There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Mike Poirier, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Hamilton has been a staple in the Intercounty Baseball League circuit, but the franchise has gone through several name changes since joining the IBL in 1958. When they started, they were known as the Hamilton Beavers before changing to Red Wings, Marlins, Real McCoys, Cardinals, Thunderbirds and back to Cardinals in 2012.
The Cardinals are the second oldest sports team in the city of Hamilton, and have called the Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium home since 1970. The ballpark is named after former Hamilton Police Sergeant Bernie Arbour, who was the director of youth baseball in the city from 1948 until his death in 1967.
The stadium is located at the Mohawk Sports Park, and can be a little tricky to get to, as there is no direct link to any major highway. Parking is free, but spaces are limited.
Once you reach the stadium entrance, there is a small ticket window to the left. When you go through the entrance you immediately walk into the concession area which has a food vendor with a good selection of food items, and also serves as the team store. There are picnic tables in the concession area, and there is a roof which provides shade and protection from rain.
The seating area is set up beautifully, as the stands right behind home plate are above the play, and your back is to the sun. The main area can seat about 300 fans, and there are two larger grand stands along the foul lines which have a short fence in front of them.
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".
Bernie Arbour has a very good selection of food items, and feels similar to a junior hockey league concession stand. They have the usual food items like hot dogs, chips and pop, but they also serve fries and ten cent gum for a unique touch.
The stadium is an awesome spot to take in a game, but what the Cardinals are lacking is fan support. The franchise has only one championship to their credit which came in 1978, and the team has struggled in recent history. When it comes to sports in Hamilton, fans love to support the Canadian Football Leagues Hamilton Tiger-Cats and hold out hope for an eventual National Hockey League team, and nothing else. If the Cardinals were to go on a good run and fill the stadium near capacity, it has the potential to be one of the best places to see a baseball game in Ontario.
With Bernie Arbour being located at the Mohawk Sports Park, the stadium is surrounded by baseball diamonds and soccer fields. The park is also located next to a residential neighborhood, but with Mohawk Road nearby, it is easy to find several restaurant chains if you want to pick something up before or after the game. If you're into sightseeing, there is also a trail not too far away which goes along the edge of the Niagara Escarpment and offers a great view of the city and Lake Ontario.
Despite the lack of support, there are a few fans who are passionate about their team. There are a few who wear the Cardinal red at the games, but there are also several families who attend the games, which could be a benefit in the long run for the franchise.
Getting to the stadium can be a bit of a challenge if you're not from the area, and you don't have a GPS. But other than that, navigating your way around the stadium is very simple. The park is well laid out, and the grand stands along the foul lines are also wheelchair accessible.
Attending a game in Hamilton is very affordable, as they have the cheapest tickets in the IBL, next to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who don't charge for admission. Kids under 12 are free and adults are only five dollars, which makes for an awesome family outing.
It may be just a gimmick, but the Hamilton Cardinals don't seem to like losing baseballs. At the start of the game, the PA Announcer goes over the usual warnings for fans to always watch what's happening on the field for safety, but they also ask fans to return any foul balls they catch. It seems strange, but if you return the ball to the concession stand, you enter into a draw at the end of season for a chance to win a team jersey. If you're a jersey collector, this may inspire you to chase after the foul balls with the kids at the game.
There are no crowd reviews yet. Be the first and help us build with your expertise!
There are no local food and drink entries. Help us build with your expertise!
There are no local entertainment entries. Help us build with your expertise!
There are no local lodging entries. Help us build with your expertise!