College baseball: 7 must-visit stadiums to catch a game at
Last year, we came out with a list of five college baseball stadiums every road-tripping fan should visit. For those looking for more venues to check off the bucket list, here are seven more parks to hit across the nation:
Founders Park | South Carolina
If you think the city of Columbia just cares about football Saturdays, you'd be mistaken. Unveiled in 2009, South Carolina's Founders Park is among the elite when it comes to college baseball atmospheres.
The stadium can hold 8,242 spectators, including more than 6,000 permanent chair-back seats. For those looking to wander around and enjoy a unique dining experience, its picnic terrace beyond left field provides the perfect location.
Founders Park is player-friendly as well, providing four different indoor batting tunnels and 3,900 square feet worth of weight room space. With those accomodations, it's no coincidence the Gamecocks quickly went on to win back-to-back championships in 2010 and 2011.
Haymarket Park | Nebraska
Comfort is key when attending baseball games, especially in the dog days of summer. Nebraska addressed that when it opened Haymarket Park, the first college baseball stadium to use a heating and cooling system on the premises year-round.
The Huskers' home field opened in 2002 and fits approximately 8,000 visitors between its 4,500 permanent seats and ample grass field seating areas beyond the foul poles. Among the family-friendly accomodations located at the park include a children's playground and plenty of concession stand options. No matter where you sit or walk around the stadium, the game is always in view and you feel on top of the action.
If it sounds like Haymarket Park has a minor league stadium vibe, that's because it does. The stadium also plays host to the Lincoln Saltdogs, of the Independent League. When construction first began, features from other minor league stadiums like Oklahoma City's Bricktown Ballpark were incorporated. That can be seen in Haymarket Park's brick exterior.
Check out more photos of the stadium here.
UFCU Disch-Falk Field | Texas
Unlike the first two stadiums — which are relatively new — UFCU Disch-Falk Field has been Texas' home for four decades. The field was last renovated in 2009, however, resulting in a more modern gameday atmosphere for fans.
The renovations included adding field-level seats, a state-of-the-art sound system and a new lighting system, in addition to improved facilities for student-athletes. One year prior, the playing surface was changed to FieldTurf, giving the park a unique look.
UFCU Disch-Falk Field holds about 8,000 fans. But its largest crowd is believed to be nearly 10,000, when spectators squeezed in to see a 1977 exhibition game between Texas and the Texas Rangers.
McKethan Stadium | Florida
With a capacity of 5,500, McKethan Stadium has been the friendly confines for the Gators since 1988. And it's been extremely friendly — Florida has a win percentage over .700 at home since the park's opening.
A mixture of Florida's consistency as a program and Gainesville's beautiful location has made McKethan Stadium a hot spot for NCAA Regional games. It has played host to 13 Regionals, six Super Regionals and one SEC tournament in its three decades of operation.
Competitive SEC play, Florida weather and a rowdy fan atmosphere makes the Gators' home a must-visit by the end of the season.
Jackie Robinson Stadium | UCLA
As you can tell by its name, Jackie Robinson Stadium exudes history. Named after the first African American Major Leaguer and former four-sport Bruins star, the facility opened its doors in 1981 thanks to the private gift by Robinson's former classmate Hoyt Pardee.
A bronze statue of Robinson was erected in the concourse level in 1985. In addition, you can find a "42" statue, in honor of Robinson's jersey number, outside the Jackie Robinson Athletics and Recreation Complex on campus.
Jackie Robinson Stadium is the smallest park in the Pac-12, holding only 1,250 fans in permanent seats. But there is still a winning atmosphere and the seating arrangements provide a great vantage point for the game. Surrounding the stadium is a great view of southern California's natural landscape.
Doug Kingsmore Stadium | Clemson
Doug Kingsmore Stadium has the perfect mix of tradition and modernism, having originally opened in 1970 before undergoing a series of renovations since. Fans walking into the top-notch facility will notice a brick facade around each entrance, creating the feel of an old-time Major League park.
Inside, fans can choose from 4,500 permanent seats and plenty of additional options. Out beyond the left field foul pole, spectators can watch from a comfortable grassy hill. Nearby down the third base line, children can play and watch from a newly-introduced berm. There are terraces available for receptions and large groups, and premium seating was added right behind home plate in 2015.
Liberty Baseball Stadium | Liberty
Liberty knocked it out of the park with its unveiling of its new stadium in 2013. Layered with AstroTurf and seating 2,500 fans plus standing room and berm seating, the Flames' home is perfect for anyone looking to experience the best of Big South baseball.
Among the amenities are four luxury suites, concession stands and shops and four indoor batting tunnels for student-athletes. Oh, and fans can stay warm by the beautifully-crafted stone firepits down the first base line. Talk about ambience.
TD Ameritrade Park | College World Series
We can't talk about college baseball stadiums to visit without mentioning the mecca in Omaha, Nebraska.
Omaha has been home to the College World Series for all but three of its years since starting in 1947. TD Ameritrade Park, holding a capacity of 24,000 fans, began its rein as host in 2011. It features a "The Road to Omaha" bronze statue outside the front gate, giant video boards in the outfield and an abundance of unusually large and creative snacks. We've got you covered on the best concessions of the bunch to try out.