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Official Review by Matt Fiedler, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium is the home of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Highlanders. The stadium is located along the Passaic River in Newark, NJ. The stadium opened in 1999 and was the home of the Newark Bears from 1999-2013. The name of the stadium honors the Newark Bears of the International League, and the Newark Eagles of the Negro League. The Bears folded in 2013, but the remnants of the team are found throughout 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".
There are concession stands at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, but they are not open for NJIT games. Fans may bring food or drinks into the park to enjoy. There are also many restaurants and bars in the area to purchase food.
This is a former minor league baseball park. Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium is not a normal college venue in that sense. There is a PA announcer who does a solid job of announcing the players, and there is music between innings. There is a great view no matter where you sit in the park. You can see the skyline of Manhattan in the distance. You can also see reminders of the former Newark Bears and Newark Eagles. There is a ring of honor that honors players that have come through like Yogi Berra and Walter Johnson. There are logos and images of the Newark Bears logo all around the ballpark. There are programs that you can pick up when you enter the ballpark. The programs include a roster as well as some season statistics.
Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium is located along the Passaic River in Newark. Newark is not the best place to be wandering around. The stadium is located near NJIT, as well as Rutgers-Newark and the Seton Hall University Law School. There are some places to eat that are close by. Public transportation is the best way of travel because it is not a great idea to be walking around Newark, especially if you don't know your way around. There are also some hotels fairly close by, and the field is close to Newark Liberty International Airport.
The announced attendance at the game I attended was 200, but seemed to be less than that. NJIT is not a major program, so you wouldn't expect to have a large crowd. The crowd seemed to be mainly parents and relatives of the players. The crowd was relatively quiet throughout the game. There were some cheers, but it was mainly a quiet crowd. There were a few opposing fans as well at the game, and there were no issues.
Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium is very easy to access. The easiest way to get to the stadium is by using public transportation. If you take NJ Transit, you just get off at Newark Broad Street Station and the stadium is right there. It is a quick walk from the station to the stadium. If you are in Newark, you can take the light rail and get off at the Riverfront Stadium stop. You can park on the side street right near the stadium.
There is no charge to attend an NJIT baseball game at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium. Other than the cost of travel, you won't have to spend any money to attend an NJIT baseball game. You will see some solid baseball at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium. NJIT squares off with teams like Rutgers, Hofstra, and Niagara, just to name a few. There is a good atmosphere, a terrific view, and plentiful dining options in the area.
One star goes to the tremendous view of the skyline of Manhattan. You can see One World Trade Center as well as some other skyscrapers.
A second star is awarded for the programs and information that NJIT provides to the fans. Also, there is a scoreboard that provides the standard information that fans expect.
A final star is awarded for the heritage of Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium. The various images of the Newark Bears and Newark Eagles are a great thing to see. Names like Yogi Berra and Walter Johnson are in the Ring of Honor and it is great to see legends names associated with a ballpark.
NJIT is a college team playing in a former minor league ballpark. No matter how well the team does, the stadium will always look empty. The stadium is somewhat in disrepair, but the team does a good job in getting it in playing condition for games. The stadium has links to past baseball greats, and is a tribute to the rich tradition of baseball in Newark. If you find yourself in the area, it is worth a trip to see the NJIT Highlanders.
Member Review by sportsroadtrips on Apr 21, 2015
The stadium is falling into disrepair now that the Bears have folded. It is quite sad, there are urinals ripped out of the walls in the toilet. NJIT baseball is free, but the quality of play is very low. Otherwise, the existing review is accurate.
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