Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium (map it)
Boone, NC 28608
Year Opened: 2007
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
High in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina is the lovely campus of Appalachian State University. Appalachian State is home to more than 18,000 students spread out over a more than 400 acre campus. The largest academic programs offered by the school are in the fields of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education and Music. Appalachian State was founded in 1899 and is a part of the North Carolina University System.
For obvious reasons the Appalachian State sports teams go by the name “Mountaineer” and each of the athletic facilities on campus offer breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks. The Mountaineer baseball program is headquartered at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium. Built in 2007, the stadium has 1,000 seats and room on the surrounding hill for those who want to watch from a lawn chair. The field is made of a Field Turf playing surface due to the ever changing weather conditions in the mountains (it is not unusual for snow to be scraped off the field during some of the early spring games!). The Mountaineers have a .685 home winning percentage since the stadium opened. Amenities in the baseball complex include an indoor hitting and pitching facility, a press box and separate buildings for concessions and souvenirs. The complex also features a state of the art Crestron sound system and Daktronics score/message board.
Appalachian State is the newest member of the Sun Belt Conference which includes teams such as Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Texas State, Louisiana-Monroe, Troy State and Texas-Arlington. They also play many intrastate games against ACC schools.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There is one concession stand at Smith Stadium, and when there is a large turnout, it struggles to keep up with the line. The stand faces the parking lot away from the field, so people waiting in line cannot see the game action. The prices at the concession stand are very reasonable; drinks ($2), cotton candy ($3), hot dogs ($2), nachos ($2), popcorn ($1) and candy ($1) You may want to bring your own food, as picnic tables are provided in several locations within the stadium.
A Mountaineers home game is truly an event. Expect the stands to be filled long before game time and expect a sea of yellow and black. ASU is very isolated geographically so athletic events draw large crowds no matter what the team's record. The bluegrass and country songs played during breaks in the game are really in touch with the beautiful mountain scenery surrounding you. The setting of the stadium is on top of a mountain overlooking the campus and is spectacular for first time visitors. ASU also does lots of fan involvement with contests between innings and giveaways for lucky ticket holders. Being the newest member of the Sunbelt Conference, the fans are very welcoming to the teams who are visiting Boone and ASU for the first time.
Appalachian State is located in the lovely town of Boone, NC which takes its name from the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone, who spent time in the area in the 1760's. It has 17,000 residents and has appeared on both the "100 Best Small Towns in America" and "10 Best Places in the U.S. to Retire" lists. When you drive into town you will understand why... the scenery is gorgeous, outdoor activities abound and it offers cultural, food and shopping activities not typically found in many smaller towns.
King Street is the main thoroughfare in the town, and many of the best restaurants and shopping line it. Among the places you'll want to visit are the Tapp Room Restaurant and the Daniel Boone Inn & Restaurant and Bandanas. Another popular place to hang out is the nearby Appalachian Mountain Brewery. There are not many large hotels in Boone, but the Comfort Inn and the Best Western Blue Ridge Plaza are located right in town. Many visitors prefer to rent a cabin or stay at one of the many B&B's in the area. The Boone Visitor's Center will be happy to suggest some accommodations.
By nature, students at Appalachian State and local residents love the great outdoors. They are also huge sports fans as the Mountaineer football, basketball and baseball teams usually play in front of a full house. Due to remoteness of the area, there are no minor/major league sports teams to compete with and many of the games feature other schools located in North Carolina. Classes typically end around 3pm, so a majority of the students have no academic conflicts with the games. You'll find a real mix within the fan base, from moms with strollers, students and a good percentage of retirees who just love baseball. More than likely, you'll meet Yusef, the mascot incarnation of the Mountaineer.
Boone is located about 80 miles northeast of Asheville, NC. More than 40 miles from Asheville, the nearest interstate to Boone is I-40. The main route leading into Boone is Hwy 321, 40 miles from the Hickory exit of I-40. The route is mountainous, but has been widened to four lanes for most of the way. Still, you'll find yourself stopping at numerous pull offs along the way to take in some of the beautiful views of the surrounding area, especially around Blowing Rock. You will want to gas up and take care of personal needs at the interstate as there are very few facilities on the winding mountain roads after you get north of Lenoir, NC. Once you get to Boone for a baseball game, the parking is usually not an issue, as Smith Field has its own parking lot. The high season/traffic congestion here is in the fall when thousands of autumn leaf peepers and Mountaineer football fans overwhelm the available parking.
Tickets are between $5-$7 depending on reserved versus general admission seating. All seats are of the seatback variety, except the picnic tables. The parking is free and the concessions are reasonably priced. The scenery surrounding you provides million dollar views and accommodations are plentiful and reasonable ($60-$80) in Boone. All in all you get a lot for your money in return for your trek to ASU's beautiful campus.
One of the more unique cultural offerings in the Boone area is the "Horn of the West" play that is performed during the spring and summer months in Boone's outdoor amphitheater. The play covers the many exploits of Daniel Boone during his time in the area. Also located nearby are several natural wonders, including the Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock and the Linville Caverns. Two other activities you need to include are a visit to the Mast General Store, which opened in 1913 and is now on the National Historic Register, and a visit for the kids to see the Tweetsie Railroad, an amusement park just south of town on Highway 321.
If you're headed out to a Appalachian State baseball game, check out this video they put together in 2012:
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Boone, NC 28607
840 E King St
Boone, NC 28607