College baseball: 10 must-visit baseball stadiums this season
Looking to make a road trip to escape the dead of winter or planning to hit the road this spring? Here's 10 great places to take in a college baseball game:
Eddy D. Field Stadium | Pepperdine
Located just off the Pacific Coast Highway, Pepperdine’s Eddy D. Field Stadium offers one of the best scenic views in all of college baseball.
Opened in 1973, the Waves’ Malibu ballpark sits 1,800 fans who have a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and palm trees in the outfield backdrop. Pepperdine has a rich history of success including a national championship in 1992 and 18 West Coast Conference championships since it began playing at Eddy D. Field.
Nothing beats the beach and baseball in the spring and summer, so what better way to combine the two by spending the day at any of the Malibu beaches and catching a game at night?
More views and information about the history of Eddy D. Field Stadium can be found here.
Smith’s Ballpark | Utah
Much like Eddy D. Field Stadium, Utah’s Smith’s Ballpark also offers a breathtaking backdrop. Located in downtown Salt Lake City, the Utes’ stadium home stadium sits at the base of the 11,000-foot peaks of the Wasatch Mountain Range.
Smith’s Ballpark holds 14,511 with stands stretching down to the outfield on both the first-base and third-base line with suite levels offering one of the best views in college baseball. Utah set its single-game attendance record in 2016 on the final day of the regular season when it clinched the Pac-12 championship.
In addition to hosting the Utes, Smith’s Ballpark also serves as the home park for the Salt Lake Bees, who are the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Goodwin Field | Cal State Fullerton
Not only does Cal State Fullerton have one of the best teams in college baseball year in and year out, Goodwin Field offers good food in addition to good baseball.
According to StadiumJourney.com, Goodwin Field offers one of the most diverse food spreads for any college stadium in the sport. In addition to the traditional ballpark staples, entrees such as pulled pork quesadillas and Barcelona Paella Bowls are served. Make sure to save some room for dessert, too, as you can dig into deep-fried Oreos, funnel cake, churros and various smoothies.
Goodwin Field opened in 1992 has seen numerous renovations and currently holds 3,500 people.
More photos can be seen here.
Eck Stadium at Tyler Field | Wichita State
While Wichita State recently became a national name because of its basketball team’s success, Shockers baseball was a powerhouse and a regular in the NCAA tournament almost every season from 1980-2010.
Eck Stadium, which opened in 1985, has a capacity of 7,851 with chairback seats behind home plate and down both the first- and third-base foul lines. Since then, the ballpark has seen some incredible upgrades with the installation of AstroTurf as well as the additions of the Bledsoe Plaza, Plaza, All-American Club and Coleman Hill.
Want to go behind the scenes of the ballpark? Take a virtual tour of Eck Stadium:
Boshamer Stadium | North Carolina
Located in the heart of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus, Boshamer Stadium provides one of nicest stadiums in all of college baseball. While the original Boshamar opened in 1972, the Tar Heels completely rebuilt a new state-of-the-art facility in 2007 and re-opened the park in 2009.
With a new capacity of 5,000, Boshamer’s new look features a new video board, Hall of Honor, picnic tables and a grass area on the first-base line to still give the stadium an old-school feel.
Additionally, the players have access to a video room, bating cages, a 6,200-square foot indoor facility and a players lounge where members of the team can hang out or finish school work.
Alex Box Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The LSU baseball program played for nearly 70 years at the original Alex Box Stadium from 1938-2008. The stadium held less than 7,800 seats so the Tigers moved 200 yards to the new stadium, which officially opened during the 2009 season. In 2013, the program dedicated the field at Alex Box Stadium to legendary coach Skip Bertman.
"The Box" currently holds 10,326 fans and there is hardly ever an empty seat or room to stand. The Tigers have boasted the top attendance record in the NCAA almost every year since 1996. The postseason might as well go through Baton Rouge almost every year too. Since the new stadium opened, LSU has hosted five NCAA regional tournaments and four super regional tournaments, including the Tigers' 2009 national championship season.
The feature that sticks out at the stadium is the giant billboard in right field known fondly by the fans as "The Intimidator." An added bonus for Tiger fans is they can also take a stroll through LSU history with the Wally Pontiff Jr. Hall of Fame.
PK Park, Eugene, Oregon
College baseball fans on the West Coast can look no further for a great environment than the home of the Oregon Ducks, PK Park. For nearly 30 years, the University of Oregon didn't field a baseball team, which was eliminated in the 1980s. The athletic department announced in 2007 that the program would return and the construction began on PK Park a year later.
PK Park officially opened on Feb. 27, 2009, and the Ducks set the tone with their defeat over defending national champion Fresno State in the first game back. Over the past seven years, the Ducks have hosted a pair of NCAA regionals in 2012 and 2013. PK Park currently holds about 3,600 fans, including 500 student seats in left field. The biggest feature is the high definition videoboards combined with the classic manual scoreboard as well as Fowl Territory picnic area. The home dugout also serves a cool reminder for the players with its "1,672 miles to Omaha" sign.
Baum Stadium, Fayetteville, Arkansas
SEC schools are known for their impressive stadiums and the University of Arkansas' Baum Stadium is no exception. The Razorback faithful drive out in full force to catch a game at Baum Stadium, which replaced the old George Cole Field in 1996. The park succeeds with its look and feel of a MLB stadium, and it has the second-largest seating capacity in the conference. Baum can hold up to 10,737 fans every game, so you can imagine how loud the crowd gets for the "Calling the Hogs" chant. The Razorbacks rarely lose in front of the home crowd; they have a 424-168 (.716) record at the stadium.
In its 20-year history, Baum Stadium has hosted five NCAA regionals and an NCAA super regional last year, when the Razorbacks advanced to their eighth CWS. Arkansas will unveil a new addition this season with the largest video board in college baseball, which stands a massive 25 feet tall and 71 feet wide.
Dick Howser Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida
From the beautiful weather to the rowdy crowd, Florida State's Dick Howser Stadium has the perfect atmosphere for a college baseball game.
The Seminoles spent two years and almost $12 million on significant upgrades in 2004 to make Dick Howser Stadium one of the premier ballparks in the country. FSU dedicated the field in 2005 to current head coach Mike Martin, whose in his 37th season. More than 6,700 FSU fans pile into the stadium every game and there isn't a bad seat in the house.
Fans can also venture under the first base stands and check out the Mike Loynd Tradition Room, which houses FSU memoribilia from championships and former players.
There is perhaps no crazier fan section than the Animals of Section B, which has been devoted to the Seminoles program since 1977. When Dick Howser Stadium opened six years later, the Animals claimed their spots in Section B along the first-base side and have been there ever since. The Animals have plenty of traditions, including one that involves singing the Canadian national anthem during the bottom of the fifth inning.
Dudy Noble Field, Starkville, Mississippi
A list of the top places to catch a college baseball game wouldn't be complete without Mississippi State's Dudy Noble Field at Polk-DeMent Stadium. The Bulldogs have played 1,476 games at the stadium and they have won 72 percent of those games. Plenty of NCAA attendance records have been set by Mississippi State including the largest on-campus crowd with 15,586 in attendance for its game against Ole Miss in 2014.
The Bulldog fans set the bar high, thanks largely in part to the "Left Field Lounge". The Left Field Lounge started off in the 1960s as the area behind the outfield where fans parked and tailgated before games. Eventually, it turned into one of the largest tailgating parties in all of baseball and became so popular that fans have to reserve a spot or be put on a waiting list.