Top 10 College Ballparks
The college baseball fan’s attention largely focused on the game on the field, which is almost completely unlike the family-friendly atmosphere of the minor leagues, where on-field action is almost secondary to promotions, mascots and concessions.
However, athletic directors know that drawing new fans is just as important as pleasing old ones.
“I think the investment that athletic departments are making with facilities, and all the coaches and head coaches salaries, and the way teams travel tells me—and a lot of other coaches across the country—that (interest in college) baseball is at an all-time high,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “When you have a nice ballpark, fans like the experience. New ballparks bring new fans.”
1. Baum Stadium, Arkansas
Opened in 1996, Baum remains one of the crown jewels of college baseball. It quickly became the model ballpark in college baseball and has withstood the test of time—with the help of some improvements over the years that have increased its seating capacity and the number of suites, as well as changing the playing surface from artificial turf to grass. Arkansas annually ranks near the top of college baseball’s attendance leaders and the Hog Pen picnic area in left field remains an iconic experience.
Coach Dave Van Horn said Baum is critical to the program’s success because it acts as a showpiece to attract elite players to Fayetteville, which is far from a major metropolitan area.
Baum has helped Arkansas compete at a high level and created an atmosphere that is envied around the country. The first of its kind remains college baseball’s pinnacle.
2. Alex Box Stadium, Louisiana State
LSU has led the nation in attendance for 22 straight seasons, spanning the old Alex Box Stadium and the new one, which opened in 2009. The new Box seats more than 10,000 fans and provides an outstanding setting for baseball.
3. Dudy Noble Field, Mississippi State
In a year, this might rank even higher. Mississippi State is in the midst of a $55 million renovation of the park, which already boasted one of the best atmospheres in the country.
4. TD Ameritrade Park, Creighton
The home of the College World Series doubles as Creighton’s home. While some grumble that it plays as too much of a pitcher’s park, no one can argue with its beauty and amenities.
5. Husky Ballpark, Washington
Set on Lake Washington, Husky Ballpark provides one of the best settings in the country with Mount Rainier visible on a clear day.
6. Boshamer Stadium, North Carolina
The rebuilt Bosh opened in 2009 and matches the classic style of the campus that surrounds it.
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7. Blue Bell Park, Texas A&M
With two decks and a facade reminiscent of the Rangers’ Globe Life Park in Arlington, Blue Bell Park feels like a major league ballpark combined with a college atmosphere.
8. Springs Brooks Stadium, Coastal Carolina
Springs Brooks Stadium, which opened in 2015, highlights the atmosphere of nearby Myrtle Beach, with a concourse that evokes the boardwalk and deck chairs lining the berms.
9. Eddy D. Field Stadium, Pepperdine
An unparalleled setting on the Pacific Ocean highlights Field Stadium and makes it one of the most picturesque venues in the country.
10. Founders Park, South Carolina
Founders Park has minor league amenities combined with a boisterous atmosphere that make it one of the best places to watch a game.
Top Five Historic College Parks
1. Swayze Field, Mississippi
Originally built in 1988, Swayze stands out for its charm and rowdy atmosphere, fueled by the student section in right field and its famous beer showers after home runs.
2. Disch-Falk Field, Texas
The Longhorns’ home since 1975, Disch-Falk Field has undergone several renovations but retains its original charm and is now filled with history and championships.
3. Sunken Diamond, Stanford
Built in 1931 on an area originally excavated during the construction of Stanford’s football stadium, Sunken Diamond provides a unique setting for a game.
4. Yale Field, Yale
The Bulldogs have been playing baseball on this site since the turn of the 20th Century when it was more of a field than a stadium. Yale Field opened in 1928, features a beautiful arch-lined concourse and Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Ted Williams have all played there.
5. Blair Field, Long Beach State
Opened in 1958, Blair has become intertwined with amateur baseball in Southern California. In addition to being the home of Long Beach, it also hosts the annual Area Code Games and countless future big leaguers have played on the field.