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Official Review by DeRon Talley, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
When you have six NCAA College World Series Championships trophies, getting fans to support you with league-leading attendance isn’t difficult. Especially if you have them seated in a state-of-the-art stadium.
The Alex Box Stadium is home of LSU Tigers baseball team and for the past 16 seasons it has been the nation's best in attendance. In 2011, it welcomed 390,595 fans to enjoy America’s favorite past time.
The stadium is named after former player Alex Box, who lettered on the 1942 team. Box was killed while fighting in North Africa during World War II in 1943.
In 2009, LSU’s baseball team moved into a new and improved version of the Alex Box Stadium just a few hundred yards south of its original. In the new facility, the Tigers enjoy more locker and meeting room space.
The Alex Box Stadium is helping keep LSU’s tradition strong in winning and fan support, and the experience is well worth it.
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".
There are two concession areas that offer a great variety of food and beverages. It would be hard to not find something likeable at these concessions stands. Choices like snowballs and Dippin' Dots in the hot months, and hot chocolate is perfect in the cold months. The featured beverage is the "Tiger Big Gulp," which costs you $5, and the "Tiger Water" that will run you for $3. The usual items that are expected at a stadium's concession are there, and also some belly warming selects: chicken tender breast for $8 and pork for $6.50.
I was pleased with quality of the food too, and that there is the famous Louisiana Hot Sauce available at self-serve.
If you are a real baseball fan there will be no doubt you will have a blast here, I definitely did. Tiger spirit was definitely in the air, but more so was just the good ole baseball spirit. The stadium is set with the nice background of the LSU's Tiger Stadium (football) standing behind center field and to the right of center field is the wall showing the team's championship years. The Alex Box Stadium gives instant replay access on its high-definition video board and has private club boxes on the third level.
The Alex Box Stadium is in the southwestern corner of LSU's campus, across from Death Valley and next to LSU's golf course. LSU has all of its athletic facilities on the same side of the campus so it's a high-spirited area for fans.
Also, across from the stadium is a plaza with different diners and shops. There are places like a sushi shop, a bistro bar, Quiznos and some others, so finding something on the road home was easy. If none of that sounds desirable, there are many other places to grab a bite along the outskirts of the campus on Highland Road.
Everyone knows LSU has a rich tradition in winning and fan loyalty. Despite the team playing Nicholls State, a Southland Conference team, the fans came out during my recent visit. It wasn't surprising to see a full family of five there rooting for the Tigers. Or, even grandparents out with the grandkids. No matter who, they all strongly supported their team in the state-of-the-art facility. They all wore purple or gold, or both, and sounded proud to be there with their cheers. So, if you are looking for a place to root loudly, this is where you should be.
Getting around the stadium is pretty smooth, especially with the friendly event staff. There are seating areas that extend out and set behind the left and right fields. Catching a homerun ball could be very easy.
Because all of LSU's athletics facilities are in the same area, it is easy to find the stadium. Just drive south on Nicholson Drive and you will run smack dead into it. The Alex Box Stadium is the dominant building on its block though and offers good parking space if you have the proper credentials. If not, for free parking there is about a two-block walk.
In front of the stadium is the Gerry Lane Championship Plaza that has each championship season honored with its own display.
The stadium offers a great time for the entire family. If you want the best you usually have to pay more, and the Alex Box Stadium is no different. It costs $15 for adults to get in the grandstand section, but to sit in the bleachers only will cost $10. For the children who are three to twelve years old it costs $5 and those who are under three years old are free. But, a solo night out and two $20 dollar bills will show you a great time at the Alex Box Stadium.
I just have to throw in an extra point for the overall level of professionalism from the staff, players and fans. It felt more than just being at a college stadium.
There is nothing like sitting in front of an alumnus who played on the Tigers baseball team and having them educate the entire section on LSU players and their profiles.
Something that really impressed me was the Champions Club that is on the ground level. It's a bar lounge area for those with the proper credentials to enjoy the game. Looking from the outside windows, I could see that there was seating available, TVs and a bar.
All in all, the Alex Box Stadium is a nice experience, and for those who don't like to put their drink in their laps or get tired of holding it, there are cup-holders for everybody.
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