While the Aces aren't the first minor league baseball team to call Reno home, they play at the highest level of any of the Biggest Little City's previous teams. With names like the Silver Sox, Oilers, Padres, Chukars, Blackjacks, Astros and back to Silver Sox, professional baseball has a long, colorful history in the Truckee Meadows across multiple leagues and levels of play.
Most of those past teams played at 4,000-seat Moana Stadium, built in 1947 as part of a city-owned sports park a few miles south of downtown. When the Pacific Coast League's Tucson Sidewinders announced their intention to move to Reno in late 2007, city leaders knew the site would be wholly inadequate to host a Triple-A baseball team. It would later be demolished in 2012 to make way for youth athletic fields and a public pool.
A site next to the Truckee River and just east of downtown at the corner of 2nd Street and Evans Avenue was selected, and construction began shortly thereafter. On April 17, 2009, Aces Ballpark and its new residents welcomed a sold-out crowd of 9,167 with an 11-1 victory over the Salt Lake Bees. Renamed Greater Nevada Field in 2016, the ballpark enters its eighth season with a few new bells and whistles for fans to enjoy.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
In terms of selection and overall quality, the food and drink at Greater Nevada Field are exceptional, and easily the most overwhelming - but also best - parts of a visit to the ballpark. The service is friendly, credit cards are accepted, and the only real criticisms are the occasionally long lines and frequent waits once your order has been placed.
There are four newly upgraded concession stands at the ballpark, all of which sell unique items available only at those locations. There's the Burgertopia/Craft Beer Garden stand at the right field foul pole, which sells four different gourmet hamburgers ($10-$12); the locally-owned Wild Garlic Pizza & Pub stand behind first base offers pizza slices with braided crusts ($5), Verde meatball sandwiches and a "monster cookie" dessert ($7 each); the Biggest Little Grill/Franx hot dog stand behind home plate features a veggie burger, chicken sandwich, waffle chicken Caesar salad (those two are also available at the next stand listed), a "bird and a biscuit" sandwich with gravy, a buffalo chicken waffle sandwich ($6-$9.50), four different specialty hot dogs ($6-$9.75), garlic fries ($5), souvenir nachos in a special plate ($12.75), and a kid's menu with smaller hot dogs, chicken tenders and a combo meal ($3-$5.50); the Comstock Grill/Sweet dessert stand sells a monstrosity of pulled pork, brisket, chicken, mac and cheese, cole slaw, a cob of corn, chipotle mayonnaise and queso fresco known as the Bambino sandwich ($14), as well as a chili cheese hot dog ($5.75), three different kinds of funnel cakes ($5-$6), a small sundae in a souvenir helmet ($6), a waffle soft serve cone ($5) and a deep-fried Snickers bar ($6). More standard fare available at each concession stand includes regular hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, peanuts, small popcorns, veggie cups, candy, chips, French fries ($3.50-$5.75) and a large, refillable popcorn tub ($6.50).
Still more choices await at the free-floating stands throughout the park, which include pulled pork, BBQ waffle and BBQ brisket sandwiches from local joint Brothers Barbecue ($8), foot-long hot dogs and assorted bratwursts and sausages ($9-$9.25), Dippin' Dots ice cream ($4.50-$6) and a candy stand selling candy apples ($6-$9) and various chocolate-dipped treats ($5-$7).
The drink options are equally varied, and include sodas in souvenir cups (RC, Diet RC, Dr. Pepper, Diet Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, IBC Root Beer and Sunkist), hot chocolate, coffee, bottled water, soda bottles and Snapple iced tea ($3.75-$6). Beer runs $7.25 for Coors and Coors Light and $8 for a broad assortment of craft options (each weekend home series, the taps at the Burgertopia/Craft Beer Garden stand are "taken over" by a different brewery's offerings), and Mexican import beers, wine by the glass, cocktails and margaritas are also available at certain stands ($6.25-$9.50).
While a bottomless popcorn ($6.50) is great for sharing with friends and will help you stretch your money, we recommend the Verde meatball sandwich paired with a nice craft beer ($15 total). It's served in a hollowed out bread roll (so it's not technically a sandwich) and topped with green chile sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and jalapeńo slices.
Though it doesn't quite reach the "bucket list" level for a visiting fan, the atmosphere at the ballpark still represents a solidly entertaining overall experience.
Most of the seats at Greater Nevada Field are folding plastic seats with arm rests and cup holders concentrated along a single concourse level. There's also a grass berm in right field, additional cushions and personal concession service in the sections behind home plate, picnic table sections in right-center field and the left field foul pole, and standing railings throughout the ballpark. The natural grass surface stretches 339 feet to left, 410 feet to straightaway center, 425 feet to right-center and 340 feet to right, with a tall wall extending from left to center field. The suite level above the main concourse extends around the infield, and features newly upgraded local artwork in each suite, a press box behind first base, and Bugsy's Sports Bar and the rest of the Freight House District behind third base.
One of the ballpark's new upgrades for the 2016 season is an HD video board in left field with crisp replays of the action just above a standard 9-inning scoreboard. Though not necessary to fully enjoy a game, a smaller, secondary scoreboard on the opposite side of the stadium would be helpful.
In-game promotions run the gamut from trivia challenges, sing-alongs and various races to t-shirt tosses, pet adoptions and a "Simba Cam," which encourages parents with small children to dramatically/amusingly hold them up a la Simba from "The Lion King." Aces mascot Archie - sort of a cross between Grimace and the Philly Phanatic - is active in engaging with fans throughout the game, be it on the concourse or in seating sections. The 73 new speakers installed throughout the park better immerse the crowd in sound, and they're effective without being too loud.
If it's your first visit to the ballpark, a general admission ticket will enable you to sit on the grass (bring a blanket and enjoy the view of the skyline) or anywhere there's a railing. If a fixed seat is more to your liking, a left field reserved seat on the third baseline will afford a good view and keep you sheltered from most of the sun. On that note, be aware of the sun beating down on the right field half of the park for the first half of most evening games, and bring sunblock accordingly.
The neighborhood around the ballpark is of two halves: to the west, an expansive array of pre and postgame options downtown, and greatly dwindling, slightly sketchy options to the east. Stick to downtown, and your all-around experience will likely be good.
A considerable list of downtown dining choices can be narrowed down depending on what you're in the mood for and how much you're willing to spend. I recommend either Mellow Fellow, a gastropub with a variety of foods and a large beer list directly across 2nd Street from the ballpark, or Vietnamese restaurant Pho 777 further down 2nd.
Other choices at the Freight House District connected to the ballpark include Duffy's Ale House and Arroyo Mexican Grill. This area frequently hosts outdoor concerts with cover bands during and after weekend games, but we suggest venturing further downtown. The Truckee Riverwalk area boasts an assortment of shops and restaurants with scenic backdrops, and the Cargo Concert Hall is an intimate venue with different musical acts nearly every week. In the greater Truckee Meadows area, Virginia City and Lake Tahoe are both fine destinations for day trips.
Like its restaurants, downtown Reno boasts a slew of hotels to choose from, all of which come down to personal preference and your price range. We personally like Whitney Peak, next to the Reno arch and only a six minute walk from the stadium.
Reno Aces fans are adequately engaged in the action at games, and afford the team a decent home field advantage by minor league standards.
The ballpark typically averages between 5,000 and 5,500 fans per game out of an official capacity of 9,013, both of which are in the lower half of the Pacific Coast League. The figures tend to be buoyed by weekend games and games with strong promotional tie-ins like the team's annual Star Wars Night or games where dogs are allowed on the right field grass area.
Fans are appropriately reactive to big plays, and respond well to music and cues to clap or sing along. In general, they're fairly relaxed towards the proceedings happening on the field, but will happily cheer when given a reason to do so. Their passion probably won't win any recognition, but they aren't poor supporters, either.
Because of its location adjacent to downtown and the ensuing parking problems that sometimes arise, getting into and out of a game at Greater Nevada Field is something of a minor hassle. Once you arrive at the stadium, however, things improve.
Luckily, options to reach the area by bus are plentiful, as the Regional Transportation Commission's main transfer station at 4th and Lake Streets is a two block, four minute walk from the stadium. One such route can take you from Meadowood Mall to the transfer station in 24 minutes for $2 per adult per ride. Reno-Tahoe International Airport is about 13 minutes away by car.
Parking areas closest to the ballpark start at $5 for the Cal-Nevada, Harrah's or National Bowling Stadium garages on Center Street or various private lots in surrounding neighborhoods, and $10 at the Park Center Tower garage across the street. Center Street occasionally backs up after games because of this parking, but it's not overwhelming. At the cost of an eight to ten minute walk, we suggest trying the Eldorado or Silver Legacy parking garages if you don't feel like paying, but keep in mind they can also fill up for other events.
The main entrance gate is directly behind the third baseline, and a quick check of any bags (provided they're smaller than 16x16x8 inches) is the only real security concern. Small folding chairs are also permitted in the grass area in right field. While ticketless entry is technically possible, the ticket office informed us it's a little hit-or-miss at this time.
On nights with more manageable crowds, the concourse is wide enough to comfortably accommodate everyone. But when long lines appear at concession stands, it can sometimes impede pedestrian traffic around the park. Fortunately, the concourse is completely open to the field, and features closed circuit TVs at every concession stand. The stadium's bathrooms are big and fairly clean, with long waits an extreme rarity (even for the women's bathrooms). Handicap parking is available across Evans Avenue with a pass, and accessible seating is plentiful throughout the park.
There are lots of options for how much to spend on a night at the ballpark, and they're all just about the right price for what they offer.
Single game ticket prices can vary depending on demand, promotions, group rates and other factors. General admission tickets (grass area and standing railings) are $8-$9; right field reserved seats (sections 116-120) are $13-$15, left field reserved seats (sections 101 and 102) are $14-$16; infield reserved seats (sections 103, 115 and the upper halves of 104-107 and 111-114) are $18-$20; seats right outside Bugsy's Sports Bar on the suite level are $22-$24; infield premium seats (near the dugouts in sections 104-106 and 112-114 and the upper halves of sections 108-110) are $25-$27; patio seats next to the sports bar on the suite level are $27-$29, and home plate premium seats (the lower halves of sections 107-111) are $32-$34.
Large groups looking to sit together with packages that include catered meals and scoreboard recognition have several options, including the Baseball Mountain picnic area in right field ($29 for adults and $17 for kids), the Freight House Garden in left field ($29/adult and $19/kid), Coors Light Party Zone in left field and the Bullpen Deck in right-center field (both $31 for adults and $17 for kids).
Lastly, a suite rental will run you $1,500 for Sunday through Thursday games and $1,600 for Friday and Saturday games, and includes 20 game tickets, four parking passes and either $500 in food credit or other select food packages. Partial, half and full-season ticket plans start at $84 for a seven-game plan in the left field reserved sections and go all the way up to $2,164 for a full-season plan in the Dugout Club.
The team offers a good-sized game program for free at various stands on the concourse. Fans can save a little money with promotions like Two for $22 Tuesdays (two general admission tickets, two hot dogs and two sodas for $22), Boomer BOGO on select Wednesdays (2-for-1 tickets for fans 50 and older), Coors Light Thirsty Thursdays ($2 Coors Lights and small sodas up to the middle of the 5th inning) a dollar menu for Sunday games ($1 hot dogs, ribs, small popcorns and candy) and a Friends & Family Deal for select Friday and Saturday games (a right field reserved seat, Aces hat and voucher for a Wienerschnitzel combo meal for $17).
The main "extra" at the ballpark is hard to miss, and appears at the 7th inning stretch. A large, anthropomorphic baseball wearing an Aces cap named Mr. Baseball peeks over the center field wall and begins singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" along with the crowd. Depending upon whom you ask, this is either charming or slightly terrifying. Speaking for ourselves, we enjoyed it, both as an "only here" type of extra and as a feat of large-scale puppetry.
Also worth mentioning is the Kids Zone in right-center field, which features a playground and bounce house free of charge and a "test your speed" pitching game (3 balls for $1). We always like seeing a place for young children to entertain themselves at a ballpark in the event they aren't totally engaged in a game.
The audio/visual gags employed by the stadium's public address crew are also frequently laugh-out-loud funny, taking advantage of the greater degree of freedom afforded to minor league teams. Examples of these include a sound clip of Homer Simpson yelling "Boring!" whenever an opposing pitcher tries to pick off a runner multiple times in a row, and a video of a barking chihuahua played when an opposing manager argues a call with an umpire.
Lastly, a few quick hits: the murals painted by local artists at the stadium's home plate entrance are a nice touch; anywhere in right field affords a nice view of the downtown Reno skyline; there's a fireworks show after every Friday night game, and the team's media personnel are all courteous and professional.
A game at Greater Nevada Field represents a solid all-around value for what a ticket through the gate will get you. Minor quibbles with parking and concession lines are made up for with a high degree of interactive entertainment and a great selection of high-quality concessions. Bigger crowds on more nights of the year could elevate the venue from "above average" to a must-see destination for any serious baseball fan.
In 2009, the Reno Aces began play after relocating from Tucson. The Aces franchise has been part of the PCL since the league's inaugural season in 1903, when they played in San Francisco as the Seals, and can boast of having Joe DiMaggio as one of their alumni. From San Francisco to Phoenix to Tucson to Reno - an interesting history that shows how minor league ball teams can get around, even if it takes over a century.
The Aces nickname came from a name-the-team contest and combines the city's gambling background along with a baseball connection. The eight letter combination ties for the shortest in minor league baseball along with the Iowa Cubs and Orem Owlz.
We were lucky to be able to attend the first game ever at Aces Ballpark and have returned more than 60 times since. It is a totally enjoyable experience. The stadium is rather small and all the reserved seating is on one level and never more than 22 rows from the field making for a great view from anywhere. The field itself is large due to Reno's altitude (about 4,500 feet). Still, the ball carries and home runs and triples (my favorite play) are numerous and make most game high scoring and exciting.
As there is no parking at the ballpark, we have found it best to park in one of the casino parking garages on Sierra Street and walk the 4 or 5 blocks to the park.
The food at the park is not to our liking so we usually eat at one of the casino's before or after the games. There are plenty of choices.
We continue to enjoy baseball and Aces Ballpark and have a partial season ticket plan for the 2012 season and hope to be able to continue in the future.
The Reno Aces are the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks and have played in Reno since 2009 when they moved from Tucson. Aces Ballpark opened the same year and has the look of a new, state of the art ballpark.
Aces Ballpark is part of a larger redevelopment project called the Freight House District. Construction on the new redevelopment has slowed but has opened a few restaurants over the years and is great place to hang prior to games.
Since the ballpark is only a few years old there isn't much in the way of historical context here. The ballpark, the Aces and the city of Reno will host the 2013 Triple-A All-Star Game.
Flat out the best hospitality I have ever had at a game! Heard "enjoy the game" at least 10 times within the first five minutes; vendors had a couple of used game balls that they gave to kids when they came in, guest services actually treated me as a guest! I left my debit card at one of the attached eatery's and came back late at night to retrieve and they called around to make sure someone could come and open the place so I could get it! The guy lived 15 mins away, they blew me away! I will rate every place up against Reno from now on! They were all about the fan experience!
102 E 2nd St
Reno, NV 89511