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Official Review by Bradlee Ross, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Baum Stadium at George Cole Field is the baseball home of the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The ballpark opened in 1996 and has been renovated four times since then, with three of the four renovations resulting in expansions of the park’s seating. With a total capacity of 10,737, Baum Stadium is the fourth-largest college baseball venue in the United States and the second-largest in the SEC. It also consistently leads the nation in attendance, ranking second nationally in attendance during the 2012 season. The field is named after George Cole, the former Arkansas Athletic Director, and the stadium is named after Charlie and Nadine Baum, Walmart investors and financial backers 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".
One of the most satisfying aspects of the overall experience at Baum Stadium is the high quality and wide variety of concessions that are provided. Whether you are a traditionalist who likes peanuts and hot dogs or someone with more general tastes for burgers or pizza, you will not struggle to find exactly what your taste buds require.
To start, there are various vendors walking around so you won't have to leave the great game experience to get certain items including cotton candy and ice cold soft drinks or water. The food itself is of a very high quality across the board; I know because I have tried plenty of it. The regular baseball foods are all well-represented, but I'd personally recommend the trailer toward one end of the park that sells burgers, pork sandwiches and chili cheese fries. When your mascot is a hog, I'm not sure what effect that should have on your pork sandwiches. What I do know is that the ones sold at Baum Stadium are delicious.
There are plenty of dessert options as well, with Blue Bunny Ice Cream and Dippin' Dots stands every couple of sections. Stands selling kettle corn and roasted peanuts offer a nice snack as well.
Baum Stadium has a great food selection that reasonably priced and very tasty. But that is only the beginning of what makes this such a great college baseball fan experience.
Baum Stadium also provides an elite atmosphere, especially when it comes to many of the other college baseball venues in the area. There are tons of promotional contests and activities going on, the music between the innings is the type that people actually enjoy listening to and the PA announcer is very lively and keeps the crowd engaged.
Seating at the park is very well-spaced and comfortable, which is obviously an important aspect of the overall fan experience. There is also plenty of room to walk around on the concourse going around the park.
The Razorback mascot also adds a very fun element to the atmosphere. He is interacting with fans almost constantly, taking pictures, rousing the crowd and goofing around in general.
The trophy case filled with the Razorbacks' baseball exploits and the plaques commemorating the park's namesake only add even more to the park's appeal.
The area surround the facility offers plenty of options for those who wish to do more during their time in Fayetteville than watch baseball. There are plenty of great and familiar places to dine very nearby the stadium, including chain places like Sonic, Arby's, Subway and more. Those who are not fast food fans will want to check out places like Larry's Pizza, Sala Thai, El Camino and Zaxby's, all of which are restaurants less than a mile from the park.
Another very interesting place to go within a few miles of the stadium is the Fayetteville National Cemetery. This national cemetery is made up of about 14 acres and contains over 7,000 internments. It is great for anyone who enjoys learning more about the history of the military or who is simply patriotic.
As if the rest of this wasn't good enough, the fans are also some of the best around when it comes to college baseball. Expect the stadium to be consistently at least 80 percent full. Very few fans arrive late. In fact, almost the entire crowd will be in their seats a full 15 minutes before the game even gets underway. Not only is the punctuality of the fans impressive, but their involvement and engagement with what is happening on the field is as well. They are loud throughout the game and really never quiet down. This venue has the type of crowd that can tell the story of what is occurring on the field just by how they sound.
No one is leaving their seats while the game is going to go to the concession stand or anywhere else. They only leave between innings. In fact, I would advise that, if you visit this ballpark, you should always try to pull yourself from the game and go to the restroom or concession stand then. The reason is that there are literally no lines at either during the game and long lines at both in between innings.
This venue has the one of the best parking situations of any college baseball facilities in the country. Not only is there free parking to anyone who takes it, but there is also tons of it. Even with the amount of people, there will still be little trouble finding free, accessible parking. If you arrive within 15 minutes or so before the game is about to start, you'll still be able to find parking, however, you will have to park pretty far away if you don't get there early. My advice is to arrive early if possible.
The restrooms are clean and well-kept, if not the most modern ones you will find. There is also an Arvest ATM in the park in case you forgot to bring cash.
If you buy far enough in advance, you can get a ticket to a baseball game at Baum Stadium for less than $20. Considering the overall quality of the fan experience there, that is a massive bargain. The food is great, the atmosphere is fun, the fans are rowdy and the park itself is very readily accessible. There really is not anything more you could ask for in a venue.
I'm giving this park one extra point for the fact that literally no fans are leaving for the concession stands or restrooms during the game itself. I know I mentioned that before, but it is just so rare to see a fanbase that committed. They deserve an extra point.
Another extra point goes to the venue for its security. There are uniformed officers throughout the park, and they are on top of any potential problems that could have occurred. I know, because they actually questioned me a bit as to why I was snapping pictures of different parts of the park.
One last extra point for the real razorback mascot in a trailer just outside the park. I had never actually seen a live one in person before, and anyone who attempts to poke fun at the University of Arkansas' nickname will think twice when they see this creature.
Baum Stadium is by far one of the best college ballparks in the country. Like very few venues out there, it really does not have a single weak point in any facet. If you ever find yourself in Fayetteville during baseball season, you absolutely must make it out to a game at Baum Stadium. If you pass up the chance, you really can't call yourself a true baseball fan. The experience is that good.
Member Review by hogdude31 on Jun 10, 2013
beautiful stadium and a great place to watch a baseball game
701 S School Ave
Fayetteville, AR 72701
815 S School Ave
Fayetteville, AR 72701
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