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Official Review by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Baseball has been played in Spokane, WA since the 1890s and was played in five stadiums before Avista Stadium.
The Spokane Indians are currently the Short Season A league of the in Texas Rangers. They play in the Northwest League.
They play in a beautiful, history filled stadium. The stadium will be upgraded at the end of the 2012 season which will include safety updates to the administration building, the concourse, and other areas of the stadium.
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".
The stadium has a great variety of food options: Sweet Shack (ice cream, cotton candy, pop corn, cream pies, etc.), Teriyaki Bowls (chicken, vegetables, rice, noodles), Longhorn BBQ (chicken, beef, German dog, baked beans, potato salad), the Grill (burgers, chicken sandwiches, bratwurst, hot dog, peanuts, seeds, chips, cracker jacks, etc.), Bruchi's (cheesesteaks and subs) and others.
Pepsi products are offered here as well as bottled water, coffee, and hot chocolate. There are some local beers available such as Pyramid Brewery's Hefeweizen and Curveball. Sam Adams and other domestic beers are also available.
Recommendation: Concession stands only accept cash so come ready with dollar bills in your wallet.
There is a fantastic view of the mountains beyond the outfield walls. There is an operating train track beyond outfield wall, as well.
The section leaders (ushers) motivate the crowd with dancing and clapping and high-fiving. They verify everyone in their section is fine by using the 'thumbs up' motion. Excellently done.
Big red K cards are handed out and every time an opposing batter got a strike out, all fans would raise their K card.
There is tons of history at Avista Stadium. There is a wall of history for the Spokane Indian tribe who originally inhabited this area of the Pacific Northwest. There is the Rim of Honor that pays tribute to individuals who have influenced the Spokane Indians, as well as a Hall of Fame Plaza at the entry way that recognizes former Spokane Indians players, managers, and owners' with plaques in their honor.
They did not play music when player changes were announced. They did play music or noise between pitches which got irritating after a while.
Avista Stadium is adjacent to the Spokane Expo Center. There are no restaurants or pubs nearby. It is in an industrial area. At the time I visited (June, 2011) there was so much highway and road construction going on it was hard to judge the nearby area.
The city of Spokane does have a fantastic area to visit known as Riverfront Park. It has an IMAX theater, train rides, amusement park rides, miniature golf, trails to walk, and many other forms of entertainment.
The fans were so into the game I attended. They hooted and hollered the entire time. They held up their K cards. They boo'd the umps when they disagreed with a call. The stadium was about ˝ full the night I attended.
Besides the road construction going on during my visit, access into and out of the stadium is relatively easy. Restrooms are fine and serve their purpose.
I paid $11 for a seat close to the action and it was well worth it. It appears they charge an extra $1 if you purchase tickets game day. Generally, ticket prices range from $6 - $10. Parking is free. Food and drink prices are average.
Seeing a game in such a historic venue and having a fabulous customer service atmosphere made going to a game here well worth the price of admission.
The Spokane Indians website is fantastic (especially as it displays all the history of baseball in Spokane). The history displayed at the stadium, the food variety, and the trains passing by in the outfield are definite call outs.
When I'm asked what my favorite stadium is, I always state Avista Stadium as one of my two favorite minor league stadiums. I'd recommend catching a game at Avista Stadium if you want to enjoy a great evening out at a ballpark.
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