond was linked to the east coast when the "National Road" was opened in the&nbsp;mid-nineteenth century. Now known as US-40, the National Road was the route many pioneers took during the westward expansion&nbsp;during that time.<br /><br />Richmond is known as the birthplace of legendary New York Jets and Baltimore Colts coach "Weeb" Eubank and former Los Angeles Ram defensive star Lamar Lundy.<br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-P_xjULeAbiA/UdYFVgt8amI/AAAAAAAACHc/-JLJNSlWM-o/s1600/IMG_1453.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-P_xjULeAbiA/UdYFVgt8amI/AAAAAAAACHc/-JLJNSlWM-o/s200/IMG_1453.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Nearby Airport</strong>: While Richmond does have it's own small airport, the&nbsp;closest "major" airport is in Dayton, an hour east of Richmond.<br /><br /><strong>What To Do Before The Game: </strong>This was an "in and outer" for me, so I didn't have much time for sightseeing. However, there is a National Road welcome center located at the exit for Richmond off of I-70. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat:&nbsp;</strong>McBride Stadium is located in an residential neighborhood, so there really isn't a lot in the immediate area of the ballpark. However, along Williamsburg Pike and&nbsp;US 40, there is a good selection of fast food and "family style" restaurants. I did find an excellent ice cream stand along US 40 called Ritter's Frozen Custard. I had a delicious strawberry sundae, which was a treat on a warm early summer day, and for $3.99 was worth the short stop. <br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-B1nhNckdWH4/UdYGrKapL2I/AAAAAAAACHs/VlSQcywx2-Y/s1600/IMG_1457.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-B1nhNckdWH4/UdYGrKapL2I/AAAAAAAACHs/VlSQcywx2-Y/s200/IMG_1457.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>On this trip, I stayed in Dayton, an hour drive east. I would check with your favorite chain to see what locations are in the area. <br /><br /><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>The River Rats have two ticket prices: $8.00 (box seating) and $6.00 (reserved seating). <br /><br /><strong>Parking</strong>:&nbsp;There is a&nbsp;good-sized grass lot adjacent&nbsp;to the ballpark with sufficient free parking. <br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats</strong>: The majority of the seating at McBride Stadium is located in a large covered grandstand which runs from first base to third base. The first four rows are chair back seats,&nbsp;with the remainder of the seating being wood bleachers. The only drawback is large posts&nbsp;in front of the&nbsp;grandstand which hold up the roof. However, they are avoidable.<br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>The ticket booth and entrance to the park are located on the NW 13th St side of the park. After entering, the restroom building, concession stand, and merchandise stand are located in a "plaza" in front of the actual ballpark. <br /><br /><strong>Ballpark Food: </strong>When coming to a park as small as McBride Stadium, I've found that food quality and price can be a toss up. Some places have had really good, economically priced concessions...and others...not so much. However, McBride Stadium falls into the first category most emphatically. <br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TPweQuWOanY/UdYJeGWdBEI/AAAAAAAACH8/Shd90JQxI1k/s1600/IMG_1454.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TPweQuWOanY/UdYJeGWdBEI/AAAAAAAACH8/Shd90JQxI1k/s200/IMG_1454.JPG" width="200" /></a>My pre-game meal of two hot dogs and a large Pepsi cost an very attractive six bucks. The hot dogs, although obviously pre-made, were better than average taste-wise, and were served good and warm. The Rats serve a better than anticipated line of concessions, and with just about all of the items costing less than five dollars, having a meal at the ballpark was a definite bargain. <br /><br />Here is a sampling of concessions at McBride: <br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$2.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Hamburger: </strong>$3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos: </strong>$3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Bottled Beer: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel: </strong>$3.00&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Large Soda: </strong>$2.00&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Ice Cream: </strong>various items priced between $2.00 and $3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pizza Slice: </strong>$3.50<br /><strong></strong><br />There is a small water ice cart next to the concession building selling the east coast favorite. I purchased a Tampa Bay Rays mini-helmet filled with orange flavored ice for $5.00, which&nbsp;as the night got steamier, was refreshing. <br /><br /><strong>ATM: </strong>None<br /><br /><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>There is an appropriately sized souvenir stand as a part of the main entrance/ticket office building. The River Rats have a nice sized line of merchandise for very attractive prices. I purchased a souvenir baseball and a Rats game cap for just $21.00. Considering I spent $40.00 for a Cincinnati Reds batting practice cap on at trip there in April, I was very happy with my purchase and the price. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ku14QnaeE5A/UdYK7aaGj_I/AAAAAAAACIM/x5oYdLQScEg/s1600/IMG_1452.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ku14QnaeE5A/UdYK7aaGj_I/AAAAAAAACIM/x5oYdLQScEg/s200/IMG_1452.JPG" width="150" /></a></div><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Located in a cinder-block building next to the main entrance, the rest rooms are serviceable and are of a decent size. <br /><br /><strong>Mascot: </strong>"Ribby" (RBI) the River Rat prowls the stands throughout the game.<br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>The River Rats do not produce a program, instead handing out a free roster sheet to fans entering the park. <br /><br /><strong>Scoreboard/Stadium Voice: </strong>McBride Stadium has an average "high school/small college" scoreboard located beyond the fence in left center field. The board shows the basic game information.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-75PNd1piRFU/UdYL4YrrllI/AAAAAAAACIY/JxMoRVIHLC0/s1600/IMG_1456.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-75PNd1piRFU/UdYL4YrrllI/AAAAAAAACIY/JxMoRVIHLC0/s200/IMG_1456.JPG" width="200" /></a>The stadium's PA announcer is good and the music runs towards the traditional ballpark music with&nbsp;some recent&nbsp;country mixed in. <br /><br /><strong>Stadium Staff: </strong>The Rats' staff, which was made up of a bunch of friendly younger folks, was accessible, helpful, and had big smiles on their faces. <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>I'm sure the thousand or so that attended the game had a good time, but the fact that the River Rats were getting blown out kind of put a damper on things!<br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>While it will never be confused with Dayton's Fifth Third Field or Indianapolis' Victory Field,&nbsp; McBride Stadium has an old-time charm that you simply can't build into a park. A night at the River Rats will turn the clock back to a time where the "small park" was the place to go on a warm summer night, and wouldn't hurt your wallet.HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-69406754193943738192013-06-05T10:44:00.000-04:002013-06-05T12:12:14.481-04:00Wuerfel Park, Traverse City MI<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Traverse City Beach Bums (Frontier League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Beach Bums vs Rockford Aviators-5/25/2013<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.tcbeachbums.com/">www.tcbeachbums.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(231) 943-0100 or <a href="http://www.tcbeachbums.com/">www.tcbeachbums.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) TRAVERSE or <a href="http://www.traversecity.com/">www.traversecity.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong><a href="http://www.tcbeachbums.com/">www.tcbeachbums.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Traverse City Record-Eagle <a href="http://www.record-eagle.com/">www.record-eagle.com</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-J2eL-bIYIT0/Ua9RQ98We9I/AAAAAAAACEc/zLOgtwSuNJ4/s1600/IMG_0831.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-J2eL-bIYIT0/Ua9RQ98We9I/AAAAAAAACEc/zLOgtwSuNJ4/s200/IMG_0831.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Team History: </strong>The Traverse City Beach Bums can trace their lineage all the way back to the Frontier League's inaugural campaign of 1993, when they played as the Kentucky Rifles. After two years playing in the Bluegrass State, the Rifles were sold and moved to Richmond, IN, where they were renamed the Roosters. The Roosters were a member of the FL from 1995 through 2005, playing at McBride Stadium. In August 1995, the Roosters were sold to John and Leslye Wuerfel and moved from Indiana to Northern Michigan, and&nbsp;the Beach Bums were born.<br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>Wuerfel Park has a seating capacity of 4,685, but with standing room and outfield berm seating, the club drew a crowd of 8,211 on September 5, 2010.<br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tkGiOd9rYHc/Ua9UJII2sPI/AAAAAAAACEo/cg0vFmbwWGQ/s1600/IMG_0832.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tkGiOd9rYHc/Ua9UJII2sPI/AAAAAAAACEo/cg0vFmbwWGQ/s200/IMG_0832.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>Opened on May 24, 2006, Wuerfel Park is located<br />just south of downtown Traverse City in the Chums Village commerce park. The stadium, which cost $6 million to build, was named after the Wuerfel family, who purchased the Beach Bums and engineered their move from Indiana. The Beach Bums are the first professional baseball team to represent Traverse City in over ninety years. <br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>None.<br /><br /><strong>Getting There: </strong>Wuerfel Park is located just north of the intersection of&nbsp; US Route 31 and M-37.&nbsp; The park is visible from the highway, and a large sign points you towards the correct route in.<br /><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>Located in picturesque northwest Michigan, Traverse City is one of the area's largest tourist attractions. With it's fine freshwater beaches, vineyards, and forests, Traverse City is the destination of thousands of Michiganders during the summer months. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iIVJG4rOet4/Ua9XsKL7hPI/AAAAAAAACE4/g-0n2IW9OLY/s1600/537px-TClogo_color.gif" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iIVJG4rOet4/Ua9XsKL7hPI/AAAAAAAACE4/g-0n2IW9OLY/s200/537px-TClogo_color.gif" width="178" /></a></div>Traverse City is in the heart of the "Cherry Capital", as&nbsp;the region is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States. Traverse City is located just over four hours northwest of Detroit and two hours north of Grand Rapids. US-31 is the main road servicing Traverse City, which has a population of just over 15,000. <br /><br />The city gets its name from the Grand Traverse Bay on which Traverse City sits. The bay was named by French voyagers, who in the 18th century made<em> le grande traverse </em>("the long voyage") across the bay.<br /><br />In 1847, a Captain Boardman purchased a parcel of land on a river near the mouth of the bay. Boardman and his sons built a saw mill on what is now the Boardman River. After selling the saw mill a few years later, the group that purchased the mill began&nbsp;investing in the mill,&nbsp;and more settlers moved into the area. In 1852, the owners of the saw mill petitioned the United States Post Office to build a post office at their new settlement. Originally, the new post office was going to be called Grand Traverse City, but the government convinced the owners to shorten the name to Traverse City.<br /><br /><strong>Nearby Airport: </strong>Cherry Capital Airport is located to the west of Wuerfel Park, but the largest major airport would be in Grand Rapids, two hours south. <br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ipV9tDVkcCc/Ua9aZhM02LI/AAAAAAAACFQ/L8J6F-59Ab0/s1600/IMG_0839.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ipV9tDVkcCc/Ua9aZhM02LI/AAAAAAAACFQ/L8J6F-59Ab0/s200/IMG_0839.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>What To Do Before The Game: </strong>As I had mentioned, Traverse City is located in an area graced with great natural beauty, with something for all tastes. Unfortunately,&nbsp;I didn't have any time for real sightseeing in the area, so I would recommend visiting the Traverse City visitors bureau website for ideas. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat: </strong>Immediately around the ballpark on US-31, there are several fast food restaurants, but I would consider waiting until you get into Wuerfel Park, since the ballpark food is of a high quality. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>Before I go any farther, I do have to say that lodging in the Traverse City area is not exactly wallet friendly. Before making this trip, I investigated some of the larger chains that had locations in the area, and the least expensive I could find was in the $150.00 range. Granted that this was a holiday weekend, but the popularity of Traverse City as a summer vacation hotspot is proven by the "sellers market" in terms of lodging.<br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5DntFTCJ7o0/Ua9dEOVgg9I/AAAAAAAACFg/INcrSrISUpo/s1600/IMG_0851.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5DntFTCJ7o0/Ua9dEOVgg9I/AAAAAAAACFg/INcrSrISUpo/s200/IMG_0851.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Beach Bums tickets are priced as follows: $12.00 (chairback) and $6.00 (lawn seating).<br /><br /><strong>Parking</strong>: Wuerfel Park has a large lot behind home plate which&nbsp;is&nbsp;more than serviceable for a park of it's size. Parking in this lot costs $2.00, and is easy in and out to US-31.<br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>The main grandstand at Wuerfel Park is in the traditional "wishbone" shape, and runs from halfway down the right field foul line to halfway down the left field line. A large berm goes all the way around the outfield wall, which makes for a great way to watch a game under the stars on a warm summer night.<br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>The main entrance and box office is located just behind home plate. After passing through the "wind tunnel" (as team staff call it), a large main concourse opens up to the seating bowl.<br /><br /><strong>Ballpark Food</strong>: Everything I sampled here was definitely a&nbsp;cut above the normal stadium fare, with some items ranked as "outstanding". In addition&nbsp;to the&nbsp;traditional ballpark menu, Wuerfel&nbsp;Park has a microbrew pub, which sells some items from local breweries, a sandwich shop, and a cheesesteak&nbsp;stand. I sampled the ballpark hot dog, which although was probably pre-made, was&nbsp;very tasty, served warm, and on a fresh bun.&nbsp;The&nbsp;pizza, made by&nbsp;Michigan pizzeria chain Jets, was fairly good as well. The stadium's signature pretzel (which came highly recommended by&nbsp;Bums GM Leslye Wuerfel) was as good as she recommended. <br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BcK82H0971o/Ua9gOiZmsbI/AAAAAAAACFw/lbb85wCgfKA/s1600/IMG_0846.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BcK82H0971o/Ua9gOiZmsbI/AAAAAAAACFw/lbb85wCgfKA/s200/IMG_0846.JPG" width="200" /></a>However, my highest compliment, interestingly enough, was for the soda served.&nbsp;It wasn't&nbsp;your<br />standard Pepsi or Coke, but was made by a local company, Northwoods Soda and Syrup. I tried the orange cream soda with my meal, and WHOA! Now, I know I'm trying to cut back on the sugared soda, but this was so good, I couldn't stop&nbsp;myself from having a second. <br /><br />Here is a sampling of the&nbsp;concession prices at the home of&nbsp;the Beach Bums:<br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog</strong>: $3.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Nachos</strong>: $4.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Draft Beer</strong>: $6.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Pretzel</strong>: $3.00&nbsp;<strong>&nbsp; Large Soda</strong>: $3.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Ice Cream</strong>: $3.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; French Fries</strong>: $3.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Pizza Slice</strong>:&nbsp;$3.50<br /><br /><strong>ATM: </strong>There is a Fifth Third Bank ATM located on the main concourse near the souvenir shop.<br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-G9k_POpOniM/Ua9gbjjceVI/AAAAAAAACF4/DqRnbH7oiTY/s1600/IMG_0854.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-G9k_POpOniM/Ua9gbjjceVI/AAAAAAAACF4/DqRnbH7oiTY/s200/IMG_0854.JPG" width="150" /></a><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>There is a good sized souvenir shop located just to the left of the main entrance, which sells a larger than expected line of merchandise.<br /><br /><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Located on the first and third base sides, all are impeccably clean and in good working order.<br /><br /><strong>Mascots: </strong>Two large, loveable bears named Suntan and Sunburn.<br /><br /><strong>Dance Team: </strong>None.<br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>The Beach Bums sell a large, full-color magazine at their games, which tells all about the team and about some of the community-based programs that they are involved with. At a cost of $2.00, it's a good deal. <br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1ibwpLYNdY0/Ua9jMMDIXYI/AAAAAAAACGI/3Ws5YNryYVk/s1600/IMG_0833.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1ibwpLYNdY0/Ua9jMMDIXYI/AAAAAAAACGI/3Ws5YNryYVk/s200/IMG_0833.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Scoreboard: </strong>Wuerfel Park has an appropriately-sized video scoreboard in left center field. The video<br /> portion gets a better than anticipated amount of use, as prior and in between innings, it plays music videos and well timed movie clips. The PA announcer is good as well, and the music selection is appropriate and played just loud enough.<br /><br /><strong>Stadium Staff:</strong> Three words: very nice people. Everyone I spoke to was more than friendly and helpful. A special thank you to owners John and Leslye Wuerfel, PR director Chad Cooper, and merchandise director Dana Quigley for their warm welcome and hospitality. <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>It was a quiet night for Wuerfel Park, as the unseasonably cool weather (although the sun was shining brightly) kept the crowd down to about&nbsp;fifteen hundred&nbsp;or so. Those who were there were intensely into the game. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>Wuerfel Park in just about all facets is one outstanding ballpark. It was definitely worth the trip, and with a little planning, should be on the "bucket list" of any fellow ballpark aficionado.HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-55470168480129622642013-05-19T17:03:00.001-04:002013-05-19T19:26:00.411-04:00Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh PA<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><strong>Team: </strong>Pittsburgh Power (Arena Football League)<br /><strong>Game: </strong>Power vs Orlando Predators-5/4/2013<br /><strong>Team We</strong><strong>bsite: </strong><a href="http://www.pittsburghpowerfootball.com/">www.pittsburghpowerfootball.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(888) 769-2011 or <a href="http://www.pittsburghpowerfootball.com/">www.pittsburghpowerfootball.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 359-0758 or <a href="http://www.visitpittsburgh.com/">www.visitpittsburgh.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong><a href="http://www.sportstalk.triblive.com/">www.sportstalk.triblive.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Pittsburgh Tribune-Review <a href="http://www.triblive.com/">www.triblive.com</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-10XQ9fKmAaI/UZlW93YO6FI/AAAAAAAACDM/sMnniRy49Lw/s1600/001.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-10XQ9fKmAaI/UZlW93YO6FI/AAAAAAAACDM/sMnniRy49Lw/s200/001.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Team History: </strong>The second attempt to bring top-flight indoor football to the Steel City, the Pittsburgh Power were granted an AFL expansion franchise on August 10, 2010, as a group&nbsp;of local businessmen, including former Pittsburgh Steeler great Lynn Swann were awarded one of four expansion franchises for the 2011 season. The Power would be one of the charter tenants in the new Consol Energy Center arena, which opened the previous fall. The Power have had their struggles on the field, winning just 14 games in their first two seasons. <br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity</strong>: The Consol Energy Center has a&nbsp;seating capacity for&nbsp;Power games of 16,280.<br /><br /><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>The $321 million Consol Energy Center was opened on September 21, 2010 with an exhibition game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings. The new arena replaced the venerable Pittsburgh Civic Arena (better known to all as "the Igloo"), which was the home of the Steel City's indoor sports teams since it's opening in 1961. It is believed that the building of the Consol Energy Center was vital to keep the Pens in town, as it was rumored that they were being pursued by Kansas City interests, who looked to purchase the team and move it to the new Sprint Center in KC.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jQfjARJo69A/UZlXHurTkiI/AAAAAAAACDU/7sN4Dd9a-Oc/s1600/005.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jQfjARJo69A/UZlXHurTkiI/AAAAAAAACDU/7sN4Dd9a-Oc/s200/005.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>The NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins are currently the only other full-time tenant at the CEC, however the arena has hosted many major concerts and other events. <br /><br /><strong>Getting There: </strong>From Pittsburgh International Airport: Exit the airport, and take I-376 east towards downtown Pittsburgh. Take I-376 to Grant St (exit&nbsp; 71A). After exiting, make a right onto Forbes Ave. Follow for a quarter mile and make a left onto Chatham Square. Follow for a quarter mile to the arena.<br /><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>Known for many years as the "Steel City", the past three decades have seen a renaissance for the city of Pittsburgh. No longer is it just known for smoky iron and steel foundries, Pittsburgh has become a home for high finance, computers, and green technology.<br /><br />With a population in the metropolitan area of over two million, Pittsburgh is the second largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, and the 22nd largest in the country. Physically, it is located in the western half of Pennsylvania, 300 miles from Philadelphia and 130 miles from Cleveland, and is located on a peninsula at the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers. <br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fxuxfXd-A6A/UZlNsYUi4VI/AAAAAAAACC8/yU5LBiHtQzE/s1600/800px-Flag_of_Pittsburgh,_Pennsylvania.svg.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="120" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fxuxfXd-A6A/UZlNsYUi4VI/AAAAAAAACC8/yU5LBiHtQzE/s200/800px-Flag_of_Pittsburgh,_Pennsylvania.svg.png" width="200" /></a>Originally the home of the Shawnee native tribe, French explorer Robert de la Salle is generally considered to be the first European to visit what is now Pittsburgh. In 1669 while traveling down the Ohio Rover from Canada, de la Salle first mapped out the area. Seventy years later, the French sent another expedition, this time in an effort to unify the French in&nbsp;Canada to&nbsp;their fellow settlers along the Mississippi River.<br /><br />Naturally, the British&nbsp;in the colonies&nbsp;weren't too thrilled, and they sent General George Washington to tell&nbsp;the French&nbsp;to withdraw. In 1754, the British built Fort Duquesne at the tip of the peninsula. This would be subsequently replaced by a larger fort, named after the British Secretary of State William Pitt. The area would soon be known as Pittsborough, and would be a flashpoint for the French and Indian War.<br /><br />In 1768, the descendants of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, purchased most of the area owned by the native tribes, and in 1769, the settlement got it's permanent name of Pittsburgh. Both Virginia and Pennsylvania laid claim to the new town, but in 1780, the states agreed to extend the Mason-Dixon line westward, and Pittsburgh officially became part of the Keystone State. <br /><br />During the early part of the nineteenth century, Pittsburgh became a mecca for manufacturing, as the War of 1812 cut off the importing of steel and iron from Britain.&nbsp;This forced America to start producing their own supplies of these products, and by 1815, Pittsburgh was producing much of America's need for iron, steel, tin, and glass. <br /><br />In 1901, United States Steel was formed, and during the boom times of the early 20th Century, Pittsburgh would produce up to half of all the nation's steel. <br /><br />In the 1970's, the city realized that it needed to reinvent itself, and the Renaissance project was born. This effort helped revitalize the run down and older parts of the city. This effort paid off years later as Pittsburgh was named one of the "top cities to live in".<br /><br />Famous Pittsburgers include: Henry Heinz, founder of the H.J. Heinz Company, Fred Rogers, who for years told children "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood", on his television show "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood", legendary actor/dancer Gene Kelly, and Olympic gold medalist and TNA wrestling star Kurt Angle.<br /><br /><strong>Nearby Airport: </strong>Pittsburgh International Airport is approximately 20 miles northwest of the Consol Energy Center. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bVY5uN4NRsk/UZlXYyC3chI/AAAAAAAACDc/mNCcQZWxyow/s1600/002.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bVY5uN4NRsk/UZlXYyC3chI/AAAAAAAACDc/mNCcQZWxyow/s200/002.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>What To Do Before The Game: </strong>Pittsburgh has become a popular tourist destination over the past few years, and with places like the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Fort Pitt, the Pittsburgh Science Center, Station Square, and others, you'll definitely find something to do during your travels. For more information, contact the Pittsburgh Visitors Bureau for more information.<br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>I wasn't too familiar with the area around the Consol Energy Center before I arrived, so I didn't know what to expect. The area around the arena has several bars and restaurants which might interest you, so I would arrive early and see if anything piques your interest. In addition, there is a TGI Friday's and a Subway on the Fifth Ave side of the arena if you want to play it safe.<br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>There is just about any kind of hotel or motel you could want in the Pittsburgh area. On this trip, Linda and I stayed at the Red Roof in Monroeville, which was about 15 minutes or so east of the arena. It was clean, comfortable, and fairly inexpensive with several restaurants within 5 minutes of the hotel. For more information, call (800) THE ROOF or visit <a href="http://www.redroof.com/">www.redroof.com</a>.<br /><br /><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Power tickets run are priced anywhere from $150.00 to $15.00. Linda and I chose the $15.00 seats (naturally), and the seats (end zone) were more than acceptable. I wouldn't worry too&nbsp; much about buying your tickets through the team's website (which sends you to Ticketmaster). Several ushers gave me the impression that you can walk up and get&nbsp;good seats up to game time.<br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>There are several lots within a short walk of the arena. We parked at a small street lot five minutes from the arena for ten dollars. The only issue was that only the main box office was open, and that was a hike up a rather steep hill!!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KvXixUCh2yw/UZla6RGqWaI/AAAAAAAACDs/cjtvhNphEnc/s1600/008.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KvXixUCh2yw/UZla6RGqWaI/AAAAAAAACDs/cjtvhNphEnc/s200/008.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>As I walked around the arena, the first thing that I noticed was that the building was built with hockey in mind, as all of the gray padded seats gave a good view of the ice, which works for arena football as well.<br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>The main entrance to the Consol Energy Center is located at the intersection of Washington Pl and Center Ave. This entrance, called the Trib Total Media gate, has the main box office and entry point. After purchasing your ticket and going through security, you ascent one of two escalators, which take you to the concourse level. <br /><br /><strong>Arena Food: </strong>Being a still-new NHL quality arena, you would assume that the Consol Energy Center has all the bells and whistles in terms of concessions. Well, you would be right. In addition to the standard arena favorites, the home of the Power has stands with such eclectic choices as sushi, top flight sandwiches, barebecue, and that Pittsburgh staple, Primanti Brothers sandwiches. Well, sadly, for the Power game we attended, all of those were closed. To be honest, with a crowd of maybe two thousand,&nbsp;I could see why. <br /><br />The good news is that the Power have a promotion with Smith's hot dogs and RD/Seven Up beverages in which Power fans get dollar hot dogs and dollar 12 ounce sodas for the night. Naturally, Linda and I went the cheap route and sampled these offerings. Despite being pre-made, the hot dog was quite tasty and had a nice char. It was served relatively hot and in a relatively fresh bun. I've had some better hot dogs, but for a dollar,&nbsp;it was well worth it.&nbsp;We also sampled&nbsp;the ice cream, which was served in a waffle cone. For five dollars, you got a fairly large serving of soft serve, which I&nbsp;thought was quite good. <br /><br />Here is a listing of some of the concession prices at the CEC for Power games:<br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$1.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Cheeseburger: </strong>$5.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos: </strong>$7.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer: </strong>$8.25&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel: </strong>$5.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Souvenir Soda:</strong> (comes with 1 refill) $8.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Ice Cream: </strong>(Waffle Cone) $5.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; French&nbsp;Fries: </strong>$5.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Personal Pizza: </strong>(Pizza Hut) $9.75<br /><br /><strong>ATM's</strong>: There are several First Niagara&nbsp;Bank ATM's located throughout the main concourse.<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZVcl-IoVFrQ/UZlcPbEHmnI/AAAAAAAACD8/T1cpsWMs7FY/s1600/022.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZVcl-IoVFrQ/UZlcPbEHmnI/AAAAAAAACD8/T1cpsWMs7FY/s200/022.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>The Power have one souvenir table in the main concourse. While the souvenir line isn't exactly huge, the prices are fairly good, with most t-shirts going for about $20.00, and a golf shirt costing $35.00<br /><br /><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Large and convenient. All are very clean and in good working order. <br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Mascot: </strong>None</div><br /><strong>Dance Team: </strong>The Sparks dance team not only participate in the in-game entertainment, they also hand out the programs and any promotional giveaways as fans walk into the building.<br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>Every fan receives a complimentary copy of the "Surge", a large format newspaper which contains information on the night's game, the team, and upcoming events. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ga2PDtd_zkA/UZldzLc-1XI/AAAAAAAACEM/XriuIWyXSww/s1600/003.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ga2PDtd_zkA/UZldzLc-1XI/AAAAAAAACEM/XriuIWyXSww/s200/003.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Scoreboard/Arena Voice: </strong>As with all new arenas, a large video board is standard equipment, and the CEC is no exception. The large, center hanging scoreboard has&nbsp;four large HD video screens which show all the action as well as pertinent score information. Above and below the main screens are smaller ribbon boards which assist the main board. There are ribbon boards along the fascia of the upper level which also display the pertinent game information. The Power's PA voice is a good one, enthusiastic, but without being a shill. The music selection is good, while leaning a little on the "heavy metal" side, which Linda approved of. I mean, how often do you hear Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" at a sporting event?<br /><br /><strong>Arena Staff: </strong>While team staff were non-existent, arena staff were incredibly helpful and friendly. Just about everyone I encountered was more than helpful to answer questions, provide info, or just chew the fat. Before the game, I asked the usher at my section if I could go down to the first row to take some photos of the player introductions. He (I'm sorry I didn't get his name), said "sure, as long as no one is there, go for it". <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>Sadly, there wasn't much. Granted,&nbsp;a combination of&nbsp;crowd of around two thousand (and I think that was being generous) and a sub-par effort by the home team didn't exactly make the roof blow off the place, but for most of the night, you could hold a conversation quite easily with the person next to you.<br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating:&nbsp;</strong>&nbsp;The Consol Energy Center is a top-class arena in just about all facets. I'm sure that on a Penguins game night, the place is insane. But, if you still want to&nbsp;experience the CEC, and can't get a Pens ducat, the Power is a great way to spend an inexpensive, low stress night out in the Steel City.HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-61936471280881094252013-04-28T17:32:00.001-04:002013-04-28T20:06:15.453-04:00Frontier Field, Rochester NY<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Rochester Red Wings (International League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Red Wings vs Pawtucket Red Sox-4/20/13<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.redwingsbaseball.com/">www.redwingsbaseball.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(585) 423-9464<br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 677-7282 or <a href="http://www.visitrochester.com/">www.visitrochester.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong>WHTK-AM 1280AM <a href="http://www.whtk.com/">www.whtk.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Rochester Democrat and Chronicle <a href="http://www.democratandchronicle.com/">www.democratandchronicle.com</a><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1VmPrIA0eBQ/UX2ViE_BsuI/AAAAAAAACAM/n81fboo5B00/s1600/001.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1VmPrIA0eBQ/UX2ViE_BsuI/AAAAAAAACAM/n81fboo5B00/s200/001.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Team History: </strong>One of the longest lived franchises in all of American sports, the current International League franchise known as the Rochester Red Wings has been playing in the Flower City since 1885. The team was known as the Rochester Broncos until 1928, when they became affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals, and changed their name to the Red Wings. They would win the IL title their first year affiliated with the Cards. <br /><br />In 1956, after over three decades, the Cardinals ceased to operate the team, and the Red Wings were in danger of leaving town. Enter local businessman Morrie Silver. Silver engineered what is now known as the "72 Day Miracle", where he sold stock in a corporation which would take over the operation of the team and stadium. The team continued to be affilated with the Cardinals for another four years, when the team became affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles, who stayed in town for 41 years until 2003, when the Red Wings hooked up with the Minnesota Twins. <br /><br />The Red Wings are only the second "community-owned" professional sports team in the US, along with the Green Bay Packers. <br /><br /><strong>Affiliation: </strong>The Red Wings are the AAA affilate of the Minnesota Twins. <br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>Frontier Field has a seating capacity of 10,840. With stading room, the stadium can hold over thirteen thousand.<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wo7oIvO0tgs/UX2Yl9BEMPI/AAAAAAAACAg/qWA6sKj_uE4/s1600/009.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wo7oIvO0tgs/UX2Yl9BEMPI/AAAAAAAACAg/qWA6sKj_uE4/s200/009.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>How About That Name (And Some History):</strong> After playing for 47 years at their old Silver Stadium home, the Red Wings moved into their new home on July 11, 1996. The new stadium, built for 36 million dollars, is located just on the fringes of downtown Rochester, not far from the picturesque High Falls district. The stadium, which has also hosted professional soccer and lacrosse, is named for Frontier, a local telephone company which purchased the naming rights for the stadium in 1996 for 20 years. <br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>The Red Wings are currently the only tenant at Frontier Field. <br /><br /><strong>Getting There: </strong>From the NY Thruway, exit at I-390 north towards Rochester. Follow for approximately 15 miles to I-490 east. Take I-490 east to Broad St/Stadiums (exit 12).&nbsp; After exiting the expressway, you will come to a traffic signal; continue straight on to Allen Street. You will come to a traffic signal; keep left and continue across Broad Street past the Fire Station (follow the Frontier Field signs). As you approach, Frontier Field will be on your right. Parking is available in the D Lot, located on your left.<br />&nbsp; <br /><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>On The Town: </strong>Known as the "Flower City", Rochester is the largest city in central New York. With a population of over 210,000, Rochester is the third largest city in the state, trailing Buffalo and New York City. Rochester is located in central New York on the shores of Lake Ontario, approximately 70 miles east of Buffalo, and 200 miles west of Albany. It is serviced by the New York Thruway (I-90), which runs 15 miles south of Rochester.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nFcuphIJPV8/UX2yXWMDj5I/AAAAAAAACBg/qbbfJ1scZxc/s1600/city_logo_formal_287_600sq.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nFcuphIJPV8/UX2yXWMDj5I/AAAAAAAACBg/qbbfJ1scZxc/s200/city_logo_formal_287_600sq.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">The area was originally the home of the Seneca indian tribe, who lived in the area until ceding the area to the United States in the Treaty of Big Tree in 1797. The tribe was aligned with the British during the American Revolution, and after the treaty, the British allowed them to move into Ontario on a land grant on the Grand River. </div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">In November 1803, a group led by Col. Nathaniel Rochester purchased a hundred acre plot along the Genessee River, and by 1817, the three surveyed the land and laid out streets and tracts, and along with other settlers nearby, formed the settlement of Rochesterville. Less than a decade later, the Erie Canal came through town, making Rochesterville a vital port on the major transportation line between New York City and the east and Buffalo on the west. </div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">In the late eighteenth century, innovators like George Eastman, who formed Eastman Kodak, and German immigrants John Jacob Bausch and Henry Lomb, founded the optical company which bears their names, moved to Rochester and made the town a booming industrial center. </div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Notable Rochester natives include noted golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Susan B. Anthony, who led the woman's suffrage movement in the early 20th century, Lou Gramm, lead singer of seventies rock legends Foreigner, actor John Lithgow, and US Women's National Soccer Team star Abby Wambach.</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Nearby Airport: </strong>Greater Rochester International Airport is approximately seven miles southwest of Frontier Field.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>What To Do Before The Game:</strong> This trip didn't afford us much time for sightseeing, so I would recommend checking with the convention and visitors bureau for ideas.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>There really isn't much in the immediate area of the stadium in terms of dining, so I would recommend checking with your lodging choice for dining choices. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BFDbdqmYxa8/UX21zmYZ3BI/AAAAAAAACBw/iV-rNAyNNQM/s1600/002.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BFDbdqmYxa8/UX21zmYZ3BI/AAAAAAAACBw/iV-rNAyNNQM/s200/002.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>On this trip, I stayed in Buffalo, but there are many hotel choices in the immediate area, both in downtown and in the suburbs.</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Red Wings tickets are priced as follows: $11.00 (premium), $9.50 (upper box), $7.00 (reserved). There is a one dollar surcharge for tickets purchased at the box office on the day of the game. </div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong><br />Parking: </strong>There is a large lot just across the street from the ballpark which costs $6.00 per car.</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></strong></div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>Frontier Field is designed in the traditional "wishbone" style which starts two thirds of the way down the left field line and ends approximately the same place down the right field line. The stadium has approximately 25 rows from top to bottom, and all give a good view from all angles.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NsmOOvqsbTQ/UX2iZD6uUwI/AAAAAAAACBQ/GboV3FTjMdA/s1600/014.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NsmOOvqsbTQ/UX2iZD6uUwI/AAAAAAAACBQ/GboV3FTjMdA/s200/014.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Getting In</strong>: The main entrance is located behind home plate on the Allen St. side of the park. The main entrance also is where the box office is located. There is a seperate entrance on the left field side near the intersection of Allen and Plymouth. </div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Stadium Food: </strong>One of the places where Frontier Field really shines is in it's concession list. According to the team's game day program, the park has no less than 13 concession points featuring everything from typical ballpark favorites to pizza and italian specialties and barbecue. </div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Sadly, most of these stands were closed to the inclement weather (it was 39 degrees and lightly snowing at first pitch). </div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">However, Linda and I found a real winner on the left field side at the Red Osier roast beef stand. A well known local brand, Red Osier beef is sliced thicker than your normal roast beef sandwich you might find at Arby's, and is served hot and basted in a delicious au jus. It is served either on a fresh kaiser or kummelweck bun. For $6.50, it was a definite winner on a frigid afternoon.</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WpC_DXYWZTg/UX22-DKmalI/AAAAAAAACB8/adqeuAgyK7c/s1600/020.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WpC_DXYWZTg/UX22-DKmalI/AAAAAAAACB8/adqeuAgyK7c/s200/020.JPG" width="200" /></a>I also sampled the Zweigel's "Red Hot", a local brand of hot dog. Sadly, this didn't really (to use a pun) "cut the mustard". It was over cooked (nearly incinerated), and was sitting in the steam box for a while, which didn't do much at all for the taste of presentation. </div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Here is a selection of the Frontier Field concession prices:</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Hot Dog:</strong> $3.25 <strong>Hamburger:</strong>$4.25 <strong>Nachos:</strong> $4.00 <strong>Draft Beer:</strong> $6.00 <strong>Large Soda:</strong> $4.25 <strong>French Fries:</strong> $3.75 <strong>Pizza Slice:</strong>$3.50</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Soft Drinks</strong>: Coke products are poured at Frontier Field.</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong><o:p></o:p></strong><strong>ATM: </strong>There are several Summit Federal Credit Union ATM's at Frontier Field. Two are on the first base side, and one is on the thrid base side.</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CQc7u1B4lq8/UX23OGAbsVI/AAAAAAAACCE/KWtGYgUXaF0/s1600/030.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CQc7u1B4lq8/UX23OGAbsVI/AAAAAAAACCE/KWtGYgUXaF0/s200/030.JPG" width="150" /></a><strong>Souvenirs</strong>: There is a nice sized souvenir store located in the main concourse just off the main entrance on the third base side. The store (which was nicely heated) had a good sized line of merchandise with a friendly and outgoing staff. </div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Restrooms</strong>: Mens' and Womens' rooms are located on both sides of the main concourse. All of the mens' facilities were of an appropriate size and were clean and in good working order.</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Mascots: </strong>Two large friendly birds named Spikes and Mittsy.</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Dance Team: </strong>None</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Program: </strong>The Red Wings "yearbook" is a bargain at just a dollar. The large format magazine has plenty of information on the team and ballpark, and contains a handout with the team stats and game information.</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-x50XcQqwy5Q/UX234FHinWI/AAAAAAAACCQ/Z20LGeM_Krs/s1600/005.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-x50XcQqwy5Q/UX234FHinWI/AAAAAAAACCQ/Z20LGeM_Krs/s200/005.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Scoreboard/Stadium Voice: </strong>Frontier Field has three scoreboards. The first is a large HD video screen located in left center. It gets a good amount of use without being "over done". On the left field fence there is also a small scoreboard which has the basic linescore and other game information. In right center, the ballpark has a black and white matrix board with in depth statistical information. </div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">The ballpark has a solid PA system, announcer, and plays a good variety of music. Frontier Field also has a live organist which plays during the game.</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Stadium Staff</strong>: There wasn't a lot of them, and the ones I encountered ranged from sweet and friendly to extremely disinterested. I can put some of that due to the lousy weather.</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PB0kagzcl2s/UX25RobCxkI/AAAAAAAACCc/__NTBpbY6Ds/s1600/007.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PB0kagzcl2s/UX25RobCxkI/AAAAAAAACCc/__NTBpbY6Ds/s200/007.JPG" width="150" /></a><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>Due to the weather, I don't think there were more than 300 people in the stands.</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div>Naturally, there wasn't going to be a lot of "energy" in the park. However, in previous trips on nights with significantly better weather, the park would be packed with good, smart baseball fans. <br /><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Ballpark Features: </strong>The park features statues of Morrie Silver, the man who "saved" baseball in Rochester, and Joe Altobelli, a long-time Red Wings player, manager, and broadcaster. </div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>Frontier Field is a top flight facility which deserves a visit from any ballpark fan.</div>HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-65428370504285455632013-02-01T19:37:00.001-05:002013-02-01T22:20:54.508-05:00Hartman Arena, Park City KS<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Wichita Wings (Major Indoor Soccer League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Wings vs Milwaukee Wave-1/25/13<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Wings vs Chicago Soul-1/26/13<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.wichitawingsindoorsoccer.com/">www.wichitawingsindoorsoccer.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(316) 927-3999 or <a href="http://www.wichitawingsindoorsoccer.com/">www.wichitawingsindoorsoccer.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 288-9424 or <a href="http://www.gowichita.com/">www.gowichita.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong>KGSO-AM 1480 <a href="http://www.kgso.com/">www.kgso.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Wichita Eagle <a href="http://www.kansas.com/">www.kansas.com</a><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-S9txP15Q36U/UQxg_fFNSvI/AAAAAAAAB14/1rQKL5X4nmc/s1600/002.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a><br /></div><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-S9txP15Q36U/UQxg_fFNSvI/AAAAAAAAB14/1rQKL5X4nmc/s1600/002.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-S9txP15Q36U/UQxg_fFNSvI/AAAAAAAAB14/1rQKL5X4nmc/s200/002.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Team History: </strong>The second incarnation of the legendary soccer team, the new Wichita Wings are in their second season in the Major Indoor Soccer League, having joined the league in March 2011. The original Wings played in the first MISL from 1979-92 and in the National Professional Soccer League from 1992-2001. The first Wings team played just across I-135 at the Kansas Coliseum, drawing frequent sellout crowds during indoor soccer's heyday in the mid-eighties. <br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>Hartman Arena seats approximately 5,000 for indoor soccer and has a total seating capacity of 6,500 for concerts. <br /><br /><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>Originally designed strictly as a home for the Wichita Wild indoor football team, it was the brainchild of local businessman Wink Hartman. The building was originally scheduled to be built in 2007, but budget constraints forced a redesign, which delayed the opening of the arena. The building was finally opened in late&nbsp;March 2009, after twelve months of construction.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YTWNfUX_y6I/UQxoLfffesI/AAAAAAAAB3U/okfWWL6ThSM/s1600/006.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YTWNfUX_y6I/UQxoLfffesI/AAAAAAAAB3U/okfWWL6ThSM/s200/006.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>In addition to the Wings, the Hartman Arena is the home of the Wichita Wild indoor football team, which has played their since the arena's opening in 2009.<br /><br /><strong>Getting There: </strong>(from downtown Wichita): Take I-235 north for approximately 12 miles until I-235 merges into I-135. Follow I-135 north for approximately three miles to exit 16 (77th St). At the top of the ramp, make a left onto 77th St, and proceed for a half mile, making a right onto Hartman Arena Dr. Follow Hartman Arena Dr to the arena and parking. <br /><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>A suburb of Wichita, Park City is located 14 miles northwest of the city, and has a population of just under eight thousand. It is easily accessed by I-135 from Wichita to the south and Salina to the north. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ifmcZBD3j3c/UQxoWSSQ38I/AAAAAAAAB3c/YFU1Q5VCzG8/s1600/us-kspkc.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="168" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ifmcZBD3j3c/UQxoWSSQ38I/AAAAAAAAB3c/YFU1Q5VCzG8/s200/us-kspkc.jpg" width="200" /></a></div>Park City was originally founded in 1870, and the city founders hoped that it would become a major rail hub and would overshadow it's rival Wichita. However, the railroads never came through Park City, and the city evaporated. <br /><br />A new Park City began to be developed in 1953 on farmland purchased by developers. In 1981, Park City elected it's first mayor.<br /><strong></strong><br /><strong>Nearby Airport:&nbsp;</strong>Mid-Continent International Airport is located just west of downtown Wichita, approximately fifteen miles from Hartman Arena. <br /><br /><strong>What To Do: </strong>Wichita has a surprisingly diverse list of places to visit which would satisfy just about any interest. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-L1sReVJcYtM/UQxrM4Rg9ZI/AAAAAAAAB44/Lwcpk8IJaWA/s1600/042.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-L1sReVJcYtM/UQxrM4Rg9ZI/AAAAAAAAB44/Lwcpk8IJaWA/s200/042.JPG" width="150" /></a></div>On this trip, I spent a few hours at the Mid-America All Indian Center, which is located on the Arkansas (pronounced R-Kansas) River on the west side of downtown. The Indian Center is a cultural center which celebrates the art and culture of the native tribes which lived in the area. One of the featured artists at the center is the late Blackbear Bosin, who spent much of his life illustrating the life and times of his people. Several of Bosin's best paintings and drawings line the walls of the museum, but what is most probably his best known work is just outside the museum's walls. <br /><br />"The Keeper of the Plains", a forty foot high iron sculpture of a native American offering supplications to his gods, is located on the confluence of the Little and Big Arkansas Rivers. Designed and built by Bosin, the Keeper is surrounded by fire pits which when lit&nbsp;for fifteen minutes every evening, gives the sculpture an even more dramatic effect. For more information, call (316) 350-3340 or visit <a href="http://www.theindiancenter.org/">www.theindiancenter.org</a>.<br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>There is nothing in the immediate vicinity of the Hartman Arena, but one exit south of the arena on 61st St, there are several restaurants, both fast food, and "sit down". <br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>On this trip, I stayed at the Days Inn-Wichita West. Located less than five minutes from Mid Continent Airport, this hotel has nice sized guest rooms, nerby access to several restaurants, and at $45.00 per night, was a real bargain. For more information, call (316) 942-1717 or visit <a href="http://www.daysinn.com/">www.daysinn.com</a>. <br /><br /><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Wings tickets are priced as follows: $25.00 (club seats), $19.00, $16.00, and $12.00.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-oxmVofCAJGY/UQx3Bxv0S8I/AAAAAAAAB6U/gXtBMBcBtJE/s1600/008.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-oxmVofCAJGY/UQx3Bxv0S8I/AAAAAAAAB6U/gXtBMBcBtJE/s200/008.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Parking: </strong>There is a large lot which surrounds the arena. Parking in this lot is free. <br /><strong></strong><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>The main entrance to the Hartman Arena is on the east side of the building (the side that faces I-135). This entrance contains the box office as well as the entrance to the Coors Light lounge. <strong></strong><br /><strong></strong><br /><strong>The Good Seats</strong>: Hartman Arena is designed in a "U" shaped configuration with seating hugging the field&nbsp;with the exception of the&nbsp;west end of the building. The majority of the seating is blue&nbsp;plastic flip-up seats which give a good view of the field. The main concourse is located above the seating bowl.<br /><br /><strong>Arena Food: </strong>There are two main concession stands at the Hartman Arena, both of which are located on the main concourse along the sidelines. Arena food is of the basic variety, without a "trademark" or "signature" item. With that being said, the food served at the home of the Wings isn't too bad of a quality and isn't too obnoxious, price-wise.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bPQ4__IY6E4/UQx89Bkz5cI/AAAAAAAAB7w/zoSqo500lbk/s1600/029.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bPQ4__IY6E4/UQx89Bkz5cI/AAAAAAAAB7w/zoSqo500lbk/s200/029.JPG" width="200" /></a></div>On Friday, I sampled the arena hot dog, and to my pleasant surprise, was&nbsp;the well-known Nathan's&nbsp;brand.&nbsp;While the dog itself was tasty and fairly&nbsp;hot, it&nbsp;obviously sat in the steamer for a while, since&nbsp;the bun was mangled and very soggy.&nbsp;Before Saturday night's game, I&nbsp;ordered the Hartman's&nbsp;personal sized pizza. It was fairly good and hot, with a bit of a spicy kick. At $6.00 for a ten inch pie, I thought it was a good value. <br /><br />Each concession stand has a seperate section selling barbecue items, but these were not open either night I attended. <br /><br />Here is a selection of the concession prices at Hartman Arena: <br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$4.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Hamburger:</strong> $5.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Nachos</strong>: $4.50&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>Draft Beer:</strong> $6.50<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Pretzel</strong>: $3.50<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Large Soda</strong>:&nbsp;$5.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; French Fries</strong>: $3.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Personal Pizza</strong>: $6.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br /><strong>Soft Drinks: </strong>Interestingly, both Coca Cola and Pepsi are served at the Hartman Arena.<br /><br /><strong>ATM: </strong>A "no-brand" ATM is located on the main concourse on the south end of the arena. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YEUMU0n5GGs/UQyAxPWQSyI/AAAAAAAAB9M/XOiaSoOX3eA/s1600/054.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YEUMU0n5GGs/UQyAxPWQSyI/AAAAAAAAB9M/XOiaSoOX3eA/s200/054.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>A souvenir stand is set up on the northeast corner of the arena, selling a moderate sized line of merchandise. <br /><br /><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Located on each side of the concession stands, they are all clean and of an appropriate size. <br /><br /><strong>Mascot: </strong>The Wings have a big orange bird (P.C. Phoenix) in addition to drummer/cheerleader Sgt. Soccer, and the two "Wing Men", who circulate in the stands. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Q0HxvDO2snk/UQyDuREmPYI/AAAAAAAAB-o/VH0e8-GcVRY/s1600/015.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Q0HxvDO2snk/UQyDuREmPYI/AAAAAAAAB-o/VH0e8-GcVRY/s200/015.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Dance Team: </strong>The Wichita Wings Angels do several dance routines during the games,&nbsp;help distribute giveaway items, and toss soccer balls into the stands after a Wing goal. <br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>Fans recieve a full-color program as they enter the arena. The program contains the basic game information. <br /><br /><strong>Scoreboard/Arena Voice: </strong>The Hartman Arena has a "video wall" on the west side of the arena, which is used as a scoreboard. While the board has a good clear picture, it does not have full video capability. The main scoreboard is assisted by two "ribbon" boards above the main concourse. <br /><br />Don Hall is the Wings' PA voice, and he is a good one. Hall, a local DJ, is also the voice of Wichita State University basketball, and was the announcer for the original Wings during their final campaign in Wichita. <br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EnUH7t4k63g/UQyD62-7DNI/AAAAAAAAB-w/zANCkbnKyQQ/s1600/005.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EnUH7t4k63g/UQyD62-7DNI/AAAAAAAAB-w/zANCkbnKyQQ/s200/005.JPG" width="200" /></a>The music selections are good and are played at an appropriate volume. <br /><br /><strong>Arena Staff: </strong>The arena staff were friendly, pleasant, and helpful. <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>Both nights had a fairly lively crowd in the area of two thousand each evening. The fans that attended had a good knowledge of soccer, and were a factor in the team's comeback on Friday evening. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>While the Hartman Arena is definitely "no-frills", it's a good building for indoor soccer and a place where the new Wings can hopefully grow and thrive. HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-33385035480694240192013-01-16T19:37:00.002-05:002013-01-17T19:57:08.220-05:00Stroh Center, Bowling Green OH<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Bowling Green State University Falcons (MAC)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Falcons vs Eastern Michigan University Eagles-1/12/13<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.bgsufalcons.com/">www.bgsufalcons.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(877) BGSUTICKET<br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 866-0046 or <a href="http://www.visitbgohio.org/">www.visitbgohio.org</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong><a href="http://www.bgsufalcons.com/">www.bgsufalcons.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune <a href="http://www.sent-trib.com/">www.sent-trib.com</a><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AAdrNeQ2LFo/UPiT5GQIwfI/AAAAAAAABv8/v1eHJe99aKY/s1600/004.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a><br /></div><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AAdrNeQ2LFo/UPiT5GQIwfI/AAAAAAAABv8/v1eHJe99aKY/s1600/004.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AAdrNeQ2LFo/UPiT5GQIwfI/AAAAAAAABv8/v1eHJe99aKY/s200/004.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Team History: </strong>A long-time member of the Mid-American Conference, the Bowling Green State University Falcons have been playing men's basketball since 1915. They have won ten MAC titles since joinging the league in 1952, including four under legendary coach Harold Anderson. They have gone to the NCAA championship tournament on four occasions, with the most recent appearance being in 1968.&nbsp;The Falcons have played in the National Invitational Tournament ten times, most recently in&nbsp;2009.<br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity</strong>:&nbsp;The Stroh Center seats 4,700 for basketball, and just over five thousand for concerts and other events.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fpk5k2a2soc/UPiUc3PP8zI/AAAAAAAABwI/3h2m3X4YOJA/s1600/007.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="152" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fpk5k2a2soc/UPiUc3PP8zI/AAAAAAAABwI/3h2m3X4YOJA/s200/007.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>How About That&nbsp;Name (And Some History</strong>): Opened&nbsp;in 2011 to replace the aging and archaic Anderson Arena, the Stroh Center was named after Kermit Stroh, a university trustee. Stroh and his late wife, Mary Lu, donated $8.7 million in 2008 to the building of a new arena, which would cost a total of $30 million to build. The school raised another $13 million towards construction, and the remainder was financed by a student fee which would help pay off the loans which finalized the construction cost. The arena opened on&nbsp;August 13, 2011 with a concert by Christian band Sanctus Real. The first sporting event was held on September 9, 2011 with a women's&nbsp;volleyball match between&nbsp;Bowling Green and Michigan State. <br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants</strong>: The Stroh Center is home to&nbsp;BGSU's men's and women's basketball teams and women's volleyball teams in addition to concerts and other events.<br /><br /><strong>Getting There: </strong>From I-75, exit onto OH-64/185-East Wooster St (Exit 181). Proceed west on East Wooster St, and proceed for approximately a half mile, and the arena will be on your right. <br /><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>Less than a half an hour south of downtown Toledo, Bowling Green is the seat of Wood County, and has a population of just over 32,000.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AELNxiERGvc/UPiVMXft98I/AAAAAAAABwg/A_h5PDOcdRg/s1600/BowlingGreenOhioSeal.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="122" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AELNxiERGvc/UPiVMXft98I/AAAAAAAABwg/A_h5PDOcdRg/s200/BowlingGreenOhioSeal.png" width="123" /></a></div>Bowling Green was settled in 1832 by fifteen families, and was incorporated in 1855. It was a sleepy famr town for most of that early period, but the discovery of oil in the area in the latter parts of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries brought more people to the area. After the oil boom, the automobile industry moved into the area, and companies like Coates Steam Car began building automobiles in Bowling Green. However, automobile manufacturing didn't last long in the area.<br /><br />Bowling Green State University, originally known as Bowling Green State Normal School, opened it's doors on September 15, 1914.<br /><br />Well known residents of the area include former Baltimore Oriole catcher Chris Hoiles, 1972 Olympic&nbsp;800 meter gold medalist Dave Wottle (a BGSU alumni), and MTV Road Rules alumni/model Cara Zavaleta.<br /><br /><strong>Nearby Airport: </strong>Toledo Express Airport is approximately 27 miles northwest of Bowling Green.<br /><br /><strong>What To Do: </strong>I didn't stay in the area on this trip, so I would contact the local visitors bureau for more information. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>There are a surprising amount of restaurants, both fast food and sit down, along East Wooster St on the approach to the Stroh Center. Some of the best of these are Frickers (a "family" sports bar), Buffalo Wild Wings, Tim Horton's, Bob's Big Boy, and Bob Evans. <br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HZHWO80oL7U/UPiVpRkdnLI/AAAAAAAABws/LQIqVzd6F9o/s1600/010.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HZHWO80oL7U/UPiVpRkdnLI/AAAAAAAABws/LQIqVzd6F9o/s200/010.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>On this trip, I stayed at the Red Roof Inn in Maumee, which is just south of Toledo. The drive to the Stroh Center took a total of fifteen minutes, and with a room rate of under $50.00, it was a good choice. However, I believe that there are several chain hotels on East Wooster St, so I would contact your favorite brand to see if there are any in the immediate area.<br /><br /><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>BG men's basketball tickets are $14.00 (chairback reserved). If you purchase your ticket over the phone in advance (like I did), there is a $5.00 handling charge. <br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>There is a large lot which surrounds the Stroh Center which costs $5.00 per car. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-r54ZY9U5BQw/UPiWn1u4iwI/AAAAAAAABxQ/NvH-H_sycYA/s1600/006.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-r54ZY9U5BQw/UPiWn1u4iwI/AAAAAAAABxQ/NvH-H_sycYA/s200/006.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Getting In: </strong>The main entrance to the Stroh Center is located on the east side of the building. The main entrance also houses the ticket windows, a BGSU Sports Hall of Fame, and the Falcon Team Shop. Once you purchase your ticket and get it scanned in, there is a two story staircase which takes you to the concourse level.<br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>The Stroh Center is rectangular in shape, with chairback seating on three sides, and a student section with pull out bleachers behind the north basket. The majority of the chairbacks are of the plastic flip up type, and are all colored dark brown. The Anderson Club seats (section 103) are padded, but are only available to Falcon Club donors. <br /><br />The view from the majority of the seats is pretty good, but the designers of the Stroh Center made one fatal flaw. There sections of seating behind each baseline which instead of being angled towards center court, are angled straight ahead. If you sit in those seats, you will be forced to twist your body to get the best possible view. <br /><br /><strong>Arena Food: </strong>Sad to say, this was one area where the Stroh center was severely lacking. <br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gflhidoXQ-E/UPicV0f7kII/AAAAAAAABz4/hCASRqO1Epw/s1600/017.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gflhidoXQ-E/UPicV0f7kII/AAAAAAAABz4/hCASRqO1Epw/s200/017.JPG" width="200" /></a>There are three food sales points in the concourse, the Wooster St. Grill, the Bird Feeder, and the Falcon Grill. On my visit, only the Bird Feeder and the Falcon Grill were open. The selection at the Bird Feeder was incredibly small and not exciting. Your choices were hot dogs or Pizza Hut Pizza. At the Falcon Grill, the choices were slightly more interesting, with foot long chili dogs, cheese burgers, and chicken tenders. <br /><br />Surprisingly, the hot dog was pretty good. Although it was pre-made, the wiener was hot, tasty, and of an above average size. The bun was fresh, but was oversteamed and not particularly sold. However, combined with a large Coke, $7.00 wasn't too much to pay for a light meal.<br /><br />The food service left a little to be desired, as like the majority of the&nbsp;employees at the Stroh Center, they looked like they would rather be somewhere else. <br /><br />Here is a sampling of concession prices at the Stroh Center:<br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog</strong>: $3.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Cheeseburger Combo (W/Fries</strong>):&nbsp;$7.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Nachos</strong>:&nbsp;$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Large Soda: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries: </strong>$3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pizza Slice: </strong>$4.00<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IYi1u0l7tpM/UPict9Kj8II/AAAAAAAAB0E/xPOjt2YPuak/s1600/039.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IYi1u0l7tpM/UPict9Kj8II/AAAAAAAAB0E/xPOjt2YPuak/s200/039.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Soft Drinks: </strong>Coca-Cola is the soft drink of choice at the Stroh Center.<br /><br /><strong>ATM: </strong>A PNC Bank ATM is located in the lobby near the main entrance. <br /><br /><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>There is a nice sized team store located at the main entrance of the Stroh Center. It has a line of souvenirs that was larger than I anticipated. There is a also a small souvenir cart on the main concourse.<br /><br /><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Like the rest of the Stroh Center, the restrooms were virtually immaculate and were of the appropriate size for a building of this size. They are liberally located on the concourse. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iN-WWszjMnw/UPidEX00HvI/AAAAAAAAB0Q/MuiapLVutJI/s1600/068.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iN-WWszjMnw/UPidEX00HvI/AAAAAAAAB0Q/MuiapLVutJI/s200/068.JPG" width="150" /></a></div><strong>Mascots: </strong>Freddy and Freida Falcon spent much of the first half in the student section, but circulated in the stands during the second half.<br /><br /><strong>Dance Team: </strong>The Falcons have an all-girl cheerleading team, a co-ed cheerleading team, and an all-girl university dance team. All of which made appearances throughout the game. <br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>The Falcons do have a very nice complimentary program, however they don't make it particularly easy to find. I had assumed that they would be available in the concourse. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. I asked the concession worker at the souvenir stand in the concourse where I could find one. He (rather snottily, if you ask me) pointed to the customer service counter. I walked over and there was nary one to be had. Eventually, after asking two more arena staffers, I found that the programs were available down on street level near the box office. <br /><strong></strong><br /><strong>Scoreboard/Arena Voice: </strong>The Stroh Center has a top quality video board mounted just above the student section bleachers. This 30 foot X 10 foot screen features all of the pertinent game information as well as in-game action. There are two smaller score-only boards mounted in the corners of the stands on the opposite side and a "ribbon" board high above the seating level opposite of the main screen which gives more detailed game statistics. The arena also has good acoustics, and has a good public address announcer and music selection. <br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-anAgkzQtrT0/UPidbLEdRRI/AAAAAAAAB0c/V9zbY4BqeAI/s1600/032.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-anAgkzQtrT0/UPidbLEdRRI/AAAAAAAAB0c/V9zbY4BqeAI/s200/032.JPG" width="200" /></a><br /><strong>Arena Staff: </strong>As I had mentioned before, they were pretty lackluster, and seemed like they wanted to be anywhere else rather than at the game. <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>Fairly good until the final minutes of the game when BG made a late charge, eventually winning on a three pointer with six seconds remaining. The pep band kept things hopping and the student section was fairly raucous despite being half full. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>Despite a few short comings, I would recommend a Bowling Green basketball game at the Stroh Center to anyone in the area. Prices are definitely reasonable, the building is clean and easy to get to. All in all, a pleasant, stress-free night out. HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-13786193680864361462012-12-25T17:34:00.000-05:002012-12-25T19:18:00.882-05:00Amway Center, Orlando FL<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Solar Bears vs Ft. Wayne Komets-12/8/12<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.orlandosolarbearshockey.com/">www.orlandosolarbearshockey.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(407) 951-8200 or <a href="http://www.orlandosolarbearshockey.com/">www.orlandosolarbearshockey.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 972-3304 or <a href="http://www.visitorlando.com/">www.visitorlando.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts:&nbsp;</strong>WYGM 740AM&nbsp;<a href="http://www.740thegame.com/">www.740thegame.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Orlando Sentinel <a href="http://www.orlandosentinel.com/">www.orlandosentinel.com</a><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YHgEJA1fDuE/UNoqI6y3ZXI/AAAAAAAABfA/Auwg_etx5RE/s1600/001.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a><br /></div><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YHgEJA1fDuE/UNoqI6y3ZXI/AAAAAAAABfA/Auwg_etx5RE/s1600/001.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YHgEJA1fDuE/UNoqI6y3ZXI/AAAAAAAABfA/Auwg_etx5RE/s200/001.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Team History: </strong>After a layoff of eleven seasons, hockey returned to central Florida with the second incarnation of the Orlando Solar Bears. The original Solar Bears, who were owned by the DeVos family (owners of the NBA's Orlando Magic), played in the International Hockey League from 1995 through 2001, when the league ceased operations. In early 2012, it was announced that the ECHL would expand to Orlando, and the new Solar Bears would play in the Amway Center, which replaced the home of the original Solar Bears, the Orlando Arena (nee Amway Arena) in 2010.<br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity</strong>: Full hockey capacity for the Amway Center is over 17,000, but for the Solar Bears, the upper level is curtained off, reducing capacity to 9,555.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5UykNeNv_w8/UNoqh3wogbI/AAAAAAAABfI/YbJFytfFQxY/s1600/AmwayLogo.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="136" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5UykNeNv_w8/UNoqh3wogbI/AAAAAAAABfI/YbJFytfFQxY/s200/AmwayLogo.png" width="200" /></a></div><strong>How About That Name (And Some History</strong>): The beautiful Amway Center was opened on October 1, 2010, replacing the Orlando Arena, which had hosted the Orlando Magic and other franchises from 1989 through 2010. The new arena was part of a one billion dollar effort to renovate the downtown area through&nbsp;not only the Amway Center, but the Citrus Bowl stadium and the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. The naming rights to the $480 million arena were purchased by the Amway company, which is also owned by the De Vos family. <br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants</strong>: The Amway Center is also the home to the NBA's Orlando Magic and the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football&nbsp;League. <br /><br /><strong>Getting There</strong>: From I-4, exit&nbsp;at exit 82B towards Division Ave. Make a left onto Division Ave, and follow to Church St. make a right onto Church St, and the arena will be on&nbsp;your right. <br /><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>Known as "the City Beautiful", over the past 40 years, Orlando has spruyng from a sleepy citrus community to one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DABZ5gvtbog/UNow3E7rB1I/AAAAAAAABgg/JiHI9WAE6Sg/s1600/250px-Orlando_Seal_svg.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DABZ5gvtbog/UNow3E7rB1I/AAAAAAAABgg/JiHI9WAE6Sg/s200/250px-Orlando_Seal_svg.png" width="200" /></a></div>Located in central Florida, Orlando is approximately 80 miles from Tampa and 70 miles from Melbourne on the Atlantic coast. The Orlando metropolitan area has a population of over two million, making it the the third largest metropolitan area in the state, after Miami and Tampa. Orlando is serviced by by one major interstate, I-4, which runs through downtown, as well as several smaller high-speed roads, which include Florida routes 528 and 408.<br /><br />Originally the home of several bands of Creek indians, Orlando was known as Jernigan. The name comes from Aaron Jernigan, who was the first permenent settler of the area. How the town got the name Orlando was never settled upon, but city officials say that the Orlando got it's permanent name from Orlando Reeves, who, as the story goes, was killed by natives while acting as a sentry for a company of soldiers who was camping on what is now known as Lake Eola. The stroy grew through the early twentieth century through folk writings and tales told by locals. However, several researchers have never been able to confirm that Orlando Reeves ever truly existed. The city&nbsp;officially became Orlando in 1857.<br /><br />While Orlando began to grow during the 20th century, the opening of Disney World in 1971 quickly turned the city into a major attraction. In 1965, Walt Disney announced that he wanted to build a companion park to his highly successful Disneyland park in California. After investigating sites near Tampa and Miami, Disney, while on an aerial tour, saw a huge amount of land southwest of downtown Orlando. The combination of the good land, and the fact that it was less likely to hurricane damage than the coastal cities, helped Disney make his decision. <br /><br />Of course, Disney World didn't corner the market on tourist attractions. Soon after Disney World's successful launch, Sea World built a park in the area, and later on, Universal Studios, and other attractions made their way to Orlando. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_1yi7rNIVsE/UNox7qnxkGI/AAAAAAAABgs/u8Vk6yMuCyI/s1600/010.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_1yi7rNIVsE/UNox7qnxkGI/AAAAAAAABgs/u8Vk6yMuCyI/s200/010.JPG" width="200" /></a></div>Famous Orlando natives include astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon during Apollo 16, actor Wesley Snipes, and Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Zach Greinke. <br /><br /><strong>Nearby Airport: </strong>Orlando International Airport is approximately 12 miles from the Amway Center. <br /><br /><strong>What To Do: </strong>Summing up what to do on a trip to Orlando in a hundred words or so is simply impossible. Literally, there is something for everyone in the greater Orlando/Kissimmee/St. Cloud area. I would contact the Orlando visitors bureau to make your "plan of attack". <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>Fortunately for visitors, the Amway Center is located on Church St, which is the home of the Church Street Station entertainment district. Church Street Station has a large list of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs to satisfy almost anyone. Before the game we attended, my friend Amber and I stopped into the Draft Global Beer Lounge, which was just across the street from the Amway Center box office. The Draft had a good sized beer selection and a large portfolio of top shelf liquors. While it was a little on the pricey side for my tastes, it wasn't too bad and is a good place to stop for a brew or grab a meal before the puck drops. For more information on Church Street Station, visit <a href="http://www.visitchurchstreet.com/">www.visitchurchstreet.com</a>. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UTFekKVc6BY/UNo01B8V8hI/AAAAAAAABjQ/lpdvHeLtGK0/s1600/007.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UTFekKVc6BY/UNo01B8V8hI/AAAAAAAABjQ/lpdvHeLtGK0/s200/007.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>If you're not able to find lodgings to your taste in Orlando, you're simply lazy or not looking hard enough. Every possible chain from economy to five star has&nbsp;a presence in the area. On this trip, my friend and I stayed at the Red Roof Inn on Orange Blossom Trail, a major throughfare in the area. This hotel, which was approximately ten minutes from the arena, had all the basic necessities, and was near more than a few restaurants and bars, and at $65.00 per night, was well within my financial parameters. For more information call (800) REDROOF or visit <a href="http://www.redroof.com/">www.redroof.com</a>. <br /><br /><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Solar Bears tickets are priced as follows: $49.00 (gold seats), $39.00 (center ice), $29.00 (lower corner), and $15.00 (behind the net). <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UFTDRLzfoWM/UNo3QU6F2PI/AAAAAAAABko/wU33hTZnmDg/s1600/005.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UFTDRLzfoWM/UNo3QU6F2PI/AAAAAAAABko/wU33hTZnmDg/s200/005.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Parking: </strong>There are several lots within a short walk of the Amway Center. For our visit, we parked in a moderately sized lot under I-4 just across the street from the arena. I was prepared to get hammered on parking, but I was pleasantly suprised when I saw the rate was $10.00. I'm sure, however, for Magic games and other "higher profile" events, the rate would probably be significantly higher. <br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>The main entrance and box office is on the Church St side of the building. After you get your tickets, you queue up&nbsp;along&nbsp;the street until you're allowed in.&nbsp;Normally, this may not seem to pleasant, but this is Florida. It was a very pleasant 70 degrees or so that evening, so waiting wasn't a big deal. After you enter the building, there are several escalators which will take you up to the concourse level. <br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>Our seats for this game were three or four rows from the top of the lower level on the corner, which is where I prefer to watch a hockey game. The view from there was very good, and the seats were very comfortable and had their own cup holder.<br /><br /><strong>Arena Food: </strong>As one might expect from a newly built arena, having enough concession stands with varied choices was a major design concern. Every few feet along the concourse there was a concession stand with names like "Slam Dunk" or "O-Town Grill". I would have thought that there would have been more choices on the menu, but what was available was fairly good. <br /><br />I sampled the arena's hot dog, and I found it to be rather tasty, despite being pre-made. The french fries weren't half bad, but could have been a little warmer. Amber had the Papa John's personal pan pizza, which I guess is salvagable at best. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9joMwJiE6dM/UNo9kK0YH9I/AAAAAAAABmA/MP6FHOtc__E/s1600/008.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9joMwJiE6dM/UNo9kK0YH9I/AAAAAAAABmA/MP6FHOtc__E/s200/008.JPG" width="200" /></a></div>The Amway Center does have a nice touch when it comes to soft drinks. A large drink costs $6.50, but the cup is refillable unlimited times at that night's game. <br /><br />There are several satellite stands serving Cold Stone ice cream, nachos, and beer. There was a carving station serving sandwiches in the concourse directly above our seats. There are also several restaurants and bars in the arena, but I'm not sure if they were open for our visit.<br /><br />Here is a sampling of the concession prices at Amway: <br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$4.25&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Hamburger (With Fries): </strong>$12.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos: </strong>$5.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer: </strong>$7.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel: </strong>$3.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Large Soda: </strong>$6.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Ice Cream: </strong>$6.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries: </strong>$5.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Personal Pizza: </strong>$8.75<br /><br /><strong>Soft Drinks: </strong>Pepsi products are poured at the Amway Center. <br /><br /><strong>ATMs: </strong>Fairwinds Credit Union ATM's are located in the main concourse.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fqrdKvEILOI/UNo-w9RXIRI/AAAAAAAABmM/B21N1n2fY3A/s1600/018.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fqrdKvEILOI/UNo-w9RXIRI/AAAAAAAABmM/B21N1n2fY3A/s200/018.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>There are several souvenir tables set up along the main concourse selling a large line of very attractive team merchandise. <br /><br /><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Numerous and quite clean, I found them to be a bit on the small side, however. <br /><br /><strong>Mascot: </strong>Shades, a large white bear, was a part of the team's promotions, but as far as I was aware, did not circulate in the stands at all. <br /><br /><strong>Dance Team: </strong>The Solar Bears' Ice Girls helped giving out promotional items, and did several routines during the game.<br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>This was the thing that irked me a little. The Solar Bears did not sell any kind of program, not even a roster card. In several arenas that I've been to that didn't sell programs, the majority of them had a roster&nbsp;sheet or game notes which fans could request. Not so at the Amway. I feel that having some kind of program helps educate the fans, making them more likely to "invest" more in the club.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-682ZzgoVOCo/UNpBg2Q1NKI/AAAAAAAABow/sfy7xPZSDPI/s1600/006.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-682ZzgoVOCo/UNpBg2Q1NKI/AAAAAAAABow/sfy7xPZSDPI/s200/006.JPG" width="150" /></a></div><strong>Scoreboard/Arena Voice: </strong>One of the largest I've ever seen, the scoreboard at the Amway provides just about as much information as a fan could need. The two level board includes an eight sided display on top, providing the Orlando roster and other graphics. The lower level has four crystal clear high-def video boards, providing the scores, pertinent game information, and live video. The PA and&nbsp;music are crystal clear&nbsp;as well, and are&nbsp;at an appropriate volume. <br /><br /><strong>Arena Staff: </strong>I didn't&nbsp;see a lot of "team"&nbsp;staff, but the building staff was quite helpful and accomodating. Amber&nbsp;and I had several&nbsp;"fans" who were obviously overserved and were becoming obnoxious. Between periods I spoke to a usher and his supervisor&nbsp;about this, and they&nbsp;were more than happy to re-seat us, and would keep an eye on the group. <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>People know hockey in Orlando, and the six thousand or so who attended the game were into the action, and were not afraid to show their displeasure with what can only be called a "lackluster" performance by the Bears, who lost 3-0.<br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>The Amway Center, simply put, is a world-class arena in a world-class city. While I really liked the old "O-rena", the new building puts the old one to shame. While price-wise, it's a little higher overall than you might think for minor league hockey, a Solar Bears game is definitely worth the time if you're in the land of the Mouse.HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-15084350360353744282012-12-01T18:13:00.002-05:002012-12-01T23:45:16.723-05:00Pennsylvania State Farm Show Equine Arena, Harrisburg PA<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Harrisburg Heat (Professional Arena Soccer League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Heat vs Cincinnati Kings-11/17/12<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.harrisburgheat.com/">www.harrisburgheat.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information:</strong> <a href="http://harrisburg-heat.ticketleap.com/">http://harrisburg-heat.ticketleap.com/</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(717) 231-7788 or <a href="http://www.visithersheyharrisburg.org/">www.visithersheyharrisburg.org</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts:&nbsp;</strong>WMSS-FM 91.1<strong>&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.wmssfm.com/">www.wmssfm.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Harrisburg Patriot <a href="http://www.pennlive.com/">www.pennlive.com</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-B7YOugcIcqc/ULqTJpKwGUI/AAAAAAAABX8/AA5duPRGa5Y/s1600/002.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-B7YOugcIcqc/ULqTJpKwGUI/AAAAAAAABX8/AA5duPRGa5Y/s200/002.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Team History: </strong>After a nine year hiatus, indoor soccer returned to Central Pennsylvania with the return of the Harrisburg Heat. The new club, announced in May, picks up the legacy of the club which played twelve mostly successful years in the NPSL and the second incarnation of the MISL. </div><br /><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>For indoor soccer, the Equine Arena has a capacity of 2,500.<br /><br /><strong>How About That&nbsp;Name (And Some History</strong>): The&nbsp;Equine Arena is one of the newest additions to the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex. The&nbsp;complex features five main buildings, the&nbsp;Large Arena (the home of the original Heat), the Sale Arena, the Main Hall, and the Expo Hall. The complex is used for over 200 events annually.<br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-d7URFTNo8qg/ULqUW-XEBcI/AAAAAAAABYM/i8YRaQ62yj8/s1600/008.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-d7URFTNo8qg/ULqUW-XEBcI/AAAAAAAABYM/i8YRaQ62yj8/s200/008.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Getting There</strong>: (From the Pennsylvania Turnpike).&nbsp;Exit the turnpike at&nbsp;I-81 north (Exit 226) towards Harrisburg. Take I-81 for 15 miles to the exit for US-22 east&nbsp;(exit 67A). Proceed to the exit for PA-230 east (Cameron St). Exit onto Cameron St, and the complex will be on the right.<br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>In addition to the Heat and the Farm Show, the Equine Arena is the home of the Harrisburg Stampede indoor football team. <br /><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>With a population of just over 49,000, Pennsylvania's capital city is the ninth largest city in the Commonwealth. Harrisburg is located in the south central part of the state, approximately three and a half hours from Pittsburgh and two and a half hours from Philadelphia.<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yyQigticr2o/ULqaoOCjsXI/AAAAAAAABZI/vxp7r289MYg/s1600/Harrisburg_PA_city_flag.gif" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="113" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yyQigticr2o/ULqaoOCjsXI/AAAAAAAABZI/vxp7r289MYg/s200/Harrisburg_PA_city_flag.gif" width="200" /></a>The area has been known to have been settled for over three thousand years by native Americans who called the area "Paxtang". The first&nbsp;European to&nbsp;explore the area came&nbsp;in 1608, when Englishman John Smith traveled up the Susquehanna River from Virginia. Smith met with the local tribes and established good relations. In 1719, John Harris, an English trader, settled in the area, and 14 years later, secured a land grant of 800 acres. In 1785, Harris' son, John, Jr., laid out a town on his father's land, which he named Harrisburg. In 1791, the town was incorporated, and in 1812, was named the state capital. <br /><br />With access to the Susquehanna River and good&nbsp;transportation between the major cities on either end of the state, Harrisburg became a major industrial center and trading post. It was this fact that made it a key target in Robert E. Lee's march northward during the&nbsp;Civil War. <br /><br />Not only was it a trading center, it was also a major departure point for Union soldiers. Lee wanted to originally take the city as part of his Maryland campaign in 1862, but was stopped at the battle of Antietam. A year later, Lee made another thrust northward a year later, this time being turned away at Gettysburg, some forty miles away. Lee's forces never came any farther north during the final two years of the war. <br /><br />On March 28, 1979, Harrisburg was thrust into the national spotlight when the nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island suffered a partial meltdown. The incident at the reactor, which was just south of downtown Harrisburg, caused minimal damage and leakage of radiation, nearly caused a evacuation of the area. <br /><br />Noted area natives include NFL&nbsp;stars Ricky Watters, LeSean McCoy, and Marques Colston, actress Nancy&nbsp;Culp, best known as Miss Hathaway on the sixties television classic "The Beverly Hillbillies", and Bobby Troup,&nbsp;known as Dr.&nbsp;Joe Early in the seventies television series "Emergency".<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-m4-KTC10Z2M/ULqd4xTNj3I/AAAAAAAABag/rN0LsBDMyow/s1600/020.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-m4-KTC10Z2M/ULqd4xTNj3I/AAAAAAAABag/rN0LsBDMyow/s200/020.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Nearby Airport: </strong>Harrisburg International Airport is located approximately nine miles southeast of the Farm Show Complex.<br /><br /><strong>What To Do: </strong>If you're a Civil War buff like me, the National Civil War Museum is a great way to spend the day if you're in the Harrisburg area. Located just east of the State Capital building in Reservoir Park, the Museum tells the story of the war that nearly tour the country apart in 1861. From Fort Sumter to Appamattox, the National Civil War Museum touches on all facets of the War Between the States. There are large exhibits on Civil War era medicine, the life of the common soldier, the effects of slavery, and the legendary generals and battles during that period. For more information, call (866) BLU-GRAY or visit <a href="http://www.nationalcivilwarmuseum.org/">www.nationalcivilwarmuseum.org</a>. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>There really isn't a lot in the immediate vicinity of the Farm Show, so it might be a better idea to eat near your lodging of choice. <br /><br />When I would travel to Harrisburg on a regular basis in the early and mid-nineties, one of my standard stops for lunch was Strawberry Square in downtown Harrisburg. Located in the Harrisburg Hilton, Strawberry Square had a good sized food court and a shopping area. I did stop there for lunch on this trip, where I found a fairly good pizza place (can't remember the name, though). Sadly, one of my favorite ice cream places, The Creamery, was out of business. I would always stop there for a truly amazing chocolate ice cream soda whenever I was in town .<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qc5nVRjmJKw/ULqg405BA9I/AAAAAAAABb4/drDB5jRq3iI/s1600/005.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qc5nVRjmJKw/ULqg405BA9I/AAAAAAAABb4/drDB5jRq3iI/s200/005.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>I used to spend a lot of time traveling to Heat games in Harrisburg during the nineties. It seemed like every other weekend, I rolling down the Pennsylvania Turnpike to catch my favorite team in action. On many of those trips, I made the Days Inn in New Cumberland my home base. A nice easy 15 minute drive to the Farm Show and just a strong nine iron from the turnpike and I-83, convenience was&nbsp;the main reason for staying at this Days Inn. I decided&nbsp;to make this a "retro" trip, and did just about everything like I would have when I made those legendary trips&nbsp;years ago, which included staying at the Days Inn. It's an older hotel, but still comfortable. The rooms were well maintained (except that they forgot to leave soap in my room), and for $72.00, it wasn't a bad deal. For more information, call (800) DAYSINN or&nbsp;visit <a href="http://www.daysinn.com/">www.daysinn.com</a>.<br /><br /><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Heat tickets are priced as follows: $20.00 (box seats), $15.00 (center), $12.00 (corners), $10.00 (goals), $8.00 (standing room). <br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>I do have a major issue here, as parking on the Farm Show grounds costs a ludicrous $8.00. Unfortunately, there really isn't any other choices parking-wise in the area, so you're stuck.<br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>There are two entrances to the Equine Arena, one of which is on the Cameron Street side of the arena, and another in the rear of the building. Both entrances have ticket sales areas. <br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>The majority of the seating in the Equine Arena are on either sideline, which has a total of approximately 1700 blue plastic seats. There are also box seat sections which surround the field and two large metal bleachers behind each goal. The intimate size of the building gives a good view of the action in all sections. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kmGMnY_z0UE/ULqlNa3A-CI/AAAAAAAABdQ/b7SI3-l53Mw/s1600/017.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kmGMnY_z0UE/ULqlNa3A-CI/AAAAAAAABdQ/b7SI3-l53Mw/s200/017.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Stadium Food: </strong>I hate to say it, but this is one area where the arena needs some work. The Equine Arena has two concession stands, one located under the stands under section A, and another in the seating area near the entrance near the Cameron Street atrium. The seating bowl concession stand had a very limited selection of concession items (hot dogs, pizza, soda, candy). In addition, there was no "menu board", so I couldn't get a read on the prices on the items sold upstairs. <br /><br />I had two hot dogs and a bottle of Pepsi, which cost a fairly agreeable $9.25. The hot dogs were made by a local outfit, Hatfield's. They were relatively tasty, served relatively warm, but I could tell they were pre-made, since they were served from a steamer on a somewhat mangled bun. <br /><br />On field level, there was a beer stand, serving local favorite Yuengling, as well as several other brands. <br /><br /><strong>Soft Drinks: </strong>Pepsi products are served at the Farm Show Complex. <br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oSbtOCN-2Wc/ULqm_yEq8FI/AAAAAAAABdc/T1YOdM_iJ-Y/s1600/019.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oSbtOCN-2Wc/ULqm_yEq8FI/AAAAAAAABdc/T1YOdM_iJ-Y/s200/019.JPG" width="150" /></a><br /><strong>ATM: </strong>I did not see an ATM at the Equine Arena. <br /><br /><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>A small souvenir booth is located in the concourse above the seating area. The team had a small line of merchandise available, but I was told more items would be coming. <br /><br /><strong>Restrooms: </strong>There are rest rooms located under the seating area near the concession stands and in the concourse in the atrium. Both were of a decent size, well stocked, and in good working order. <br /><br /><strong>Mascot: </strong>A large red and yellow beast of an unknown origin named "Boomer" paraded around the stands during the game. <br /><br /><strong>Dance Team: </strong>None<br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-C9iXgMVFcQg/ULqoklbO-VI/AAAAAAAABdk/sCa2Pi5dyLs/s1600/011.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-C9iXgMVFcQg/ULqoklbO-VI/AAAAAAAABdk/sCa2Pi5dyLs/s200/011.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Program: </strong>At $1.00, the Heat's program, "Game Night" is a good value. The full-color program gives updated information on the Heat and the visitors. <br /><br /><strong>Scoreboard/Arena Voice: </strong>The Equine Arena has a basic, center-hanging scoreboard which was recently purchased from the former home arena of the San Diego Sockers. The board gives the basic game information in an easy to read format. The acoustics of the arena are fairly good, and the music selection is good as well. The PA announcer needs a little work, as he was hard to understand at times.<br /><br /><strong>Arena Staff: </strong>Everyone I encountered was laid back, but fairly helpful.<br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>The eighteen hundred or so in attendance were happy to have indoor soccer back in town, and after warming up to the new team, became fairly responsive. <br /><br /><strong>Arena Features: </strong>A classy touch by the Heat management was naming each of the box seat sections after one of the "icons" of the history of the original team, which included Bob Lilley, Mark Pulisic, Richard Chinapoo, Danny Kelly, Todd Smith, and former team owner Rex Herbert. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>While I'm sure playing permanently at the Equine Arena isn't the "end game" for the Heat management, it's a good place to start. With just 2500 or so seats to fill, it's a good place to start rebuilding the tradition of indoor soccer in Harrisburg. HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-73632325614658032822012-10-23T11:14:00.000-04:002012-10-30T20:02:26.364-04:00Cambria County War Memorial Arena, Johnstown PA<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Johnstown Tomahawks (North American Hockey League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Tomahawks vs Soo Eagles-10/20/12<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.johnstowntomahawks.com/">www.johnstowntomahawks.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(814) 536-GOAL<br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 237-8590 or <a href="http://www.visitjohnstownpa.com/">www.visitjohnstownpa.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Johnstown Tribune-Democrat <a href="http://www.tribdem.com/">www.tribdem.com</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-c889E2a-XkA/UJBnN5-8xMI/AAAAAAAABWM/w-K1L3kkLfE/s1600/002.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-c889E2a-XkA/UJBnN5-8xMI/AAAAAAAABWM/w-K1L3kkLfE/s200/002.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Team Information: </strong>Two seasons after losing the ECHL's Chiefs, who moved to Creenville, SC, hockey returned to Johnstown in the NAHL's Johnstown Tomahawks. The NAHL is a "junior A" league which serves as a "showcase" league for players 16-19 years of age who are looking to go to the next level and play in college or the pros. </div><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>The War Memorial has a seating capacity for hockey of 4,001.<br /><br /><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>Opened in October 1950, the War Memorial has been the center of hockey in the area since the building opened it's doors. The building's first tenant was the Johnstown Jets, who played in the Eastern Hockey League and the North American Hockey League from 1950 through 1977. During the 1975 season, writer Nancy Dowd, who's brother Ned played for the Jets, wrote a screenplay based on the rough and tumble adventures of the team. In the screenplay, the Johnstown Jets became the Charlestown Chiefs, and Dowd's work eventually became the legendary movie "Slap Shot". Much of the movie was filmed at the War Memorial and in and around downtown Johnstown.<br /><br />The arena has also hosted many high school&nbsp;and college sports, and has hosted indoor football on two separate occasions.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Y1Wc63aRY2g/UJBnlTpklYI/AAAAAAAABWU/MiOSEGgWjeE/s1600/004.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Y1Wc63aRY2g/UJBnlTpklYI/AAAAAAAABWU/MiOSEGgWjeE/s200/004.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Getting There</strong>: (From the Pennsylvania Turnpike/I-76 eastbound):&nbsp;&nbsp;Take the turnpike to exit 58 (I-376/US22 Monroeville). Follow signs for US Route 22 East.&nbsp;Proceed east for approximately 50 miles&nbsp;into Johnstown. Exit onto PA-56 east into Johnstown for approximately ten miles.Turn left at the fourth traffic light after Point Stadium. The Conference Center is on the right hand side and the War Memorial is on the left hand side.<br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>The War Memorial is the home of several local and regional high school and college sporting events. <br /><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>The largest city in Cambria County, Johnstown has a population of just under twenty one thousand. The city is located in west central Pennsylvania, seventy miles east of Pittsburgh and forty miles west of Altoona. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bsIPa98LHhw/UIbUdG6bwHI/AAAAAAAABVA/pmb4qpylBWs/s1600/Jtown_blue.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; cssfloat: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" oea="true" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bsIPa98LHhw/UIbUdG6bwHI/AAAAAAAABVA/pmb4qpylBWs/s1600/Jtown_blue.png" /></a></div>Johnstown, which was originally settled in 1700, is probably best known for the eight major floods that have devastated the town. The "Great Flood" of 1899 occurred when the South Fork Dam collapsed after a hard rainstorm, sending water from the Conemaugh River crashing into the town. The flooding and subsequent fires cost over two thousand people their lives. Despite being declared "Flood Free" after work by the ArmyCorps of Engineers in the 1950's,&nbsp;another major flood in 1977 caused more extensive damage to the city, which was beginning to show signs of decline due to the reduction of steel production. <br /><br />Noted natives of the area include former congressman John Murtha, Cy Young Award winning pitcher Pete Vuckovich, Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham, and Ohio University football coach Frank Solich. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4T2YehS02vg/UJBoeVRTB8I/AAAAAAAABWc/ig6i-jICzZc/s1600/001.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4T2YehS02vg/UJBoeVRTB8I/AAAAAAAABWc/ig6i-jICzZc/s200/001.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Nearby Airport: </strong>While John Murtha-Cambria County Airport is the closest to Johnstown, the largest major airport is Pittsburgh International, approximately eighty miles from Johnstown.<br /><br /><strong>What To Do: </strong>While this trip did not avail me much time for sightseeing, there is a nice sized museum complex which features the Johnstown Flood Museum and the Pasquerilla Heritage Discovery Center. the complex, which is on the outskirts of downtown Johnstown, tells not only the story of the floods that have helped shape Johnstown, also tells the tales of the immigrants which came to the area seeking a better life. For more information, call (888) 222-1889 or visit <a href="http://www.jaha.org/">www.jaha.org</a>. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>To be honest, other than a Subway, there is nothing in terms of dining that I could see in the vicinity of the arena other than the Harrigan's Cafe in the Holiday Inn that I stayed at. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>The offical team hotel of the Tomahawaks is the Holiday Inn-Johnstown. Located a five minute walk from the War Memorial, the hotel has all of the standard amenities that one could want. The team does have a special rate of $79.00 per night, which was a little higher than I wanted to pay, but the simple convenience factor of being able to walk two blocks to and from the arena made the price a little more tolerable. While the rooms were quite nice and well supplied, the staff of the hotel left a little to be desired. For more information, call (814) 535-7777 or visit <a href="http://www.holidayinn.com/">www.holidayinn.com</a>. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Up5QofofB3I/UJBoxid-fOI/AAAAAAAABWo/lZ1NvdXvcJk/s1600/023.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a><br /></div><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Up5QofofB3I/UJBoxid-fOI/AAAAAAAABWo/lZ1NvdXvcJk/s1600/023.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Up5QofofB3I/UJBoxid-fOI/AAAAAAAABWo/lZ1NvdXvcJk/s200/023.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Tomahawks tickets are priced as follows: $12.00 (club and center ice), $10.00 (sideline), $8.00 (end zone), and $6.00 (all youth).<br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>I can't give this a grade, since I parked at the hotel for my stay. However, there is a public garage behind the Holiday Inn where I stayed, and a large surface lot just down Market St between the hotel and the arena. I'm not sure if those lots charge for games. <br /><br /><strong>Getting In:</strong> The main entrance and box office are located on the northeast corner of the building, at the intersection of Market and Napoleon streets. <br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>Since there are only four thousand seats in the building, you pretty much get a good view no matter where you are. A recent renovation of the arena replaced the old wooden slat seats with new plastic chairs. <br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-G1a_LTEXaGg/UJBpIybaExI/AAAAAAAABWw/xfmvl7duh4A/s1600/022.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-G1a_LTEXaGg/UJBpIybaExI/AAAAAAAABWw/xfmvl7duh4A/s200/022.JPG" width="200" /></a><br /><strong>Stadium Food: </strong>In an "old school" building like the War Memorial, concessions are "old school" as well. There are several concession stands in the main concourse, but the selection at all of them is your standard arena fare. As far as I was able to ascertain, there really wasn't a "signature" item sold at any of the stands. I was able to purchase two hot dogs, an order of french fries, and a large Pepsi for a very agreeable $9.75, but the food service staff was, sad to say, pretty clueless. I had to wait almost ten minutes for my hot dogs to be cooked, since there was no food ready when the gates opened. The guy who took my order handed me my boat of fries when I placed the order, but (with a rather glassy-eyed stare) told me it would "be a few minutes" for the hot dogs. Ten minutes later, he handed me the dogs, but the fries were ice cold. Fortunately, he replaced the fries, and without even a "sorry for the wait", walked off. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">In terms of taste, the dogs weren't half bad, as they were fresh, hot, and served on a fresh bun. However, the fries left a lot to be desired. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Here is a sampling of the concession prices at the War Memorial: </div><br /><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$2.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Hamburger:&nbsp;</strong>$4.50<strong>&nbsp; Personal Pizza (Domino's): </strong>$6.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos:&nbsp;</strong>$3.75<strong>&nbsp; Ice Cream:</strong> $2.50<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; French Fries: </strong>$3.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Draft Beer:&nbsp;</strong>$5.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Pretzel: </strong>$3.00<strong>&nbsp;</strong><br /><br /><strong>Soft Drinks</strong>: Pepsi products are served at the home of the Tomahawks.<br /><br /><strong>ATM</strong>: An AmeriServ&nbsp;ATM is available in the main concourse near the main entrance/box office.<br /><br /><strong>Souvenirs</strong>: A small souvenir counter is located in the main concourse near the entrance. This stand sells an average sized line of souvenir&nbsp;items.<br /><br /><strong>Restrooms</strong>:&nbsp;Restrooms are located liberally throughout the main concourse. While the facilities are&nbsp;a little on the archaic side, they are clean and well stocked. I did get a laugh out of the sign on the inside of the mens' room door which said "Stop! Did you wash your hands?".<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DEFb2gd4OiI/UJBpy1WlXOI/AAAAAAAABW4/UZPVbMMzImk/s1600/024.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DEFb2gd4OiI/UJBpy1WlXOI/AAAAAAAABW4/UZPVbMMzImk/s200/024.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Mascot</strong>: A large red bird&nbsp;named&nbsp;Chopper prowls the seating area during the&nbsp;game and in the concourse before and after.</div><br /><strong>Dance&nbsp;Team</strong>: None.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>A complimentary full-color program is handed out to all fans as they enter the building. The program is very informative, with info on the players, game articles, and features, and is apparently updated after every few games. <br /><br /><strong>Scoreboard/Arena Voice: </strong>The War Memorial has a small "old-school" scoreboard hanging over center ice, which only gives the basic game information. However, at the War Memorial, it&nbsp;works nicely, as a larger, more modern&nbsp;board with all the HD bells and whistles simply wouldn't fit. I do have to say that the building has great acoustics, and the public address announcer and the game music selections were clear as a bell. <br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UE0NeFNsH2c/UJBqJ8-5bNI/AAAAAAAABXA/GKFwDElUq38/s1600/005.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UE0NeFNsH2c/UJBqJ8-5bNI/AAAAAAAABXA/GKFwDElUq38/s200/005.JPG" width="200" /></a><br /><strong>Arena Staff: </strong>Didn't see a lot of them, but they seemed to be pretty much "on the ball". <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>It seemed pretty quiet in the War Memorial the game that I attended, but I have to chalk at least some of that up to the fact that night's game will be confused with the final game of the '73 Canada Cup or the US/USSR game in the 1980 Winter Olympics. The building started to get a bit more fired up as the game went on and got significantly chippier. <br /><br /><strong>Arena Features: </strong>In the arena, there is a small, yet well done Veterans Museum, which salutes the men and women from the area who served their country in the Armed Forces. While not particularly big in size, it definitely is worth a visit in between periods or before the game. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>The War Memorial in Johnstown is a definite throwback to that old fashioned "hockey&nbsp;barn" which is now being slowly phased out in favor of more modern multi-purpose arenas with the most up to date facilities. With the current state of the economy in Johnstown, I don't see that happening in the forseeable future, so you still have time to see what it was like to see a hockey game when it was the place to be in the fifties on a Saturday night. While Johnstown might not be a "travel destination", a visit to the War Memorial will definitely "get you into the spirit of the thing". HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-14217592547872093752012-09-12T14:17:00.002-04:002012-10-24T12:54:54.662-04:00Clipper Magazine Stadium, Lancaster PA<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Lancaster Barnstormers (Atlantic League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Barnstormers vs Southern Maryland Blue Crabs-9/2/12<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.lancasterbarnstormers.com/">www.lancasterbarnstormers.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(717) 509-HITS or <a href="http://www.lancasterbarnstormers.com/">www.lancasterbarnstormers.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 723-8824 or <a href="http://www.padutchcountry.com/">www.padutchcountry.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong>WLAN-AM 1390 <a href="http://www.1390wlan.com/">www.1390wlan.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Lancaster Intellegencer Journal <a href="http://www.lancasteronline.com/">www.lancasteronline.com<strong></strong></a><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZsXY5ZlAEkI/UFe8zej500I/AAAAAAAABTc/4YQwpQpQU54/s1600/111.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a><br /></div><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZsXY5ZlAEkI/UFe8zej500I/AAAAAAAABTc/4YQwpQpQU54/s1600/111.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZsXY5ZlAEkI/UFe8zej500I/AAAAAAAABTc/4YQwpQpQU54/s200/111.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Team Information:</strong> Members of the eight-team Atlantic League, the Lancaster Barnstormers have entertained the baseball fans of the area since joining the league in 2005. The arrival of the Barnstormers ended a 44 year baseball-less drought which started when the Lancaster Red Roses left the Eastern League after the 1961 season. The Barnstormers have won one league title, that being in 2006.<br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity:</strong> Clipper Magazine Stadium has a seating capacity of just over six thousand. <br /><br /><strong>How About That Name (And Some History):</strong> On May 11, 2005, the culmination of a sixteen year battle ended with the opening of Clipper Magazine Stadium. In 1987, the city, led by Mayor Dick Scott, began to support the idea of bringing professional baseball and a new ball park to Lancaster. The push slogged on until 2003, when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, along with prospective team owners Opening Day Partners, agreed to split the cost of the $20 million dollar park. After several sites were proposed and rejected, all parties agreed on a site on the city’s northeast side in an old industrial park. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-x2KCezXoBnw/UFe9INjtwKI/AAAAAAAABTo/Y35f1LP_OqQ/s1600/116.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-x2KCezXoBnw/UFe9INjtwKI/AAAAAAAABTo/Y35f1LP_OqQ/s200/116.JPG" width="200" /></a></div>The park is named for Clipper Magazine, a local publication that produces shopping circulars and advertisement mailings for clients in 26 states. <br /><br /><strong>Getting There:</strong> (from the Pennsylvania Turnpike/I-76 eastbound) Exit the turnpike at exit 247 (I-283 north). Take I-283 north to exit 1A (PA 283). Take PA 283 east for approximately 28 miles., exiting on Fruitville Pike. Take Chester Rd for a quarter mile, then make a slight right onto Fruitville Pike. Stay on Fruitville Pike, which turns into North Prince St. Follow to ballpark, which will be on your left. <br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants:</strong> Clipper Magazine Stadium has hosted concerts, professional soccer, and political rallies in it’s past, and in the winter, a small public skating rink is set up on the park’s infield. <br /><br /><strong>On The Town:</strong> Generally considered the “heart” of the Pennsylvania Dutch country, Lancaster is located in south central Pennsylvania, approximately thirty five miles southeast of Harrisburg, and approximately seventy miles west of Philadelphia. It is the seat of Lancaster County and has a population of 59,322, making it the eight largest city in Pennsylvania. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9UXceRa77JU/UFDS_KqNHcI/AAAAAAAABRM/hm0tMsQqDMk/s1600/600px-Lancaster_Pennsylvania_seal_svg.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; cssfloat: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" hea="true" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9UXceRa77JU/UFDS_KqNHcI/AAAAAAAABRM/hm0tMsQqDMk/s200/600px-Lancaster_Pennsylvania_seal_svg.png" width="200" /></a></div>What is now known as Lancaster was originally called Hickory Town, it was renamed Lancaster, after the town in England, by one John Wright. The town’s symbol, a red rose, is also that of the English House of Lancaster. It was part of the charter that was given to William Penn by the King of England, and was incorporated as a borough in 1742. <br /><br />Lancaster was, for one day anyway, the nation’s capital. In late September 1777, the British Army was on the verge of capturing Philadelphia, where the Continental Congress was in session. The members of Congress, fearing capture, escaped and on September 27th, met in session in Lancaster. The next day, the Congress moved again, this time farther inland, to the city of York, PA. <br /><br />In 1795, the first paved road in the United States opened as the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike, which is now part of US Route 30, which linked the two cities. <br /><br />The opening of the West also came through Lancaster, when in the early nineteenth century, Lancaster became famous for the Conestoga covered wagon and the Pennsylvania long rifle. Both were made in Lancaster, and were vital to the country’s “Manifest Destiny”.<br /><br />Famous natives of Lancaster include James Buchanan, the fifteenth president of the United States, nineteenth century congressman and abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens, and Robert Fulton, who built the world’s first fully functional steamboat. <br /><br /><strong>Nearby Airport:</strong> The closest major airport to Lancaster is Harrisburg International, a forty minute drive away. <br /><br /><strong>What To Do:</strong> As I had mentioned before, Lancaster is considered the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country, one of the top tourist destinations in the state. There are myriad things to do and places to see in the area, so I would check ahead with the local convention and visitors bureau for suggestions which fit your interest. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LRk2Gto6b5E/UFe9TAWNIQI/AAAAAAAABTw/nT4gF-OuE2c/s1600/114.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LRk2Gto6b5E/UFe9TAWNIQI/AAAAAAAABTw/nT4gF-OuE2c/s200/114.JPG" width="200" /></a></div>Linda and I spent a few hours before our visit to the Barnstormers a couple minutes north of town at the Strasburg Rail Road. Here you can take a short 45 minute ride up and down through the beautiful rolling farmland of the area in a lovingly restored steam engine. You can get a taste of what it was like riding in nineteenth century in the different cars. We decided to get the “Hobo Lunch” package which was served in the dining car. The lunch, which was served wrapped in a bandana like a hobo would carry his things in, included a sandwich, chips, beans, a home made chocolate chip cookie, and unlimited lemonade or iced tea. We selected the pulled pork barbecue sandwich, and it was simply outstanding. We both highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area. For more information, call (717) 687-7522 or visit www.strasburgrailroad.com. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game:</strong> Along Route 30, which runs in and out of Lancaster, there are myriad places to eat or all types, ranging from fast food to the traditional Amish-style “all you can eat” buffet meals. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay:</strong> We stayed in Harrisburg on this trip, so I really don’t have a recommendation here. Again, along Route 30 there are more than a few hotels and motels representing all the major chains. However, I have found that, being a major tourist area, hotels during the “season” are a little on the high side. <br /><br /><strong>Ticket Prices:</strong> Barnstormers ticket prices are as follows: $13.00 (dugout box), $11.00 (field box), $7.00 (adult lawn seating), and $6.00 (youth lawn seating).<br /><br /><strong>Parking:</strong> Parking is free at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The ballpark has three lots, one behind the main entrance, one behind the left field fence, and a third in right field. I wouldn’t recommend parking on the streets, since the neighborhood might not be one you’d want to walk around in after dark, but with free parking, why would you want to park anywhere else?<br /><br /><strong>Getting In:</strong> Clipper Magazine Stadium has four entrance points: one behind home plate, one each behind the first and third bases, and a fourth in center field. The home plate entrance also features the box office, the team office, and the Inside Corner souvenir store. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nLB-HKSfk2M/UFe-IAtFTEI/AAAAAAAABT4/xkhcxEgkMMk/s1600/120.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nLB-HKSfk2M/UFe-IAtFTEI/AAAAAAAABT4/xkhcxEgkMMk/s200/120.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>The Good Seats:</strong> The main seating bowl is of the traditional design, with seats starting behind first base, curving around home plate, and ending behind third. There is plenty of room to move around, with lawn seating along the third base line and in left and center fields. A covered picnic area occupies the area behind the right field fence. <br /><br />Two things that I really liked about the home of the ‘Stormers was that 1) the concourse allowed you to walk completely around the park without any detours, and 2) there was a single row of seats against the fence in front of the berm in left field. Those seats seemed like they would give a great view of the game, and if you’re into catching home run balls and/or berating the opposing outfielders, this would be the place for you. <br /><br /><strong>Stadium Food:</strong> Whoa! The Amish that live in the area are known for their tradition of setting a fine table, and Clipper Magazine Stadium is no exception. <br /><br />Along the main concourse there are two main stands, two of which serve the traditional ballpark food. Adjacent to those are two other stands which serve Lancaster-area favorites. Along the first base side is the Auntie Anne’s pretzel stand. Now anyone who has ever been at a shopping mall knows how good Auntie Anne’s are, so the ability to have that at the ballpark makes me smile. Along third base is the Pizza stand, which, ironically enough, was called Parma Pizza (for the uninitiated, Parma , OH is the world headquarters of The Sports Traveler). Also at this stand was the Carvery, which served assorted freshly trimmed meat platters. <br /><br />In left field there is a large barbecue stand operated a local company called Hess’s. I would have stopped there, but, sad to say, I was still stuffed from the lunch on the train!<br /><br />Linda sampled the ballpark hot dog (made by Kunzler’s), and this is what she said:<br /><br />“Although it wasn’t exactly a quarter pound dog, it was a good size. It had a good all-beef flavor, solid and spicy, grilled, and served hot. The bun was fresh and better than average tasting. It was much tastier than the $6.00 “jumbo” hot dog I had in Frederick the night before!”<br /><br />I decided to sample the ballpark pizza (after the Auntie Anne’s pretzel dog). As a native New Yorker, I had to say that I’m a pizza “snob”. I like my thin crust, and the Parma pizza didn’t disappoint! My pizza was freshly made, had a thin, well cooked crust, and was a decent size for $3.50. It could have had a bit thicker layer of toppings, but that wasn’t a deal breaker. <br /><br />Here is a selection of the concession prices at Clipper Magazine Stadium:<br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog:</strong> $3.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Hamburger:</strong> $5.25&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pizza Slice:</strong> $3.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos:</strong> $4.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Large Soda:</strong> $4.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Ice Cream:</strong> Various&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries:</strong> $3.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer:</strong> $4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel</strong> (Auntie Anne’s): $3.50<br /><br /><strong>Soft Drinks:</strong> Pepsi products are served at Clipper Magazine Stadium.<br /><br /><strong>ATM:</strong> A Fulton Bank ATM is located behind home plate near the souvenir store.<br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QtktdeXNC7g/UFe-helgm8I/AAAAAAAABUA/sJHPjmeinfo/s1600/125.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QtktdeXNC7g/UFe-helgm8I/AAAAAAAABUA/sJHPjmeinfo/s200/125.JPG" width="150" /></a><br /><strong>Souvenirs:</strong> Inside Corner, the ‘Stormers souvenir shop, is well designed and well stocked with team goodies. It is located just in the main concourse just to the left of home plate. <br /><br /><strong>Restrooms:</strong> Big, well supplied, and clean. I mean REALLY clean. I mean Disney World when it opens clean. <br /><br /><strong>Mascot:</strong> “Cylo”, a large red cow, is the Barnstormers’ mascot. <br /><br /><strong>Dance Team:</strong> None.<br /><br /><strong>Program:</strong> “First Pitch”, a nice sized full color program is presented free to all fans entering the stadium. <br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DJORz6BFSbY/UFe-uGgPICI/AAAAAAAABUI/1CAk9eD7iWE/s1600/115.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DJORz6BFSbY/UFe-uGgPICI/AAAAAAAABUI/1CAk9eD7iWE/s200/115.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Scoreboard/Stadium Voice:</strong> Clipper Magazine Stadium has two scoreboards. The larger one is above left center field, and is a good sized video board, which shows replays, player data, and advertisements. The game score is kept on a smaller screen mounted in the fence in right center field. This has all the pertinent game data, but in between innings, the score is changed to advertisements, which was kind of annoying. The PA and game music were both excellent. The gentleman behind the “stadium voice” had a great and enthusiastic delivery, and the music selection was first rate. <br /><br /><strong>Stadium Staff:</strong> Simply a bunch of nice people who always had a smile on their faces. A special thanks to team president Lisa Riggs for her warm hospitality and the lady in the customer service center (I didn’t get her name, unfortunately) who was more than happy to give me directions back to the highway and found out what station I could catch the end of the game on (she felt horrible that she didn’t know right away, but her friendliness more than made up for that). <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-A4d5yyp1aw8/UFe-4SZETII/AAAAAAAABUQ/0r5vDwGnJqY/s1600/124.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-A4d5yyp1aw8/UFe-4SZETII/AAAAAAAABUQ/0r5vDwGnJqY/s200/124.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Atmosphere:</strong> It seemed kind of flat since there was only fifteen hundred or so in attendance, but that I chalk up to a 6PM Sunday start and threatening skies (Lisa told me that they had a crowd of over six thousand the night before). <br /><br /><strong>Ballpark Features:</strong> In 2008, the club installed a pool with bumper boats and other items in right center field next to the picnic area. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating:</strong> Clipper Magazine Stadium is one of the nicest ballparks you can visit, and Linda and I couldn’t recommend it higher. HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-88129620381124961632012-09-11T13:32:00.002-04:002012-09-17T20:13:05.298-04:00Harry Grove Stadium, Frederick MD<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Frederick Keys (Carolina League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Keys vs Carolina Mudcats-9/1/2012<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.frederickkeys.com/">www.frederickkeys.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(301) 815-9939 or <a href="http://www.frederickkeys.com/">www.frederickkeys.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(301) 600-2888 or <a href="http://www.fredericktourism.org/">www.fredericktourism.org</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong>1450AM "The Source" <a href="http://www.thesourceradionetwork.org/">www.thesourceradionetwork.org</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Frederick Call-Post <a href="http://www.fredericknewspost.com/">www.fredericknewspost.com</a><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GQ9HqRCuP_4/UFe6jOHzr4I/AAAAAAAABSs/qBlcIRg1RNU/s1600/063.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a><br /></div><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GQ9HqRCuP_4/UFe6jOHzr4I/AAAAAAAABSs/qBlcIRg1RNU/s1600/063.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GQ9HqRCuP_4/UFe6jOHzr4I/AAAAAAAABSs/qBlcIRg1RNU/s200/063.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Team Information:</strong> Named after Francis Scott Key, the author of the Star Spangled Banner, the Keys have called Frederick home since 1989, when the Baltimore Orioles moved their “high-A” affiliate from Hagerstown. The team played one season at a small recreation park in 1989 until Harry Grove Stadium was opened in April 1990. The Keys have won the Carolina League championship four times: 1990, 2005, 2007, and 2011.<br /><br /><strong>Affiliation:</strong> The Keys are the Carolina League affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. <br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity:</strong> Harry Grove Stadium has a seating capacity of approximately 5,400.<br /><br /><strong>How About That Name (And Some History):</strong> Opened on April 19, 1990, the home of the Keys was named after Harry Grove, one of the founders of the Frederick Hustlers, a baseball team that played in the early to mid twentieth century. The Grove family also donated a quarter of a million dollars to help in the building of the project. From 2007 through 2009, Harry Grove Stadium underwent some major upgrades, which included a new playing field, new seating and field lighting, and a state-of-the-art scoreboard. The renovations also included bringing the park up to the most recent standards from the Americans with Disabilities Act. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wCIR6YO9sdY/UFe61JBGmlI/AAAAAAAABS0/Wa9ByMczqNM/s1600/076.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wCIR6YO9sdY/UFe61JBGmlI/AAAAAAAABS0/Wa9ByMczqNM/s200/076.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Getting There:</strong> (From I-70). Exit I-70 at US 40 (exit 54). Go north on US 40 for approximately a quarter mile and make a left onto Market St. Follow Market St for less than a quarter mile, then make a left onto New Design Rd. Take New Design Rd to Stadium Dr and make a right. There is parking on Stadium Dr and on New Design Rd. <br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants:</strong> None.<br /><br /><div style="border: currentColor;"><strong>On The Town:</strong> The city of Frederick is located in north central Maryland, fifty miles west of Baltimore and fifty miles northwest of Washington, DC. With a population of 66,000, Frederick is the second largest incorporated city in Maryland, after Baltimore. The city is located on I-70 which runs east to Baltimore and west into West Virginia, and I-270, which leads into the nation’s capital.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EPASSbcCjhw/UFDZcB5WmRI/AAAAAAAABR8/oIcmdQOkCok/s1600/1198-1-1555.gif" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; cssfloat: right; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" hea="true" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EPASSbcCjhw/UFDZcB5WmRI/AAAAAAAABR8/oIcmdQOkCok/s1600/1198-1-1555.gif" /></a></div><div style="border: currentColor;">No one is exactly sure how Frederick got its name. According to sources, the most likely answers were that it was named after Frederick Calvert (one of the proprietors of Maryland), Frederick, the Prince of Wales, or Prussian king Frederick “the Great”. Despite that, the town was originally designed by a land speculator in 1745. The first settlers in what is now Frederick were German immigrants, who set up a church and school, and this small town became a starting point for successive immigrant groups who moved onto the Shenandoah Valley and into North Carolina. </div>Frederick was a focal point in battles during the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the Civil War. During the revolution, British forces set up a fort, and garrisoned it with Prussian (Hessian) troops. After the revolution ended, the Hessians had no way to return to Germany, so they made their permanent homes in the area. During the Civil War, Frederick served as a major crossroads, and troops led by some of the war’s most noted generals, “Stonewall” Jackson, Jubal Early, and Lew Wallace passed through town on their way to battles in nearby Antietam, Monocacy, and Gettysburg.<br /><br />Francis Scott Key was born and raised in Frederick county, and is buried in Mount Olivet cemetery, which, ironically enough, is across the street from the ball park where his namesake baseball team plays.<br /><br />Other notable natives of Frederick include Barbara Fritchie, who as legend goes, waved a United States flag in defiance of Confederate general “Stonewall” Jackson during his march through Frederick, longtime NFL running back Chuck Foreman, and NBA basketball stars Fred Carter and Michael Beasley. <br /><br /><strong>Nearby Airport:</strong> The closest major airport is Baltimore-Washington International Airport, which is 51 miles southeast of Frederick.<br /><br /><strong>What To Do:</strong> Linda and I didn’t have a lot of time to sightsee on this trip, but if you’re a history buff like me, there are many Civil War and Revolutionary War sites in the immediate area of Frederick. I would contact the local convention and visitors bureau for more information. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-t4MEecjHxaI/UFe7IkrUJNI/AAAAAAAABS8/Cwkn4v9DvD0/s1600/072.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-t4MEecjHxaI/UFe7IkrUJNI/AAAAAAAABS8/Cwkn4v9DvD0/s200/072.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Where To Eat:</strong> I didn’t see a lot in the immediate area of the ballpark, so I would contact the convention and visitors bureau for suggestions. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay:</strong> On this trip, Linda and I stayed at the Comfort Inn just south of Frederick, and it was a good decision. The hotel, which is located less than ten minutes south of the ballpark, is easily accessible from I-270 and I-70. I found the hotel to be extremely neat and clean, with large, well furnished guest rooms, and for $89.00 per night for a double, was a good deal. The hotel features a fitness center, complimentary hot breakfast, and free wi-fi. For more information, call (800) 4-CHOICE or go to www.comfortinn.com. <br /><br /><strong>Ticket Prices:</strong> Keys tickets are priced as follows: $12.00 (field seating-level 100), $10.00 (reserved seating-level 200), $7.00 (youth reserved seating), $9.00 (general admission) and $6.00 (youth general admission). Note that there is a $2.00 increase in prices for tickets purchased on game day.<br /><br /><strong>Parking:</strong> As I had mentioned earlier, Harry Grove Stadium has two large lots, one behind the main grandstand and the other beyond left field. Parking is free in both lots. <br /><br /><strong>Getting In:</strong> The main entrance to Harry Grove Stadium is on the third base side of the park, just to the left of home plate. The box office is located next to the main entrance. <br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats:</strong> Harry Grove Stadium is designed in the traditional “V” or “wishbone” shape wish seating stretching from first base to third base. The main grandstand is a two level affair, with a good sized walkway dividing the upper and lower levels. The main concourse of the park is situated above the upper level of seating, which means you have a good view of the action even if you are waiting to get a hot dog or a beer. Seating is mostly of the plastic, flip-up kind with the exception of the “general admission” sections, which are metal bleachers. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ad-gh_D0rqM/UFe7rePlHMI/AAAAAAAABTE/bqVl9CpnRVw/s1600/078.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ad-gh_D0rqM/UFe7rePlHMI/AAAAAAAABTE/bqVl9CpnRVw/s200/078.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Stadium Food: </strong>Harry Grove Stadium has a very good selection of concession choices for a stadium of it's size. I sampled the park's signature hot dog, made by Philadelphia's Dietz and Watson. It was fairly tasty, but it could have been a bit warmer. However, the presentation of the hot dog was excellent, as it was served on a fresh, pristine bun and in it's own paper "sleeve". Linda sampled the crap dip and pretzel combo, which she said was quite good and filling. <br /><br />During the game, Linda and I sampled the "Double Play" Slushie, which was a combination of orange slush and vanilla ice cream. While it was quite refreshing on a steamy night, it was a bit too tart for my tastes, however, it was still pretty good. <br /><br />Concession stands are located all along the main concourse. Stands which serve the ballpark standards are located on the first and third base sides. Down past the main seating area on the first base side is an outdoor grill which serves Angus Beef hamburgers, sausages, and pulled pork sandwiches. Along the third base line is a stand which serves crab-themed concession items, and immediately adjacent is the Keys Creamery. <br /><br />Here is a sampling of some of the concession prices at Harry Grove Stadium: <br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Hamburger: </strong>$6.50&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer: </strong>$7.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel: </strong>$3.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Large Soda: </strong>$3.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Ice Cream: </strong>Various Prices&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries: </strong>$3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pizza Slice: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br /><strong>Soft Drinks: </strong>Pepsi and Pepsi products are the beverages of choice at Harry Grove Stadium. <br /><br /><strong>ATM: </strong>A Woodsford Bank ATM is located on the main concourse near home plate. <br /><br /><strong>Souvenirs:</strong> There is a small souvenir stand located on the first base side of the concourse, and just next to that is another small “hole in the wall” stand. This is an area I think needs some improvement, as the line of merchandise could have been larger, and it could have been organized a little better. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FML5Ni9Dvuw/UFe8OvBxPJI/AAAAAAAABTM/pwfQaK4_TiM/s1600/069.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FML5Ni9Dvuw/UFe8OvBxPJI/AAAAAAAABTM/pwfQaK4_TiM/s200/069.JPG" width="150" /></a></div><strong>Restrooms:</strong> Located on the first and third base side of the concourse, they are all clean, well stocked, and are of an appropriate size. <br /><br /><strong>Mascots:</strong> The main mascot is “Keyote”, which you may or may not assume, is a large, yet lovable wolf-like figure. He circles the stands throughout the game interacting with the fans. I was also told that the team has another mascot “Frank” Key, who only appears when the team needs a rally. Apparently Frank is affiliated with the local convention and visitors bureau, as one of the pages in the team’s program is dedicated to facts and places to visit in Frederick and features Frank. <br /><br /><strong>Dance Team:</strong> None.<br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>"Game Day Magazine" is free and given to fans upon their arrival at the park. <br /><br /><strong>Scoreboard/Stadium Voice:</strong> This is one of the areas where Harry Grove Stadium shines. The park features two large scoreboards; a game data board in right center, and a large video screen in left center. The right field board has a large line score display (including pitch speed), and a message area that shows the pitch count (a plus to the true baseball wonk, like me). The video screen is impressive in itself, featuring a crystal clear display. The team utilizes it to its fullest, which includes having a “movie night” when the team is out of town. The upcoming movie (the last of the season), is “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, whose trailer was played before the game. The PA was good and clean, and the music was good as well. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SiwA5sll7ns/UFe8ch1oc0I/AAAAAAAABTU/sk8Z8rYfO6Y/s1600/067.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SiwA5sll7ns/UFe8ch1oc0I/AAAAAAAABTU/sk8Z8rYfO6Y/s200/067.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Stadium Staff:</strong> Everyone was pleasant and helpful. <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere:</strong> The game we attended drew a crowd of almost seven thousand, despite weather that was threatening at best. The good crowd was probably due to the post-game fireworks show, a rehab start by Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel, and an appearance by Rudy Ruetteger, the undersized “no-hope” walk-on who made the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, and was the subject of the movie “Rudy”. I had the chance to chat with Rudy during the game, and he is definitely one of the nicest, humblest guys you will ever meet. I told him that after finding out that he was appearing at the game, I called to tell my mom and dad, who were big fans of the movie. He smiled and said “tell your mom and dad I said ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’”. A class act all the way. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating:</strong> Although Harry Grove Stadium is now in its third decade, it is still serves the people of Frederick well. It is clean, very easy to get to, well maintained, and is very fan-friendly. A visit to see the Keys is absolutely worth your time if you’re in the area.HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-78619950124670097692012-08-06T20:19:00.002-04:002012-08-12T17:19:45.281-04:00Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, State College PA<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>State College Spikes (New York-Penn League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Spikes vs Williamsport Crosscutters-7/21/2012<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.statecollegespikes.com/">www.statecollegespikes.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(814) 272-1711 or (877) 99-SPIKES<br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 358-5466 or <a href="http://www.visitpennstate.org/">www.visitpennstate.org</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong>WZWW-FM 95.3 <a href="http://www.3wz.com/">www.3wz.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Centre Daily Times <a href="http://www.centredaily.com/">www.centredaily.com</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-A_oOsk7UBZg/UCBfV1dPpHI/AAAAAAAABMQ/q2HdJX5d35A/s1600/025.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-A_oOsk7UBZg/UCBfV1dPpHI/AAAAAAAABMQ/q2HdJX5d35A/s200/025.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Team Information: </strong>One of the New York-Penn League's most successful teams at the gate, the State College Spikes have had an history that has taken them from one geographic end of the league to the other. The team got it's start in 1981, when they joined the NYPL as the Erie Cardinals, where they played until 1987, where they were sold and moved to Hamilton, ON. Their stop in Ontario was a short one, as they lasted just four years in Canada's steel capital. After a one-year stop in Glens Falls, NY, the Cardinals finally landed in Augusta, NJ where they played for eleven seasons as the New Jersey Cardinals. After the 2005 season, the Cardinals were sold to the ownership of the Altoona Curve, who moved them to State College, where they became the Spikes. During their five previous seasons in State College, the Spikes have never finished higher than third place.</div><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>Medlar Field at Lubrano Park has a listed seating capacity of 5,570.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-H_poDMUmge0/UCBf9O3ZX0I/AAAAAAAABMY/htw75SDVNbI/s1600/134.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-H_poDMUmge0/UCBf9O3ZX0I/AAAAAAAABMY/htw75SDVNbI/s200/134.JPG" width="150" /></a></div><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>Located in the shadow of legendary Beaver Stadium, the home of the Spikes opened for the 2006 Spikes season. The idea for the ballpark was that of Penn State alumnus Anthony Lubrano, who originally suggested upgrading the baseball facilities of the Nittany Lions in 1995. After recieving a $2.5 million donation from Lubrano, the owners of the Altoona Curve approached the college about bringing in a professional minor league team to share the new park with the Penn State baseball team. <br /><br />The naming rights to the park are shared with Lubrano and "Coach" Chuck Medlar, one of the athletic trainers at Penn State for 35 years, and served as the Lions' baseball coach from 1963 to 1981.<br /><br /><strong>Getting There (From I-80): </strong>Take I-80&nbsp;to I-99 South via Exit 161 toward US 322.Take US 322 toward Innovation Park / Penn State University. Merge onto Park Avenue and turn left onto Porter Road.<br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>Lubrano&nbsp;Park is also the home of the Penn State Nittany Lions baseball team.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dCRFqHsAyj4/UCWb5kcgY3I/AAAAAAAABNI/Ff-X41CGH-8/s1600/023.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dCRFqHsAyj4/UCWb5kcgY3I/AAAAAAAABNI/Ff-X41CGH-8/s200/023.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>On The Town: </strong>Located in central Pennsylvania, approximately three hours from Pittsburgh and four hours from Philadelphia, State College is best known as the home of Pennsylvania State University since 1853. State College is also known as "Happy Valley", a name that has been given to the area by sports commentators. </div><br />State College has a current population of just over 42,000, and is&nbsp;the largest township&nbsp;in Centre County. The town is served by two major highways, Interstate 99 and US Route 322. <br /><br />Mount Nittany is one of the area's most famous landmarks. With an elevation of over two thousand feet, it is one of the highest mountains in the state of Pennsylvania. <br /><br /><strong>Nearby Airport: </strong>University Park Airport, located about five miles from State College, services the area with commuter flights on US Airways, United Express, and Delta. <br /><br /><strong>What To Do: </strong>Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of time to explore the area around State College, so I would contact your hotel or the local visitors bureau for information. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>There are several fast food restaurants on South Atherton Street, where my hotel was located,&nbsp;and on the approach to the Penn State athletic facilities. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wogJbjz4zgw/UCWftDhLpcI/AAAAAAAABN4/MlMZK8-YiSs/s1600/017.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wogJbjz4zgw/UCWftDhLpcI/AAAAAAAABN4/MlMZK8-YiSs/s200/017.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Where To Stay</strong>: On this trip, I stayed at the team's official hotel, the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in State College. This hotel, which is located about ten minutes from the home of the Spikes, is an older, yet clean and comfortable facility, which&nbsp;I was able to get for the very attractive team rate of $64.00 per night. The hotel features all of the necessary creature comforts that a traveler would need.&nbsp;My only complaint was that the WI-FI connection wasn't the best. The hotel also features PJ Harrigans Bar and Grille on site, which has a&nbsp;fairly good menu of pub-style food. For more information, call (814)&nbsp;238-3001&nbsp;or visit their website at <a href="http://www.ramadasc.com/">www.ramadasc.com</a>. <br /><br /><strong>Ticket&nbsp;Prices:</strong> Spikes tickets are priced as follows: $12.00 (Diamond Club), $10.00 (field box), $8.00 (bullpen box), and $6.00 (outfield reserved). <br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>There is plentiful parking in the area around Lubrano Park. I parked in a lot just adjacent to the main parking area for the ballpark. It was a three minute walk from my car to the main entrance, and for $3.00, it wasn't a bad deal at all. <br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>There are two entrances to Lubrano Park, one on each side of home plate. The entrance on the first base side was the larger one, and seemed to be the "main" one. The first base entrance brought you into a large "courtyard" which housed the customer service area, the ticket booth, anf the "Off the Rack" merchandise store. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ny7fG_40PfY/UCWi2xPBJnI/AAAAAAAABOo/DsQD1xxcLPg/s1600/037.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ny7fG_40PfY/UCWi2xPBJnI/AAAAAAAABOo/DsQD1xxcLPg/s200/037.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>The main grandstand at Lubrano Park extends from halfway down the left field line around home plate to approximately the same position along the right field line. There are two good sized party decks which extend from the end of the seating bowl to each foul pole. There is also a small bleacher section above the right field fence which gives an excellent view of the entire field. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><b><span style="color: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Stadium Food: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">The Spikes have a very good concession set up with a fairly diverse line up of ballpark munchies at fairly agreeable prices. Along the main concourse, there are the two largest concession stands, each called Flashpoint Grilles. Both of these stands sell your standard ballpark fare. The stand on the first base side also sells Jersey Mike's sub sandwiches (I wish I had seen THAT sooner!). Directly behind home plate there are smaller stands, one selling popcorn, another called Nachoville sells Mexican Specialties, and the third, Smokie's Sausage Shack, sells foot long hot dogs <span style="font-family: inherit;">and Italian and Polish Sausages. And, i</span></span></span><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 10pt; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;">f that wasn't enogh, down the third base line, the team has a Steakadelphia stand, which as you might expect, sells cheesesteaks, and at the extreme end of the stand is Franx, the hot dog stand which I raved about in my May review from Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing, MI. Down the first base side, the park boasts Sweet, which sells candy and ice cream, and Burgertopia and Good Hops, which sells gourmet hamburgets and microbrewed beers.</span> </span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-US;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">I sampled the ballpark hot dog, which is made by Philadelphia's Dietz and Watson. It was served fairly warm and on a fresh bun. For $3.25, I don't think it was too out of the way price-wise. I also sampled the ice cream at the Sweet stand along the right field line. The ice cream was made at the Berkey Creamery, which is a well known establishment on the Penn State campus. Berkey has been featured on several shows broadcast on the Travel Channel.</span></span></o:p></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-US;"><span style="color: black; font-family: Times New Roman;"> </span></span></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">Here is a sampling of the concession prices at Lubrano Park:</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$3.25&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Cheeseburger: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos: </strong>$4.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer: </strong>$6.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel: </strong>$3.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Large Soda: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Ice Cream: </strong>$3.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries: </strong>$3.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pizza Slice: </strong>$3.50</span><strong></strong></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><br /><strong>Soft Drinks:</strong> The home of the Spikes serves Pepsi products. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>ATM:</strong> A Nittany Bank ATM is located inside the Off the Rack souvenir store.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Souvenirs:</strong> “Off the Rack” is a fairly large and well stocked souvenir store located on the main concourse near the main entrance. The team also has a smaller stand located on the third base side of the concourse. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Restrooms:</strong> Located liberally throughout Lubrano Park, they are all clean and in good working order. </div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7pe1hwOYuIA/UCgdFRc9VXI/AAAAAAAABQM/ARdBZmlFPTE/s1600/020.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7pe1hwOYuIA/UCgdFRc9VXI/AAAAAAAABQM/ARdBZmlFPTE/s200/020.JPG" width="150" /></a></div><strong>Mascots:</strong> The Spikes have three mascots who make their way around the park. The first two are Ike the Spike (a large friendly deer) and the Nookie Monster (a furry blue beast who appears from a hole in the outfield fence called “the Nook” after each Spikes’ run). <br /><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">The third and probably the most popular is Bob the Baseball Dog. A four year old yellow Labrador, Bob spends much of his time in the Spikes’ office, except on game days, where he and his handler walk around the fans getting pets, treats, and hugs from the fans. <br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><br /><strong>Dance Team:</strong> None<o:p></o:p></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Program:</strong> “Spikes Illustrated”, a small format, full color program which is updated for each home stand, is free to all fans entering the park.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0mgocPaotts/UCgdakU8PvI/AAAAAAAABQU/DqqaRDzbgLU/s1600/138.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0mgocPaotts/UCgdakU8PvI/AAAAAAAABQU/DqqaRDzbgLU/s200/138.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Scoreboard/Stadium Voice:</strong> The Spikes have a large scoreboard/video screen located in left field. The scoreboard has a large area which shows the linescore and pertinent game information, a small message center, and a large high definition video board. The video board gets a good amount of use, showing film clips, player data, and advertisements as well as upcoming game information. The public address system is good, with a solid announcer and good choices for game music. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Stadium Staff:</strong> It must be something about folks who work at the ballparks in central Pennsylvania…everyone I’ve encountered at those parks have been just plain pleasant and very helpful, and State College is no exception. Even when I was taking a break and sitting in the exclusive “Rail King” seats, the usher who asked to see my ticket was very genial and almost apologetic when he told me that I would have to move. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>Atmosphere:</strong> Quite good. The Spikes game I attended, which had the home team facing their Keystone State rivals the Williamsport Crosscutters, drew a season–high crowd of 5,106. It was a very lively and enthusiastic gathering, which no-doubt helped the Spikes to a win. </div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aTxdILoLbTA/UCgdwM-PwbI/AAAAAAAABQc/3AbQLA_pG0c/s1600/035.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aTxdILoLbTA/UCgdwM-PwbI/AAAAAAAABQc/3AbQLA_pG0c/s200/035.JPG" width="150" /></a></div><strong>Ballpark Features:</strong> The dimensions and fences at Lubrano Park are virtually identical to those at PNC Park, the home of the Spikes’ “big club”, the Pittsburgh Pirates. The only exception is the height of the right field fence. In Pittsburgh, the fence is 21 feet high, which honors the legendary Roberto Clemente, who wore number 21. In State College, the right field fence is exactly 18.55 feet high, which honors the opening of what is now Penn State, who opened their doors in 1855.<br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><br /><strong>Overall Rating:</strong> My rating is simple. Medlar Field at Lubrano Park is a gorgeous ballpark in a gorgeous setting. You can’t beat it. It’s a great place to spend a summer evening.&nbsp;<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></div>HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-46048731870238347912012-07-17T20:31:00.003-04:002012-07-18T20:13:55.119-04:00Pullman Park, Butler PA<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Butler Blue Sox (Prospect League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Blue Sox vs Lorain County Ironmen-7/7/2012<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.butlerbluesox.net/">www.butlerbluesox.net</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(724) 256-9994 or <a href="http://www.butlerbluesox.net/">www.butlerbluesox.net</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(866) 856-8444 or <a href="http://www.visitbutlercounty.com/">www.visitbutlercounty.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong>WBUT-AM 1050 <a href="http://www.wbut.com/">www.wbut.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Butler Eagle <a href="http://www.butlereagle.com/">www.butlereagle.com</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-J9cPKmgxgvE/UAYJrebGRXI/AAAAAAAABJM/Z2rd8O0N1qg/s1600/001.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-J9cPKmgxgvE/UAYJrebGRXI/AAAAAAAABJM/Z2rd8O0N1qg/s200/001.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Team Information: </strong>The Blue Sox were founded in 2006 as the Washington (PA) Blue Sox, where they played in the Tri-State Collegiate Baseball League. The club, which was founded by Pennsylvania state representative Leo Trich, Jr, played their home games at CONSOL Energy Park, which&nbsp;they shared with the Frontier League's Washington Wild Things. After the 2008 campaign,&nbsp;Trich moved the team an hour to the north to Butler, and joined the new Prospect League, a&nbsp;league which was developed for&nbsp;college players who wanted to play in the summer,&nbsp;yet keep their eligibility. In 2011, Trich sold his stake in the team to local businessmen, which included former Marlin, Cub, and Red Sox pitcher Matt Clement, who is a native of Butler. </div><br /><strong>Seating Capacity: </strong>Pullman Park has a seating capacity of 1,400. <br /><br /><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>Pullman Park originally opened in 1934, and was built by the Standard Steel Car Company. The park was named Pullman Park, in honor of the well known railroad car that Standard Steel Car produced in Butler. The park was&nbsp;used&nbsp;by several different minor league clubs representing the&nbsp;New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates,&nbsp;and Detroit Tigers&nbsp;during the thirties through the fifties. Names like Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Lou Gehrig, and George Selkirk all having played&nbsp;in Butler during Pullman Park's heydey. <br /><br />The majors left Butler after the 1950's, but the park was still used by local high school and amateur teams. However, by the 21st century came about, the&nbsp;park fell into disrepair, and closed in 2004. Happily, just before the park closed, a local committee came together in order to find a way to save Pullman Park. In 2007, the funding was obtained, and a&nbsp;completely new stadium was built on the site of the old park, and on July 2nd,&nbsp;2008, a national television audience hepled reopen Pullman Park with a boxing card that was broadcast on ESPN2. <br /><br /><strong>Getting There: (from the Pennsylvania Turnpike): </strong>Exit at I-79/US-19 north-Cranberry (Exit&nbsp;29). Make a left onto US-19, and go approximately a mile to US-62 north. Take for approximately 40 miles, then turn onto PA-8 north.&nbsp;Take PA-8 north&nbsp;into Butler, then turn left onto Hansen Ave.&nbsp;Take Hansen to&nbsp;Pillow St, where you make a right. Follow through two stop&nbsp;signs and the park will be on your right side.&nbsp;<strong>&nbsp;</strong><br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>Pullman Park is also the home of the Butler High School Golden Tornado baseball&nbsp;team. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-q0S1e3KJS-8/UAdGj7I02LI/AAAAAAAABJ8/3SQxU8kDS78/s1600/image002.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-q0S1e3KJS-8/UAdGj7I02LI/AAAAAAAABJ8/3SQxU8kDS78/s200/image002.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><strong>On The Town: </strong>Located 35 miles north of Pittsburgh, Butler is the seat of county seat of Butler County. The town has a population of just under fourteen thousand.<br /><br />The town was originally settled by two brothers, John and Samuel Cunningham, who came to the area in 1803. The small settlement grew, and in 1817 was incorporated into the town of Butler. It was named for Major General Richard Butler, who was killed at the Battle of the Wabash in western Ohio in 1791. He died of a tomahawk blow to the head from a warrior of the Miami tribe during an uprising.<br /><br />During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Butler became known as a manufacturing center. In 1902, the Standard Steel Car Company, led by financier "Diamond" Jim Brady started building railroad cars in Butler. In 1935, Standard merged with Pullman Palace Car Company, and the famous Pullman&nbsp;railroad car was born. <br /><br />Well known Butler natives include former Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Terry Hanratty, Poison lead singer Bret Michaels, and&nbsp;the late John Minton, who was known to aficionados of professional wrestling&nbsp;as Big John Studd. <br /><br /><strong>Nearby Airport: </strong>Pittsburgh International Airport is located approximately 50 miles south of Butler. <br /><br /><strong>What To Do: </strong>This was another "in and outer" for me, so I would contact the local visitors bureau for more information. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gZUTyTp_3-A/UAdILm2M2MI/AAAAAAAABKE/WxBFxFsrYm8/s1600/005.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gZUTyTp_3-A/UAdILm2M2MI/AAAAAAAABKE/WxBFxFsrYm8/s200/005.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>There wasn't a whole lot in the immediate vicinity of the ballpark, so I would check with your lodging choice or the visitors bureau for suggestions. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>Linda and I stayed at the Red Roof Inn in Cranberry, approximately half an hour from Butler. There were several chain hotels along US-19 in Cranberry at all different prices. However, if you want to stay closer to Butler, I would recommend contacting the Blue Sox or the visitors bureau for their suggestions. The Blue Sox's program has an advertisement for a local Days Inn, so that might be a choice if you want to stay close to the park. <br /><br /><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Blue Sox ticket prices are as follows: $7.00&nbsp;(reserved), $6.00 (field level), and $5.00 (general admission). <br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>Parking was free at the stadium lot, a medium sized lot on the park property. This might be your olny&nbsp;"close by" alternative, as I'm not sure&nbsp;if street parking is allowed near&nbsp;Pullman Park. <br /><br /><strong>Getting In</strong>: The only entrance to the park is behind home plate. To the immediate right of the main entrance is the ticket window and the team's souvenir store. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tTqPSDnZp2s/UAdMuy5SFQI/AAAAAAAABKw/WKcK2ZRBFSc/s1600/010.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tTqPSDnZp2s/UAdMuy5SFQI/AAAAAAAABKw/WKcK2ZRBFSc/s200/010.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>With a capacity of just 1,400, every seat at Pullman Park has you right on top of the action. The five sections immediately behind home plate feature chairback seating, while the remainder of the seating is of the bleacher variety. The upper bleacher sections are under cover, and some shade is provided by the press box (this was important as the temperature at the 6:30 first pitch was somewhere between 95 and 100 degrees!). <br /><br /><strong>Stadium Food: </strong>There is one appropriately sized concession stand under the main concourse. While there wasn't a huge menu, what was served was surprisingly good and at a very good price. For our pregame meal, Linda and I (between the two of us, naturally), ordered&nbsp;three hot dogs (with&nbsp;fries and a bottle of soda),&nbsp;a cheeseburger meal (also with fries and a bottle of soda) for a grand total of $17.00. which to me was a definite bargain. I will let Linda describe our food experience: <br /><br />"The hot dog was of an excellent quality, and when I bit into it, my glasses actually steamed up! The dog was grilled, very tasty,&nbsp;and served on a fresh bun. It might have been one of the best $2.50 hot dogs I've had. The cheeseburger was of an equal quality-freshly made, decent sized, and it was served hot and on a fresh bun."<br /><br />The team promoted their meal deals, which came with a large serving of french fries and a bottle of soda: Hot Dog-$6.50, Hamburger-$7.50, and Cheeseburger-$8.50. <br /><br />Here is a selection of concession prices at Pullman Park:<br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$2.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Hamburger: </strong>$3.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Bottled Soda: </strong>$3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Ice Cream: </strong>Various Prices&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries: </strong>$3.00<br /><br /><strong>Soft Drinks: </strong>Coke products are served at Pullman Park.<br /><br /><strong>ATM: </strong>I did not see an ATM at the ballpark. <br /><br /><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>The Blue Sox have a small souvenir store located on the first base side of the ballpark between the main entrance and the concession stand. This enclosed (and AIR CONDITIONED) store had a nice sized line of Blue Sox and Pullman Park merchandise. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zMxUlKmsASo/UAdOHD0e28I/AAAAAAAABK4/_48NDtWgQB8/s1600/013.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zMxUlKmsASo/UAdOHD0e28I/AAAAAAAABK4/_48NDtWgQB8/s200/013.JPG" width="150" /></a></div><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Located on the third base side of the main entrance, they are fairly clean and well stocked. <br /><br /><strong>Mascot: </strong>Babe the Blue Sox Ox spent much of the evening strolling around the park making friends and participating in contests. I'm sure that he would have been a lot more active if it wasn't so hot and humid!<br /><br /><strong>Dance Team: </strong>None<br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>The Sox sell a small format program, which has the updated rosters inside for $1.00<br /><br /><strong>Scoreboard: </strong>Pullman Park has a small, unpretentious scoreboard located in deep right center, which tells just the basic information. The public address announcer was very good, and they played a good mix of music. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BwW1uzYPllA/UAdRLsmwcWI/AAAAAAAABLk/pH24F_BtL_E/s1600/006.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BwW1uzYPllA/UAdRLsmwcWI/AAAAAAAABLk/pH24F_BtL_E/s200/006.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Stadium Staff: </strong>Extremely pleasant. Despite the oppressive heat and humidity, everyone had a smile on their face and a welcoming and friendly attitude. Before the game, I noticed one gentleman was walking about the stands with what looked like a weed sprayer, giving anyone who wanted it a quick <em>schpritz. </em>Hoping that it wasn't Black Flag weed-be-gone, I requested a shot, which turned out to be a refreshing spray of cool water. It turned out that the gentleman was one of the team's owners! <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>Again, the heat kind of kept a damper on things early on. However, the thousand or so in attendance started stirring in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Blue Sox were trailing 10-2 going into the frame, but then engineered one of the most ridiculous comebacks I've ever seen at a baseball game, hanging a combined 19 runs on the visitors from&nbsp;Lorain County in their halves of the sixth and seventh innings. The fans&nbsp;who I spoke to were very friendly and outgoing, and always willing to talk a little baseball. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>Simply put, Pullman Park is small-town baseball at it's finest, and one that any baseball fan should visit. Once you visit Butler, I'm sure you will embrace it as Linda and I did. While the park is new, it still has the vestages of&nbsp;a time when&nbsp;every small town with a traffic light&nbsp;and a bus station had a ball team. While the year is 2012, it was easy to see what it would have been like in the halcyon days of the lower minors in the 1940's. <br /><br /><br />HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-16075390333844192862012-06-30T20:17:00.000-04:002012-06-30T20:44:25.004-04:00VA Memorial Stadium, Chillicothe OH<b><span style="color: red; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Basic Information</span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><br /></span><b><span style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Team: </span></b><span style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Chillicothe Paints (Prospect League)</span><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><br /><b>Game: </b>Paints vs Lorain County Ironmen-6/16/2012<br /><b>Team Website: </b><a href="http://www.chillicothepaints.com/"><span style="color: #336699;">www.chillicothepaints.com</span></a><br /><b>Ticket Information: </b>(740) 773-TEAM or <a href="http://www.chillicothepaints.com/"><span style="color: #336699;">www.chillicothepaints.com</span></a><br /><b>Tourism Information: </b>(800) 413-4118 or <a href="http://www.visitchillicotheohio.com/"><span style="color: #336699;">www.visitchillicotheohio.com</span></a><br /><b>Online Broadcasts: </b><a href="http://www.chillicothepaints.com/"><span style="color: #336699;">www.chillicothepaints.com</span></a><br /><b>Local Newspaper: </b>Chillicothe Gazette <a href="http://www.chillicothegazette.com/"><span style="color: #336699;">www.chillicothegazette.com</span></a><o:p></o:p></span><br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-074tx8cTT0E/T--YF6imddI/AAAAAAAABHo/FKtooToXs30/s1600/001.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a></div><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-074tx8cTT0E/T--YF6imddI/AAAAAAAABHo/FKtooToXs30/s1600/001.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-074tx8cTT0E/T--YF6imddI/AAAAAAAABHo/FKtooToXs30/s200/001.JPG" width="200" /></a><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Team Information: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">One of the charter franchises in the Frontier League, the Chillicothe Paints are in their twentieth season of play. Starting in 1993, the Paints were one of the cornerstone franchises of the league, and when they moved to the college wood bat Prospect League, they were the last of the Frontier League's charter franchise in their original city. The Paints made the FL playoffs on six occasions, and kept up that level of excellence in the Prospect League, winning the league's title in 2010.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Seating Capacity: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">VA Memorial Stadium has a capacity of approximately 3000.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-u27Wih1imKY/T--YToGZCPI/AAAAAAAABHw/-2PMrvBLgWo/s1600/013.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-u27Wih1imKY/T--YToGZCPI/AAAAAAAABHw/-2PMrvBLgWo/s200/013.JPG" width="200" /></a><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">How About That Name (And Some History</span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">): Located on the grounds of the Veterans Administration Hospital, VA Memorial Stadium is located three miles north of downtown Chillicothe. Having been built with funding from the Blue Star Mothers of America, the stadium was originally used for softball games between patients at the hospital. In 1993, in time for the inaugural season of the Paints, the stadium was completely renovated. In 2006, the park underwent additional renovations, which included a new Field Turf playing surface. <br /><br /><b>Other Tenants</b>: VA Memorial Stadium hosts a myriad of other local events, including high school baseball, softball, soccer, and football. From 2008 until last year, the park was the home of the Mid American Conference's baseball tournament.<br /><br /><b>Getting There: </b>From Columbus, take US-23 south for 23 miles, exiting onto Ohio Rt 207. Take Rt 207 for approximately three miles, then turn right into the VA Hospital complex. Go for approximately a half mile and the ballpark and parking will be on your left. <br /><br /><b>On The Town: </b>Located in the lush green farmlands of south central Ohio, Chillicothe is a town with a population of 22,000 as of the most recent census. <br /><br />Chillicothe does not have direct service from any major interstate highways, but it is within an hour's drive from I-71 and I-75.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qrk94a_zRNM/T--YgJd-XtI/AAAAAAAABH4/2aFmcYwdaxk/s1600/chillicothe+logo.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qrk94a_zRNM/T--YgJd-XtI/AAAAAAAABH4/2aFmcYwdaxk/s1600/chillicothe+logo.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qrk94a_zRNM/T--YgJd-XtI/AAAAAAAABH4/2aFmcYwdaxk/s1600/chillicothe+logo.jpg" /></a><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">What is now known as the town of Chillicothe was inhabited two thousand years ago by early Native American tribes. These groups built settlements and burial mounds throughout the Ohio and Scioto river valleys. These tribes, which included the Shawnees had the area unto themselves until after the Revolutionary War, when Europeans started moving from the Atlantic coast in search of good farming land. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Chillicothe was the state capital of Ohio from the granting of statehood in 1803 until 1810, when it was moved to Zanesville. In 1812, the capital moved back to Chillicothe, where it stood until 1816 when it was moved to the more centrally located Columbus. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Three Ohio governors (Edward Tiffin, Thomas Worthington, and Duncan McArthur) were born in Chillicothe, as well as noted jazz singer Nancy Wilson.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Nearby Airport: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">The closest major airport to Chillicothe is Port Columbus International Airport, which is approximately 50 miles northeast of Chillicothe.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">What To Do: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Although I didn't get the chance to actually attend this, it sounded interesting to me, being a history buff. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Chillicothe is the home of an outdoor historical drama "Tecumseh", which is based upon the life of the legendary Shawnee chief. According to the informational brochure, the drama, which has been done for the past forty years, features horses, cannon fire, stunts, and "dazzling battle scenes". For more information, call (866) 775-0700 or visit <a href="http://www.tecumsehdrama.com/"><span style="color: #336699;">www.tecumsehdrama.com</span></a>. </span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TOG7WDpktb4/T--YzO8JR3I/AAAAAAAABIA/P3OGhuY9P8k/s1600/002.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a></div><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TOG7WDpktb4/T--YzO8JR3I/AAAAAAAABIA/P3OGhuY9P8k/s1600/002.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TOG7WDpktb4/T--YzO8JR3I/AAAAAAAABIA/P3OGhuY9P8k/s200/002.JPG" width="200" /></a><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Where To Eat: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Food wise, there was nothing in the immediate area of the ballpark. I would suggest checking with the local convention and visitors bureau or hotel if you're staying locally for more information.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Where To Stay: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">On this trip I stayed in Columbus (which turned out to be not such a good idea). However, the Paints do have a preferred hotel in town, which is the Comfort Inn in Chillicothe. The hotel provides a complimentary breakfast, an outdoor swimming pool, and an on-site bar and restaurant. For more information, call (800) 542-7919. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Ticket Prices: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Paints tickets are priced as follows: $6.00 (general admission), $5.00 (senior citizens and chidren 4-12). <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Parking: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">There is a fairly good sized lot right next to the stadium. Parking in this lot is free.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Getting In</span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">: The main entrance to the park is located on the third base side of the grandstand. The box office is also located at this entrance. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m712Ne6dsRk/T--ZHIZC4KI/AAAAAAAABII/xVKwFmb1bZk/s1600/008.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a></div><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m712Ne6dsRk/T--ZHIZC4KI/AAAAAAAABII/xVKwFmb1bZk/s1600/008.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m712Ne6dsRk/T--ZHIZC4KI/AAAAAAAABII/xVKwFmb1bZk/s200/008.JPG" width="200" /></a><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">The Good Seats</span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">: The main grandstand of VA Memorial Stadium runs from first base to third base and has fourteen rows. The front seven rows consists of bleachers with backs, and the rear seven rows are bleachers without backs. The entire main grandstand is under cover. There is also a small bleacher section down the right field line, and a small bleacher section and a large picnic/party area down the left field line. <o:p></o:p></span><br /><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Stadium Food: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">VA Memorial Stadium has two major points of sale for their food concessions. The first is right behind home plate under the main grandstand and sells the ballpark basics. While the selection probably won't exactly knock your socks off, the price will definitely make you smile. For my meal, I had two hot dogs, a bag of Herr's potato chips, and a bottle of Pepsi, which cost a very pleasant $7.00. The meal also included a free pickle spear. The quality was pretty good, the hot dogs were made fresh, served fairly warm, and were relatively tasty. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Next to this concession stand, there is a small cart which sells funnel cakes and other sweets. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">There is another concession stand next to the picnic area which has a large grill for fresh made hot dogs and hamburgers.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Here is a sample of the pricing for the food at the home of the Paints: <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Hot Dog: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">$2.00 <b>Cheeseburger: </b>$3.50 <b>Nachos: </b>$3.75 <b>Pizza Slice: </b>$2.00 <b>Bottled Soda: </b>$2.00 <b>Draft Beer: </b>$3.00 <b>French Fries: </b>$2.50<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Soft Drinks: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Pepsi-Cola products are served at VA Memorial Stadium.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Souvenirs: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">The "General Store" souvenir stand is located under the grandstand across from the concession stand. The small booth sells a better than average line of merchandise.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">ATM: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">A "no-brand" ATM is located in the left field picnic area. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Rest Rooms: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">There are mens' and womens' restrooms located under the main grandstand. While they are probably "original equipment" they are in good working order. </span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EXgBq6huwr8/T--ZTsLpV2I/AAAAAAAABIQ/lFADZpICd4w/s1600/014.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a></div><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EXgBq6huwr8/T--ZTsLpV2I/AAAAAAAABIQ/lFADZpICd4w/s1600/014.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EXgBq6huwr8/T--ZTsLpV2I/AAAAAAAABIQ/lFADZpICd4w/s200/014.JPG" width="200" /></a><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Mascot: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">"Chief Krazy Horse" circulates througout the park during the entire game. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Dance Team: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">None<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Program: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">The Paints sell a scorecard at the main entrance for $1.00. In addition the team also distributes the "Stable Report", a free tabloid sized newspaper which gives in depth information on the players and the Prospect League. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ne3yhBMhwfM/T--ZbgpYlVI/AAAAAAAABIY/8HM3lJ0jKz4/s1600/007.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a></div><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ne3yhBMhwfM/T--ZbgpYlVI/AAAAAAAABIY/8HM3lJ0jKz4/s1600/007.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ne3yhBMhwfM/T--ZbgpYlVI/AAAAAAAABIY/8HM3lJ0jKz4/s200/007.JPG" width="200" /></a><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Scoreboard/Stadium Voice: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Located in left center field, VA Memorial Stadium has a rather unique scoreboard set up. The ballpark has a manually operated scoreboard which features the line score of the game, and right next to the linescore, a modern electronic board which shows the remainder of the pertinent game data. The ballpark has a good sound system and PA announcer. The team has a very good selection of music, which leans toward modern country music, as opposed to the standard stadium selection.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Stadium Staff: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">This is one of the areas where some work is needed. Other than one on two college interns and some other volunteers, there wasn't much of a staff presence at the park. However, the people there were friendly, except for the one guy who worked at the beer trailer who told some kids (rather nastily, if you ask me), to "get away from the fence". <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ya8yWDv67QY/T--ZoUNVfYI/AAAAAAAABIg/JImXjZNflFA/s1600/019.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ya8yWDv67QY/T--ZoUNVfYI/AAAAAAAABIg/JImXjZNflFA/s200/019.JPG" width="200" /></a><b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Atmosphere: </span></b><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">One of the nice things about coming to a game in a small town like Chillicothe is that it is very community friendly. The team is locally owned, the majority of sponsors are local or regional, and the fans are very involved with the team. The majority of Paints fans are families, which makes for a pleasant and lively atmosphere. </span><br /><br /><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><strong>Overall Rating:</strong>&nbsp;While the physical plant had some renovations and updates over the past few years, VA Memorial Stadium retains that "old-time" ballpark atmosphere. While the park could use some sprucing up here and there, it's still a comfortable place to watch a ballgame in the rolling farmlands of south central Ohio.</span><br /><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"></div>HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-85742929223154788332012-06-05T20:08:00.000-04:002012-06-10T20:07:27.874-04:00Silver Cross Field, Joliet IL<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information</span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Joliet Slammers (Frontier League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Slammers vs Evansville Otters-5/27/2012<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.jolietslammers.com/">www.jolietslammers.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(815) 722-2287 or <a href="http://www.jolietslammers.com/">www.jolietslammers.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(877) 4-JOLIET or <a href="http://www.visitjoliet.org/">www.visitjoliet.org</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong>WJOL-AM 1340 <a href="http://www.wjol.com/">www.wjol.com</a><br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>The Herald-News <a href="http://www.heraldnews.suntimes.com/">www.heraldnews.suntimes.com</a><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-m3QzIjVMwaE/T86fmUhQoqI/AAAAAAAABFU/mecNtcMlaYM/s1600/038.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-m3QzIjVMwaE/T86fmUhQoqI/AAAAAAAABFU/mecNtcMlaYM/s200/038.JPG" width="150" /></a><strong>Team Information: </strong>Much like their counterparts in Schaumburg, the Joliet Slammers were born out of the ashes of a past franchise. The Slammers replaced the Joliet Jackhammers, after the franchise rights were sold to new ownership in December 2010. The Jackhammers played in the Northern League from 2002-2010 at Silver Cross Field, making the&nbsp; playoffs twice, in 2002 and 2010. However, attendance and financial issues caused the team to be put up for sale, and on December 9, 2010, the team was purchased by new owners, and would be moving to the Frontier League.&nbsp;The&nbsp;Slammers inaugural season was&nbsp;a major&nbsp;success, as the team took home the Frontier League title&nbsp;after defeating the River City Rascals in four games. <br /><br /><strong>Seating Capacity</strong>: Silver Cross Field has a&nbsp;total seating capacity of 6229.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-A2KR7irwJ7I/T86gWPalE2I/AAAAAAAABFc/XBdZ3oMC1To/s1600/042.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-A2KR7irwJ7I/T86gWPalE2I/AAAAAAAABFc/XBdZ3oMC1To/s200/042.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>Silver Cross Field was opened on June 6, 2002 after fourteen months of construction. Located near downtown Joliet, the stadium cost $27 million to build. The naming rights are held by Silver Cross Hospital, a hospital which since 1895 has been serving the Joliet area.<br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>Silver Cross Field is also the home of the St. Francis University baseball team.<br /><br /><strong>Getting&nbsp;There: </strong>From I-80 east or west, exit at Chicago St (Exit 132B). Go north on Chicago St to Washington Ave. Make a right on Washington and follow to ballpark. <br /><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>With a population of almost 152,000, Joliet is the fourth largest city on Illinois. Located approximately forty miles southwest of downtown Chicago, Joliet is the county seat of Will County. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UE55PUe0DFc/T9UYLJehRAI/AAAAAAAABFo/cSJpHpkvWaU/s1600/map_of_joliet_il.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UE55PUe0DFc/T9UYLJehRAI/AAAAAAAABFo/cSJpHpkvWaU/s200/map_of_joliet_il.jpg" width="146" /></a></div>Two major interstate highways service Joliet, Interstate 80, which runs east and west virtually from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and I-55, which runs south through St. Louis and terminating in Memphis. <br /><br />The first recorded exploration of what is now Joliet came in 1673, when a French Canadian explorer named Louis Jolliet, accompanied by a&nbsp; Father Jacques Marquette paddled up what is now known as the Des Plaines River, making camp on a large clay&nbsp;hill&nbsp;just south of what is modern day Joliet. The two named the mound Mount Jolliet. In 1834, as the area was being settled, James Campbell laid out a village on that site, which he called "Juliet", which was most probably a corruption of the name of Jolliet, which the first settlers had been using for some time. In 1852, the town was incorporated under the correct name of Joliet. <br /><br />The first Dairy Queen ice cream parlor was opened in&nbsp;1940 in a two-story commercial building at 501 North Chicago Ave&nbsp;in downtown Joliet. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dYKrHjCItPA/T9UY_ET9-3I/AAAAAAAABFw/PQQNXb78GWM/s1600/035.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dYKrHjCItPA/T9UY_ET9-3I/AAAAAAAABFw/PQQNXb78GWM/s200/035.JPG" width="200" /></a></div>Joliet might be known best for the Joliet State Prison, which served as a correctional facility from 1858 through 2002. The imposing facility was seen briefly in the beginning of the classic movie "The Blues Brothers" when John Belushi's Jake Blues was paroled after a stretch in Joliet. The prison is now a public park, featuring several markers telling the history of the facility and those who served time there. <br /><br /><strong>Nearby Airport: </strong>O'Hare International Airport is approximately 45 miles north of Silver Cross Field.<br /><br /><strong>What To Do</strong>: This was another "in and outer" for me, so other than a short stop at the Joliet Prison Park, I didn't get much of a chance for sightseeing. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat: </strong>Again, I headed right to the ballpark from my lodgings, so I didn't get a chance to sample any of the local cuisine. I would check with the visitors bureau for a list of recommended eats. <br /><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>On this trip, I stayed in Naperville, which was halfway between the two parks I was visiting. In a previous trip to Joliet, I stayed at a Red Roof located just off I-80. There was a Bob Evans restaurant next door as well as several fast food places within a short walk or shorter drive. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LAxwusG_b9E/T9UvzR2Z2II/AAAAAAAABF8/MKwl0qDZPHs/s1600/046.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LAxwusG_b9E/T9UvzR2Z2II/AAAAAAAABF8/MKwl0qDZPHs/s200/046.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Slammers tickets are priced as follows: $10.00 (reserved seating), $7.00 (general admission), and $5.00 (lawn seating). <br /><br /><strong>Parking: </strong>There are several lots located near the park, which according to the Slammers website are all free on game days. I parked in a large fenced in lot on the right field side of Silver Cross Field, which was a three minute walk to the main entrance.<br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>The main entrance to Silver Cross Field is at the intersection of Jefferson and Mayor Art Schultz Dr. The main entrance hosts the entrance to the park as well as the ticket office and will call windows. <br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>Like many parks of a similar size, Silver Cross Field has a single decked grandstand which runs from first base to third base. The park also has grass berms along the first and third base lines for all of the sun worshippers. For this game, seats in the shade were the prime choice due to the heat!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RKyLqb_-XpM/T9UyYJtG63I/AAAAAAAABGI/t3svuPx-aJI/s1600/039.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RKyLqb_-XpM/T9UyYJtG63I/AAAAAAAABGI/t3svuPx-aJI/s200/039.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Stadium Food: </strong>I hate to admit it, but eating at the park was not of a prime concern for me at this game due to the fact that it was about 95 degrees at game time. This made any thoughts of a ball park lunch a bit of a moot point, since oppresive heat and food don't really mix well for me. However, I did sample a slice of the ballpark pizza just so I can say that I didn't completely tank the food report! The pizza slice was fairly large and was served hot. It was substantially cheesy and was fairly tasty as well. <br /><br />Here is a sampling of the concession prices at Silver Cross Field: <br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Hamburger: </strong>$7.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos: </strong>$4.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer: </strong>$5.00<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Pretzel</strong>: $2.75<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; French Fries</strong>: $3.50<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; Pizza Slice</strong>: $4.75<br /><br /><strong>Soft Drinks</strong>: Pepsi-Cola products are served at Silver Cross Field. <br /><br /><strong>ATM</strong>: A 1st Midwest Bank ATM is located on the main concourse near the information booth on the first base side. <br /><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>The Slammers have a fairly large souvenir store, cleverly called "the Clink", located on the first base side of the main concourse. <br /><br /><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Silver Cross Field has an appropriate amount of restrooms, which are large, clean, and well stocked. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zexYfM7q04c/T9UzejM7trI/AAAAAAAABGQ/u6MKaMhCKZ8/s1600/055.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zexYfM7q04c/T9UzejM7trI/AAAAAAAABGQ/u6MKaMhCKZ8/s200/055.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Mascots: </strong>The Slammers have two mascots, J.L. Bird and Spikes the Police Dog. J.L. is a large black bird wearing prison garb and Spikes can be seen wearing his trademark police hat. Both are involved in many promotions and spend time in the stands. <br /><br /><strong>Dance Team: </strong>None<br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>"Gameday", the Slammers full-color program is a good buy at a dollar per copy. <br /><br /><strong>Scoreboard/Stadium Voice: </strong>The home of the Slammers has a fairly standard sized scoreboard in left center field. The board has a decent sized video screen as well as a smaller space below for the standard game information. The PA announcer is good, and the music selection is better than the average arena/ballpark playlist.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tA9LzwpXrCQ/T9U1xdra5bI/AAAAAAAABGY/2AiLVsgeotQ/s1600/041.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tA9LzwpXrCQ/T9U1xdra5bI/AAAAAAAABGY/2AiLVsgeotQ/s200/041.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Stadium Staff</strong>:&nbsp;Despite the ninety-plus degree temperatures,&nbsp;everyone I encountered was in a good mood and extremely helpful and pleasant to a first-timer. Special thanks to team president Bill Waliewski and media relations director Aaron Morse for their warm hospitality. <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>Honestly, I thought that it seemed a little quiet, but again, if it's 95 degrees out, you really don't want to be expending anymore energy than is necessary. However, as the Slammers came up for the bottom of the ninth in a tight ballgame, the park came alive as both fans and Slammers staff started clapping along to the song "Uprising" by Muse in hopes of getting a rally started. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>Silver Cross Field is a terrific little ballpark.&nbsp;In my opinion, it has everything that a baseball fan could want for a pleasant, inexpensive day out. I hope to make a return trip&nbsp;in the furure!<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-8214258585932326142012-05-28T19:42:00.003-04:002012-06-02T20:49:57.822-04:00Boomers Stadium , Schaumburg IL<strong><span style="color: red;">Basic Information: </span></strong><br /><span style="color: black;"><strong>Team: </strong>Schaumburg Boomers (Frontier League)</span><br /><strong>Game: </strong>Boomers vs Florence Freedom-5/26/2012<br /><strong>Team Website: </strong><a href="http://www.boomersbaseball.com/">www.boomersbaseball.com</a><br /><strong>Ticket Information: </strong>(847) 461-3696 or <a href="http://www.boomersbaseball.com/">www.boomersbaseball.com</a><br /><strong>Tourism Information: </strong>(800) 847-4849 or <a href="http://www.chicagonorthwest.com/">www.chicagonorthwest.com</a><br /><strong>Online Broadcasts: </strong>WRMN-AM 1410 <a href="http://www.wrmn.com/">www.wrmn.com</a> <br /><strong>Local Newspaper: </strong>Chicago<strong> </strong>Daily Herald <a href="http://www.dailyherald.com/">www.dailyherald.com</a><br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Cb1xF9mtplM/T8QNUjSRG8I/AAAAAAAABEE/5wbLIR1n_60/s1600/001.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Cb1xF9mtplM/T8QNUjSRG8I/AAAAAAAABEE/5wbLIR1n_60/s200/001.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Team Information: </strong>The Schaumburg Boomers are in their first season as a member of the independent Frontier League. The Boomers replaced the Schaumburg Flyers, who played in the Northern League from 1999 through 2010. At the end of the 2010 season, the ownership of the Flyers was stripped of the franchise by the league and in February 2011,&nbsp;lost their lease. Soon after, the&nbsp;rights to the team were sold to the owner of the neareby Joliet Slammers, Alan&nbsp;Oremus. Oremus subsequently sold the team to local attorney Pat Salvi, who also owns the Gary South Shore Railcats of the American Association. Salvi transferred the new team from the Northern League to the Frontier League where he would have an immediate rivalry with nearby&nbsp;teams in Joliet and Crestwood. <br /><div style="text-align: left;"></div><strong>Stadium Capacity: </strong>Boomers Stadium has a total capacity of 7365, which includes berm seating. <br /><br /><strong>How About That Name (And Some History): </strong>Opened on May 27, 1999, the home of the Schaumbug Boomers was designed to be a miniature version of Chicago's famed Wrigley Field. &nbsp;The park, which was originally called Alexian Field after the nearby&nbsp;Alexian Brothers Medical Center, cost $19 million to construct, and was completed in just under a year. For the 2012 season, the park was renamed Boomers Stadium.<br /><br /><strong>On The Town: </strong>One of the larger suburbs of Chicago, Schaumburg is located approximately 30 miles west of the "Windy City", and is ten miles west of O'Hare International Aiport. Schaumburg has a population of 75,386 according to the 2000 census.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Uy6cg6BXVzk/T8VZ4kc4PZI/AAAAAAAABEQ/4XrgPG624WY/s1600/schaumburg.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Uy6cg6BXVzk/T8VZ4kc4PZI/AAAAAAAABEQ/4XrgPG624WY/s200/schaumburg.png" width="199" /></a></div>The original inhabitants in what is now Schaumburg were the Sauk, Fox, Kickapoo, and Potawatomi Native American tribes. By the mid-1830's, the area began to be settled by Germany and the eastern United States. One of the earliest settlers was German-born Johann Sunderlage, who was a member of the survey team&nbsp;that mapped out what is now Cook County around 1833. He reportedly liked the area so much, that&nbsp;he returned to Germany, and brought his family and friends to settle the&nbsp;area. The&nbsp;town was originally named Sarah's Grove after three sisters with the same name that lived in the town. In 1850, after some heated&nbsp;discussion, the township was renamed Schaumburg, after the town where many of the original German settlers came from. <br /><br />Schaumburg is the home of the worldwide headquarters of Motorola Electronics, and is also the home of Woodfield Mall, the ninth largest shopping mall in the United States.<br /><br /><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>None<br /><br /><strong>Getting There: </strong>(From Chicago): Take I-290 west to I-294 north (exit 15B). Take I-294 North to Thorndale Ave (exit 5). Turn left onto Thorndale Ave, and follow towards the Elgin-O'Hare Expresseway west. Take the expressway to Irving Park Rd (IL-19). Follow to South Springinsguth Rd. &nbsp;Ballpark will be on the left and parking will be on the right.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OcYjjQQ_F4A/T8VdemdnGWI/AAAAAAAABEc/rHAchpEOXhI/s1600/014.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a></div><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OcYjjQQ_F4A/T8VdemdnGWI/AAAAAAAABEc/rHAchpEOXhI/s1600/014.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OcYjjQQ_F4A/T8VdemdnGWI/AAAAAAAABEc/rHAchpEOXhI/s200/014.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Nearby Airport: </strong>O'Hare International Airport is ten miles west of O'Hare International Airport. <br /><br /><strong>What To Do: </strong>I didn't get much chance to sight see in the area on this trip, so I would check with the local convention and visitors bureau for more information. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game:</strong>&nbsp;Honestly, I didn't see a lot of restaurants in the immediate area of the ballpark. <br /><br /><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>On this trip, I stayed at the Red Roof Inn in Naperville, which is approximately half an hour south of Boomers Stadium. I chose this location as it was virtually equidistant from my two stops on this trip. This hotel was recently renovated, with updated interiors, which included new flooring, fixtures, and a large flat-screen TV. For more information, call (800) THE-ROOF or visit <a href="http://www.redroof.com/">www.redroof.com</a>. <br /><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>The Boomers have two ticket price levels for single game tickets: $10.00 (box seats) and $7.00 (lawn seating). <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WZM5Go-sOkQ/T8VgNzCHaKI/AAAAAAAABEo/UwvObVGQ5Yc/s1600/013.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WZM5Go-sOkQ/T8VgNzCHaKI/AAAAAAAABEo/UwvObVGQ5Yc/s200/013.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Parking: </strong>There is a large lot across the street from the ballpark, with free parking.<br /><br /><strong>Getting In: </strong>There are two main entrances to Boomers Stadium, one on the first base side and one on the third base side. Both gates are located up a flight of stairs from the ground level. The box office and main souvenir store are located on the ground floor behind home plate. <br /><br /><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>The main grandstand extends from first base to third base with all individual seats. The lawn seating extends from the end of the grandstand to the foul poles along both lines.<br /><br /><strong>Stadium Food: </strong>The home of the Boomers, like most of the "newer" minor-league parks, have placed a high priority on having top flight concessions sold. While Boomers Stadium might not have a huge concession lineup, they do have three "signature" items. <br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ETLi9tHhiVE/T8qwgabUzWI/AAAAAAAABE0/kBsbZlNjl1o/s1600/026.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ETLi9tHhiVE/T8qwgabUzWI/AAAAAAAABE0/kBsbZlNjl1o/s200/026.JPG" width="150" /></a>The first is the Brat-A-Boom, a new item this season, The sandwich consists of a 24 inch long bratwurst, which is served with a sauerkraut, bacon, a "beer cheese", and onion strings and is served on a large pretzel roll. The Brat-A-Boom, which probably could serve at least three people, costs $18.00. At the game I attended, legendary competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi made an apperance and set a record for fastest consumption of the Brat-A-Boom. <br /><br />The next item is the Schaumburger, which consists of a 1/3rd pound ground beef patty served on a pretzel roll with "beer cheese", bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pickle. <br /><br />The third specialty item was the "Hoosier Daddy" barbecue,&nbsp;which is sold at a special stand on the first base side. The stand serves barbecued pork, brisket, and chicken sandwiches as well as barbecued turkey legs. <br /><br />To start off my eating, I sampled the ballpark hot dog, which although it was pre-made, was served hot. The bun was a little mangled and slightly soggy, but the wiener itself was fairly tasty and had a bit of a spicy kick. <br /><br />Secondly, I&nbsp; tried the pulled pork sandwich from the Hoosier Daddy stand. The sandwich was of a good size, served very hot on a fresh kaiser bun. It was fresh from the smoker, and was coated in a fairly sweet sauce with a bit of a bite to it. For $8.00, it wasn't a bad deal. <br /><br />Here are some of the other concession items sold at Boomers Stadium: <br /><br /><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$4.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Cheeseburger: </strong>$8.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos: </strong>$6.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Bottled Beer: </strong>$5.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel: </strong>$3.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Large Soda: </strong>$3.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries: </strong>$3.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pizza Slice: </strong>$4.75<br /><br /><strong>Soft Drinks: </strong>Pepsi products are sold at Boomers Stadium. <br /><br /><strong>ATM: </strong>I didn't notice that the park had an ATM on site. <br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OQ3uLfwcSuo/T8qxscrQeDI/AAAAAAAABE8/sxWE5hBI-Rg/s1600/003.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OQ3uLfwcSuo/T8qxscrQeDI/AAAAAAAABE8/sxWE5hBI-Rg/s200/003.JPG" width="150" /></a><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>There is a small souvenir store located on the ground floor of the park just inside the home plate entrance. This store had a small line of items, which I'm sure will get larger as the season goes on. There is an auxiliary stand located at the end of the concourse on the first base side. <br /><br /><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Plentiful, clean, and well stocked. <br /><br /><strong>Mascot: </strong>"Coop" the Prairie Chicken circulates throughout the park and is very involved with the fans and the in-game promotions.<br /><br /><strong>Dance Team: </strong>None<br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong>The Boomers present a large, full-color program to all fans as they enter the ballpark. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DYT9Y2XLvkc/T8qznWPUKgI/AAAAAAAABFE/ggG8wCaoPrk/s1600/004.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DYT9Y2XLvkc/T8qznWPUKgI/AAAAAAAABFE/ggG8wCaoPrk/s200/004.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><strong>Scoreboard/Stadium Voice: </strong>One of the improvements team ownership undertook when they moved into Boomers Stadium is the addition of a&nbsp;new scoreboard. The new board, located in left center field, features an area for displaying the line score and other pertinent game information and a 28' x 15' HD video screen. The new video screen provides a crystal clear image, and is used throughout the game for game information, promotions, and other videos. <br /><br />The park's PA system is good, and the announcer and music are of a good quality as well. <br /><br /><strong>Stadium Staff: </strong>Everyone was smiling and helpful. <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>While the crowd was on the intimate side (the team drew over six thousand for their opener the night before), everyone seemed to be engaged in the game and having a good time. Once the team "grows some legs" in Schaumburg, I'm sure there will be a larger turnout on a regular basis. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>Boomers Stadium is a top-flight minor league stadium. With the inexpensive tickets, free parking and large free game program, I find&nbsp;a&nbsp;Boomers game&nbsp;to be a terrific entertainment value, which I'm sure will catch on with the area fans.<br /><br /><br /><br />HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5388179476491233669.post-33147095649570091872012-05-14T19:54:00.003-04:002012-05-17T19:48:52.614-04:00Cooley Law School Stadium, Lansing MI<strong><span style="color: red; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Basic Information</span></strong><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;"><br /></span><strong><span style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Team: </span></strong><span style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Lansing Lugnuts (Midwest League)</span><span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;"><br /><strong><span style="font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Game: </span></strong>Lugnuts vs West Michigan Whitecaps-5/5/2012<br /><strong><span style="font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Team Website: </span></strong><a href="http://www.lansinglugnuts.com/"><span style="color: #336699;">www.lansinglugnuts.com</span></a><br /><strong><span style="font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Ticket Information: </span></strong>(517) 485-4500 or <a href="http://www.lansinglugnuts.com/"><span style="color: #336699;">www.lansinglugnuts.com</span></a><br /><strong><span style="font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Tourism Information: </span></strong>(888) 252-6746 or <a href="http://www.lansing.org/"><span style="color: #336699;">www.lansing.org</span></a><br /><strong><span style="font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Online Broadcasts: </span></strong>WQTX-FM 92.1 <a href="http://www.big921.com/"><span style="color: #336699;">www.big921.com</span></a><br /><strong><span style="font-family: &quot;Verdana&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Local Newspaper: </span></strong>Lansing State Journal <a href="http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/"><span style="color: #336699;">www.lansingstatejournal.com</span></a></span><strong><o:p></o:p></strong><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QSZ4C88cH-M/T7Gbco-6IDI/AAAAAAAABCw/o_QhfIHiu_M/s1600/077.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QSZ4C88cH-M/T7Gbco-6IDI/AAAAAAAABCw/o_QhfIHiu_M/s200/077.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Team Information: </strong>After stops in Lafayette, IN, Waterloo, IA, and Springfield, IL, professional baseball returned to Lansing in 1996 after a 54 year absence. The new team, christened the Lugnuts, were owned by Tom Dickson and Sherrie Myers, became a fixture in south central Michigan in short order, drawing over a half million fans in their first season. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><strong>Affiliation: </strong>The Lugnuts have been affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays since 2005.</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: left;"><strong>Stadium Capacity: </strong>Cooley Law School Stadium has a total seating capacity of 11,000, making it the largest stadium in Single-A baseball. The park has 7,300 seats in the seating bowl area, with the remainder of the capacity being taken up by the loges and berm seating.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lYowhELDvG8/T7Gb_4ZsK_I/AAAAAAAABC4/2VlJYwfyf5Y/s1600/085.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lYowhELDvG8/T7Gb_4ZsK_I/AAAAAAAABC4/2VlJYwfyf5Y/s200/085.JPG" width="150" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>How About That Name (And Some History</strong>): Constructed in exactly one year, the home of the Lansing Lugnuts opened officially on April 3, 1996 with a game between Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. The stadium, which is located blocks from the Michigan state capital building, originally called Oldsmobile Park, cost $12.8 million to build. In 2010, the naming rights to the home of the Lugnuts were sold to Cooley Law School<strong>.</strong></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Other Tenants: </strong>Michigan State University has played games at Cooley Law School Stadium.</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Getting There: </b>From I-96, take I-496 west towards downtown Lansing (exit 106B). Take I-496 to Pennsylvania Ave (Exit 7). Follow to the Larch St ramp. Make a right onto South Larch St. Follow for a half mile, then make a left onto East Michigan Ave. The ballpark will be on your right. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>On The Town:</strong> In the winter of 1847, the lawmakers of the state of Michigan were looking to move the state capital out of Detroit. Supporters of many of the state’s leading cities, including ann Arbor, Jackson, and Marshall, lobbied hard to bring the state house to their constituents. However, <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>after much wrangling, a decision couldn’t be made. In a private session, the state’s House of Representatives selected Lansing, which at the time was a small township of two dozen people. Two months later, Governor William Greely signed into law the act which made this village arguably the most important city in the state. </div><div style="text-align: left;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-k_s2ibM7HtE/T7Gc0XB-kfI/AAAAAAAABDA/XkRTLMj6cS4/s1600/City_seal_of_lansing_2011.gif" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-k_s2ibM7HtE/T7Gc0XB-kfI/AAAAAAAABDA/XkRTLMj6cS4/s1600/City_seal_of_lansing_2011.gif" /></a></div>Located in the central part of Michigan, Lansing is located approximately seventy miles east of Grand Rapids and ninety miles west of Detroit. The city has a population of 114,297, and is the only state capital that is not a county seat (Ingham county, which Lansing is a part of, has its seat in Mason. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">What is now Lansing was originally surveyed by Hugh Howard, who while exploring the Grand River, investigated and explored the area in 1790, which was on a flood plain and was under water most of the year. In 1835, two brothers from New York came to where Howard surveyed, and decided to set up a new town on that site. They went back to their home state, and sold plots for their new development, which despite what the brothers told their prospective landowners, did not exist. Sixteen men bought plots for the fictitious “Biddle City”, and upon arriving, found out that they actually were sold wilderness. Most of those who came decided to stay, and they called their new home Lansing, after Lansing, New York. </div><div style="text-align: left;">In 1897, Ransom Olds founded the Olds Motor Vehicle Company after driving his first automobile down a Lansing street. Nine years later, that company would join Henry Ford’s General Motors and for seventy years, would be based in Lansing producing the famous Oldsmobile line of cars. </div><div style="text-align: left;">Since 1855, Michigan State University has been a cornerstone of Lansing. It was originally named the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">Notable Lansing natives include NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, CNN news anchor Suzanne Malveaux, film director John Hughes, and professional wrestler Ed Farhat (better known as the original Sheik).</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Nearby Airport: </b>Capital City International Airport is located approximately three miles northwest of Cooley Law School Stadium.&nbsp;<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SmkG9hp9hlQ/T7RHgajDgGI/AAAAAAAABDM/aT0tvIGsrkk/s1600/057.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SmkG9hp9hlQ/T7RHgajDgGI/AAAAAAAABDM/aT0tvIGsrkk/s200/057.JPG" width="150" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>What To Do: </strong>Not far from the downtown area is the Michigan Historical Museum and Library. the large facility gives an overview of the history of the Wolverine State from prehistoric times to the late seventies. Visitors are greeted by a two story high relief map of&nbsp;Michigan and acts as a gateway to&nbsp;an easily walkable journey through, amongst other things, the first capital building of Michigan, an Upper Peninsula&nbsp;copper mine, a lumber baron's mansion,&nbsp;the&nbsp;1957 Detroit Auto Show (including a gorgeous 1957 Corvette), and a&nbsp;recreational&nbsp;log&nbsp;cabin&nbsp;near one of Michigan's many lakes and forests. For more information, call (517) 373-3559 or visit <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/museum">www.michigan.gov/museum</a>.</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Where To Eat Before The Game: </strong>There are several restaurants on East Michigan Ave within a short walk from the ballpark. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Where To Stay: </strong>On this trip, I stayed at the Red Roof Inn-Lansing West location. Located just off&nbsp; I-96 and about ten minutes from the ballpark, it has clean, comfortable rooms at an affordable price. For more information, call (800) THE-ROOF or visit <a href="http://www.redroof.com/">www.redroof.com</a>. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mqc67Bf3pVY/T7RJKTXHTzI/AAAAAAAABDU/9c9MftPwFnY/s1600/088.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mqc67Bf3pVY/T7RJKTXHTzI/AAAAAAAABDU/9c9MftPwFnY/s200/088.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Ticket Prices: </strong>Lugnuts tickets are priced as follows: $20.00 (The Clubhouse-limited availability), $10.00 (box seats), $9.00 (reserved seats), and $8.00 (lawn seating). </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Parking: </strong>There are several lots within a short walk of Cooley Law School Stadium. I parked in a city-owned lot just across the street from the ballpark. This was a good value, as for $5.00, you're a two minute walk to the park entrance, and have easy exit onto&nbsp;East Michigan Ave once the game is over. </div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Getting In: </strong>The main entrance to the home of the Lugnuts is behind home plate on East Michigan Ave. This entrance also hosts the box office and entrance to the team offices and the "Nuts and Bolts" merchandise store. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>The Good Seats: </strong>The main grandstand extends from approximately three quarters of the way down the left foul line to the same position along the right field line. The reserved seating features individual plastic seats, with the remainder of the seating consisting of metal bleachers. There is some standing area on the concourse and substantials lawn berms in right center and left center fields. </div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /><strong>Stadium Food: </strong>To be honest, with all the great food that I had at Cooley Law School Stadium and the night before in Comstock Park, I'm surprised that I didn't come home weighing 300 lbs!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--JzmgZGbJ08/T7WHoaPCP6I/AAAAAAAABDg/zhGU9QZcHJs/s1600/096.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--JzmgZGbJ08/T7WHoaPCP6I/AAAAAAAABDg/zhGU9QZcHJs/s200/096.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;">Although the baseball season is just over a month old, I think that I might have had the 2012 "Hot Dog of the Year" at the home of the Lugnuts. A recent addition to Cooley is a "gourmet" hot dog stand called Franx, which advertises "Dogs with the Worx". My friends, they aren't kidding. This new stand features five different specialty hot dogs, and a sixth which will be rotated on a monthly basis. Amongst the offerings at Franx was the "Fiesta Dog", the "Firecracker Dog", the "Cheesy Mac", the "Chicago Dog", and my choice for the evening, the "Porker". My choice started out with a quarter pound all-beef wiener served on a pretzel bun. On top of that was a liberal serving of fresh pulled pork and a sweet barbeuce sauce (the dog also comes with cole slaw, but since I'm not a fan, I ordered without). It was served very hot, and although the pulled pork and sauce made it more difficult to navigate than your average hot dog, it was well worth the extra effort (and half a dozen napkins). Amazingly I finished the dog without wearing any of it, although some of the pulled pork did hit my glasses, which were stuck in the front of my shirt. The dog costs $5.75, which is not a price I would normally pay for a hot dog, but the Porker was well worth the extra few bucks, and was a meal in itself. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">In addition to the normal concession stands, Cooley also boasts several specialty carts parked throughout the concourse. The products sold from the carts include: cheese steak sandwiches, barbecued turkey legs, funnel cakes, lemonade, sausages, and Mexican food. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-X-8xaMvstOA/T7WJmg0YJPI/AAAAAAAABDo/jQvMWeZL4-k/s1600/086.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-X-8xaMvstOA/T7WJmg0YJPI/AAAAAAAABDo/jQvMWeZL4-k/s200/086.JPG" width="200" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;">Here is a selection of the concession prices at Cooley Law School Stadium: </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Hot Dog: </strong>$3.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Hamburger: </strong>$7.50&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Nachos: </strong>$4.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Draft Beer: </strong>$6.00&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pretzel: </strong>$3.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Large Soda: </strong>$4.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Ice Cream (Dippin' Dots): </strong>$4.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>French Fries: </strong>$3.75&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pizza Slice: </strong>$4.00</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Soft Drinks: </strong>Pepsi products are the soft drinks of choice at the home of the Lugnuts. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>ATM: </strong>There is a "no-brand" ATM located on the third base side of the concourse near the souvenir shop. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vYvkn0HWNXQ/T7WKQ1TPyaI/AAAAAAAABDw/lwVNImOn18k/s1600/095.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vYvkn0HWNXQ/T7WKQ1TPyaI/AAAAAAAABDw/lwVNImOn18k/s200/095.JPG" width="150" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Souvenirs: </strong>The "Nuts and Bolts" souvenir shop is located on the third base side concourse. While a little on the cramped side, the store has a very good sized line of merchandise at agreeable prices. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Restrooms: </strong>Located on each side of the concourse, all are clean and well stocked. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Mascot: </strong>"Big Lug" is a large, yet friendly&nbsp;purple and red dinosaur with big sliver lugnuts for nostrils. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Dance Team: </strong>None</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"><strong>Program: </strong>The Lugnuts sell a good-sized, full color program at the park which gives updates on Lugnut players, what's new at the park, and more. The program costs $3.00 and is sold in the souvenir stand and in the concourse. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AjMP7vEJNI0/T7WMk086EnI/AAAAAAAABD4/o9_YgTKl03s/s1600/103.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AjMP7vEJNI0/T7WMk086EnI/AAAAAAAABD4/o9_YgTKl03s/s200/103.JPG" width="200" /></a><strong>Scoreboard/Stadium Voice: </strong>Cooley Law School Stadium has a standard sized scoreboard in right center field. The board has&nbsp;the normal line score information, a small message center below, and a video screen above the&nbsp;line score. The main board is assisted by two smaller scoreboards&nbsp;which overhang the luxury boxes and two&nbsp;boards mounted in the outfield fence which report the time of day and the pitch speed. </div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">The music and public address&nbsp;announcer are pretty much standard,&nbsp;good quality and decent acoustics. <br /><br /><strong>Stadium Staff: </strong>Friendly, helpful and engaging. <br /><br /><strong>Atmosphere: </strong>With the six thousand or so in attendance, I felt that there could have been a bit more "zip" in the atmosphere at the game. While the Lugnuts staff do a terrific job in their game production, there seemed to be something lacking from those in the stands. <br /><br /><strong>Overall Rating: </strong>The city of Lansing should be fortunate to have such a fine ballpark in Cooley Law School Stadium. In their history, the team has drawn over five million fans, which proves that having a fine park, in addition to having progressive ownership will ensure that the people of Lansing will be well serviced for a long time by Cooley Law School Stadium.</div>HotshotSCRichhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00833306223859998784noreply@blogger.com0