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Sprenger Health Care Stadium

Avon, OH

Home of the Lake Erie Crushers

4.3

3.2

Sprenger Health Care Stadium (map it)
2009 Baseball Blvd
Avon, OH 44011


Lake Erie Crushers website

Sprenger Health Care Stadium website

Year Opened: 2009

Capacity: 5,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Fun Times In The Frontier League

The Lake Erie Crushers may be an independent league baseball team just outside of the baseball crazy city of Cleveland, but perhaps that is what makes it so perfectly placed. For a family or even the casual baseball fan who wants a chance to see professional baseball without spending professional prices, or even if you're a die-hard who wants a look at some of tomorrow's future stars, the Crushers offer the perfect mix of affordability, quality facilities, and entertainment value for all of your wants and needs.

4.3

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

The food and beverage options are fairly plentiful, not overly varied, but absurdly affordable. The Crushers offer dollar hot dog nights, as well as "Thirsty Thursday," where a 10-ounce beer (Labatt's Blue) or soft drink is just $1, and a 20-ounce beer or 24-ounce soft drink is just $2. Hot dogs and corn dogs are a mere $3, chicken finger baskets and pulled pork sandwiches are $6, three fresh pierogies are $6, nachos or cheese pizza are $4, and burgers are $5. However, among the other assorted items, the standout by far is the Polish Boy, a kielbasa with a pierogi, hot/sweet slaw, and beer mustard on top, all for only $6.50.

Atmosphere    4

The game day experience is one that is perfect for families and casual fans, as well as the die-hards among everyone. There is a single-level seating bowl that runs from left field to right field, but what is above the bowl steals the show. High-top tables for four are located on the edge of the concourse above the seating rows, providing a comfortable place to sit and watch the game. These seats are available for just over $50 without a waiter, or $72 with a personal waiter, and includes four tickets to the game. For those who want an even lower option for pricing, $6 will get you a seat on the grassy hill outside left field. Throughout the game, there are various giveaways, games played on the field between fans, and the fun never stops from there. Plus, who doesn't like a visit from Stomper the Bear, the team's mascot?

Perhaps the biggest and most overlooked aspect of the stadium is that this is one of the cleanest stadiums this reviewer has ever seen. Spotless restrooms, seating areas, and even stairwells make this a comfortable place to watch professional sports, regardless of the weather or the results outside.

Neighborhood    4

The specific exit on which the stadium sits may not blow anyone's mind, but look just beyond and you will find a beautiful neighborhood full of places to eat, shop, and relax. Avon Commons is a popular shopping area just one exit down, complete with a Kohl's, Target, Costco, and restaurants such as The Winking Lizard, Chipotle, Mitchel's Ice Cream, Panera, and many more. There are also a few hotels nearby. If you want to go into Avon Lake, the area of Avon along Lake Erie, you will find some B&Bs, wineries, and a small-town feel. If you want an even greater place to shop and dine, Crocker Park is just a few miles down I-90, arguably one of the best places in Cleveland outside of downtown to shop and eat in a neighborhood-type outdoor mall setting.

Fans    3

The fans cheer loudly -- more than one may expect for an independent league baseball game. However, the Crushers are former league champions, and their fans know it. There are plenty of displays on the concourse for fans to visit and win giveaways, as well as a great game being played on the field to keep their attention. Most fans bring their families, and children are definitely welcome to the facility. Even the most die-hard fans have fun, talking up anyone nearby and making for a pleasant evening. The profanity is practically nonexistent, as the feeling is a lot more relaxed than other sports.

Access    5

Getting to the stadium is about as easy as possible. When driving on I-90/Ohio-2, it's impossible to miss the stadium nestled right next to the highway. Once you get off the exit, one turn is all it takes to get to the driveway, where plentiful parking awaits. Parking costs a small fee of just $3, and getting in and out of the stadium is painless, with traffic directors on hand to help keep the flow of fans exiting the game moving along.

Return on Investment    5

Taking into consideration the extremely low price it costs for a ticket and for food, you cannot argue how great the value a family is getting from a Crushers game. A family of four can go to the game AND get something to eat and drink for less than $50. How can you beat that? With tickets as low as $6 for general admission and $9 for a ticketed seat, the value of a Crushers game is immensely greater than many other professional sports.

Extras    5

For the kids, a bounce house section sits outside of right field, providing for the perfect location to allow the kids let off some steam while having a great time at the game. Also, it is not a bad place to catch a home run or two, either.

Before each game, the team also has a player available on the main concourse offering free autographs for fans. Each game brings a different player.

There is also a different player at each game who wears a special jersey that is auctioned off throughout the night for charity, signed and given to the winner after the game's conclusion.

There are also banners and a plaque on display for the team's championships, celebrating the team's short but successful history in the Frontier League.

In addition, the fan store sells one of the more unique pieces of memorabilia, with game-used, broken bats for sale at $20.

Finally, kids frequently get to run the bases after the game is over, and with the entire field being made of turf, no damage is done to the playing field.

Final Thoughts

The Crushers are a new professional team in the suburbs of Cleveland, and being in an independent baseball league, are not going to draw the attention of someone like the Indians. However, with that said, it is hard to argue the fact that their fans are knowledgeable, the facility is spotless, and the entire game day experience is inexpensive. Fans should no less perhaps pay more attention to the other team on the lake.

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Crowd Reviews

Great View of the Highway

Total Score: 2.71

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 2
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 2

Recently attended the MAC Tournament at All Pro Freight Stadium. It was a little underwhelming as a facility, although I did like the seating, including the tables and chairs above the seating areas on the concourse.

The food was just average, and overall it is sort of a ho-hum stadium. I'll be doing a review of the experience of the MAC Tournament at this facility, but I'll be interested to go back to see the Crushers and see how it compares.

Crush It

Total Score: 3.14

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 1

The Lake Erie Crushers began their existence in 2009 as a member of the Frontier League, an independent professional baseball league. In their first year, they won the league title. Their home is All Pro Freight Stadium, an accessible park found in Avon, Ohio, just west of Cleveland.

The park features a turf surface that I am not particularly fond of, but the park overall provides good entertainment value and affordability. Besides being the home of the Crushers, All Pro Freight Stadium hosted the 2012 MAC Baseball Tournament, where it is scheduled to be played in 2013 as well.

Nondescript Ballpark in a Nondescript Location

Total Score: 2.71

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 2
  • Neighborhood: 1
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 2

This place is your typical independent league ballpark. It's located right off of I-90, with nothing notable around it but a parking lot. With all the land around it, it seems like they put the park awfully close to the highway, and there are nets to protect passing cars from foul balls. There is a huge berm in left field full of kids rolling around all game. You can completely circle the park, which is always nice. Crowds seem kind of small for the Frontier League, but not drastically so. There just isn't much here to make this park stand out.

Lakeside Baseball

Total Score: 3.29

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 3

Baseball came to the Cleveland suburb of Avon in 2009, when the independent Frontier League added the Lake Erie Crushers to their 14-team association. The Crushers shot out of the gate, winning the league championship that year and never finishing lower than fourth in the East Division.

The Crushers have enjoyed all that success in All Pro Freight Stadium, a 5,000-seat park that made its debut the same year as the Crushers. Avon-based freight company All Pro Freight Systems ponied up the money for naming rights the first year, no doubt with a mix of civic pride and desire for promotion. In addition to the Crushers, the park hosts the MAC college baseball championships, as well as other local events.

All Pro Freight Stadium is a good, if not outstanding, park that is a great value and easy to reach, in a somewhat blah suburban locale.

Fun Times In The Frontier League

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

The Lake Erie Crushers may be an independent league baseball team just outside of the baseball crazy city of Cleveland, but perhaps that is what makes it so perfectly placed. For a family or even the casual baseball fan who wants a chance to see professional baseball without spending professional prices, or even if you're a die-hard who wants a look at some of tomorrow's future stars, the Crushers offer the perfect mix of affordability, quality facilities, and entertainment value for all of your wants and needs.

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Local Food & Drink

Two Bucks  (map it!)

36931 Detroit Rd

Avon, OH 44011

(440) 937-8647

http://www.twobucks.us/

Nemo Grille  (map it!)

36976 Detroit Rd

Avon, OH 44011

(440) 934-0061

http://www.nemogrille.com/

Strip Steakhouse  (map it!)

36840 Detroit Rd

Avon, OH 44011

(440) 934-9900

http://www.stripsteakhouse.com/

Wood & Wine  (map it!)

38790 Chester Rd

Avon, OH 44011

(440) 934-9463

http://www.thewoodnwine.com/

Mulligan's Pub & Grille  (map it!)

38244 Colorado Ave

Avon, OH 44011

(440) 934-6666

http://www.mulligans-avon.com/

Winking Lizard  (map it!)

2125 Center Rd

Avon, OH 44011

(440) 937-7612

http://www.winkinglizard.com/

Vintage House Cafe  (map it!)

35800 Detroit Rd

Avon, OH 44011

(440) 937-5830

http://vintagehousecafe.com/

Bubba's-Q  (map it!)

820 Center Rd

Avon, OH 44011

(440) 937-7859

http://www.bubbasbonelessribs.com/

Local Entertainment

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center  (map it!)

28728 Wolf Rd

Cleveland, OH 44140

(440) 871-2900

http://www.lensc.org/

Miller Nature Preserve  (map it!)

2739 Center Rd

Avon, OH 44011

(440) 937-4545

http://www.metroparks.cc/miller_nature_preserve.php

Lodging

Fairfield Inn & Suites Cleveland Avon  (map it!)

39050 Colorado Ave

Avon, OH 44011

(440) 934-7445

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/cleav-fairfield-inn-and-suites-cleveland-avon/

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