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Official Review by James Hilchen, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Ballpark at Boys Town sits amongst the Boys Town property in Omaha. Boys Town is an organization that, “Helps children develop into responsible members of society” as seen on their web site.
Ballpark at Boys Town plays home to the Omaha Nebraska Mavericks baseball team. The Mavericks are completing their second season in the Summit League after being an NCAA Division-I Independent team in 2012. In its inaugural season in the Summit League in 2013, the Mavericks won the division with a 20-6 conference record. The Mavericks most famous baseball alumnus is Bruce Benedict, a two-time all-star catcher who played for the Atlanta Braves from 1978-1989.
In recent seasons, the Mavericks have played home games at Ballpark at Boys Town, Westside High School, and Werner Park, home of the triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers of the Pacific Coast League.
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 snack bar is located directly behind home plate and carries only the basics. On the good side, the prices are reasonable. Choices are limited, including hot dogs, seeds, and candy.
Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and other Pepsi products are available at $2 a bottle.
There isn't much in terms of atmosphere at the ballpark. The field is surrounded by chain link with three sets of metal bleachers behind home plate. The bleachers provide a great view of the game but without chair backs and little in the way of shade other than the press box directly behind home plate, it can become a little uncomfortable on especially warm days. A bare-bones scoreboard sits over the left field fence and is easily visible from anywhere around the park.
There are no great experiences in the immediate area of the Boys Town campus, but there are plenty of options across W. Dodge St when exiting the campus. Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Jimmy Johns, and Subway along with the other usual suspects are all available. Your best bet for a good experience sits about 2-3 miles east on 120th St at the Fox & Hound Sports Tavern. It's a comfortable place to enjoy a drink and have a meal before or after the game.
Fans are a nice group of folks, albeit a small group. They are just as likely to bring lawn chairs and sit down the left field side of the ballpark as they are to sit in the three sections of metal bleachers behind home plate. Most appear to be friends and/or family of the players along with a group of folks that turn out just to watch a ball game.
There are no problems getting to the ballpark. It is easily accessible off of W. Dodge St. There is ample parking for the size of the crowds that attend the games. Adjacent to the baseball field sits a football stadium. Take note of its location because if you need to use the restroom, that is where you will find one. The restrooms are cramped, old, and not in the best condition. The men's restroom doubles as a storage locker for football equipment.
The best part of the experience is the price. Parking is free, tickets are not needed, and the few refreshments at the snack bar are very reasonably priced. If you just want to see a ballgame without any extras, you won't be disappointed or out any money.
Stop by the snack bar and pick up a free stat sheet that includes the rosters, schedule, and statistics.
Ballpark at Boys Town is a tough sell in Omaha. Competing for college baseball fans when the Creighton Blue Jays play at TD Ameritrade Field, home of the College World Series, a mere few minutes away, this ballpark is easy to overlook. If you are looking for a great atmosphere and stadium experience, you can leave this one out. If you are looking for a relaxing place to take in a game and watch some college baseball, give Ballpark at Boys Town a try.
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