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Blue Sox Stadium

Rooty Hill, NSW

Home of the Sydney Blue Sox

3.1

3.0

Blue Sox Stadium (map it)
81 Eastern Road
Rooty Hill, NSW 2766
Australia


Sydney Blue Sox website

Blue Sox Stadium website

Year Opened: 2000

Capacity: 2,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Blue Sox Stadium

Blue Sox Stadium at Blacktown International Sports Park (BISP) is the premier baseball facility in New South Wales. The Park is a multi-purpose sports venue, formally known as Blacktown Olympic Park. Built as a baseball/softball venue for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the precinct also features facilities for cricket, AFL, athletics, and soccer.

Blue Sox Stadium has a capacity of 2,000. Blacktown is in the western suburbs of Sydney and although it is one of the most populous local government areas in Australia, it does suffer from being far away from the Central Business District of Sydney.

BISP has hosted pre-season AFL games for both the Greater Western Sydney Giants and Sydney Swans, interstate men’s and women’s cricket matches, and is the training and administrative base for the Western Sydney Wanderers of the A-League who play their home games out of Pirtek Stadium at Parramatta.

The Australian Baseball League (ABL) was reformed in 2010-11, with six teams in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, and Perth. The “Blue Sox” moniker is a nod to the traditional blue worn by NSW sporting teams, attached to a well-known baseball term. The league has been set up with the support of MLB; a partnership that saw the 2014 season opener between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Blue Sox have built a steady following of loyal fans and have made numerous attempts to improve their venue and game day experience over the past few years.

3.1

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

The ABL in general has focused its efforts on providing great food and beverage options which is in contrast to many of the larger stadiums around the country. The most popular food selection at Blue Sox Stadium is Whitto's Pizza. Located at the back of the grandstand, individual pizzas are available for $11, along with garlic bread, and several chicken items (also $11). Pizzas (cheese, ham and pineapple, ham, pepperoni, and all meat), are made to order so if you give your seat number they will "deliver" your meal to your seat, therefore minimising the time you spend away from the game - a great idea!

There are some changes for the 2015/16 season with the canteen downstairs at this stage only offering hot dogs, which means the BBQ options have been discontinued, although I've been advised this may change later in the 2015-2016 season. There is also no longer a coffee cart or mobile ice cream truck. The bar is downstairs and offers a good selection of craft and imported beers.

Atmosphere    3

The majority of seating at Blue Sox Stadium is in the main grandstand which runs from first base around home plate to third base. Note that not the entire stand is covered. There is netting protecting the whole stand.

Given the size of the ballpark all seats have a good view and are close enough to also hear what is going on - such as players supporting their teammates from the dugout. This is a big plus for experiencing baseball and sport in general at this level.

The seating at ground level behind home plate has been modified and is a definite improvement over the portable seats there previously. Interestingly there are no longer general admission bleachers on either the first base or third base side. The beer garden took the place of the third base bleachers for the 2014/15 while there are now picnic tables where the first base bleachers once stood.

There is a scoreboard in the outfield which provides basic game details. Each batter is announced and accompanied by walk-up music, and there are regular events between innings to engage and entertain the crowd.

Several commemorative plaques around the stadium remind fans that the venue was utilised during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Neighborhood    2

The biggest weakness of the ballpark is its location. Blacktown International Sports Park is located in far western Sydney, which is a nice setting, but is in a mostly residential area. There are a few destinations of note nearby, but you really need a car. The Rooty Hill RSL (55 Sherbrooke St) is only a four minute drive away and offers entertainment, bars, restaurants, a hotel, and various leisure activities. There are also several other pubs in the area but the RSL is realistically your best option in the immediate vicinity.

Overseas visitors may wish to sample the local wildlife at Featherdale Wildlife Park while new waterpark Wet 'n' Wild Sydney is located at nearby Prospect, about a 15 minute drive.

Fans    3

The Blue Sox attract a good mix of fans that really enjoy their baseball. Over the years the amount of MLB gear worn in the crowd has decreased significantly with many fans now proudly sporting Blue Sox hats and shirts. Many in the crowd are families, which is good to see. Attendance numbers vary depending on the day of the week; Thursday night games are relatively quiet while Saturday night games often draw close to capacity crowds; a testament to the increasing presence of the Blue Sox in the community.

Opposition fans make up only a small number of fans in attendance due to the fact that all the other teams in the league are interstate. The one possible exception applicable to Blue Sox Stadium is the Sydney Blue Sox - Canberra Cavalry rivalry who battle for the Hume Highway Cup.

Blue Sox fans are knowledgeable and engaged in proceedings. There's some good natured "sledging" towards the opposition team, which also adds some humour to the experience.

Access    3

The best way to access Blue Sox Stadium is by car. Parking is plentiful and free. The ballpark is easy to get to and close to major arterial roads, the M7 and M4. Public transport options unfortunately are limited. The closest train stations are Rooty Hill and Doonside, both of which require a 20 minute walk.

Inside the ballpark it's easy to move around. The ground level seats behind first base and third base have been added to the original structure and are individual chairs, which is not ideal but have added additional quality vantage points. However, be aware that these seats are often exposed to the elements.

Restrooms are adequate.

Return on Investment    4

Adult tickets in reserved seating for single games range from $20-$40 depending on where you choose to sit. It's fantastic to see the Blue Sox investing in the stadium experience and providing different options to attract new fans. At these prices, the game day experience at Blue Sox Stadium is affordable to a broad market and represents good value.

Extras    3

In their short history the Blue Sox ball club has worked extremely hard to forge an identity and connect with the community. They always support grassroots baseball and local events. The club offers a personal touch not often seen these days, which is definitely worthy of recognition. There is an updated merchandise booth near the entrance to the ballpark.

Final Thoughts

The Blue Sox always put on a good show. This is chance to see good quality baseball, close up and in the flesh in Australia. Whether you're a local or a traveller, include Blue Sox Stadium on your next stadium journey.

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Crowd Reviews

Blue Sox Stadium

Total Score: 3.00

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

Blue Sox Stadium has a capacity of 2,000 spectators and is located within the confines of Blacktown International Sports Park. Blacktown is in the heart of Sydney’s western suburbs and is one of the most populous local government areas in Australia. The Park is a multi-purpose sports venue, formally known as Blacktown Olympic Park. Built as a baseball and softball venue for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the precinct also features facilities for cricket, AFL, athletics, and soccer. Blacktown International Sports Park has hosted interstate cricket matches as well as AFL pre-season games for the Greater Western Sydney Giants. GWS and the Western Sydney Wanderers (A League) have administrative and training facilities on-site.

The Sydney Blue Sox are one of six teams formed to re-establish the Australian Baseball League (ABL) for 2010-11. The ABL attracts a mix of fans including passionate MLB fans, general sports fans, and families. The name “Blue Sox” is a nod to the traditional blue worn by NSW sporting teams.

An early incarnation of the ABL ran from 1989-1999, and was then followed by the short-lived International Baseball League of Australia. The current ABL is jointly funded by the Australian Baseball Federation and Major League Baseball. It’s this partnership that helped to create the Opening Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground to begin the 2014 MLB season.

The Blue Sox, like the other ABL teams, have a mix of Australian born players with MLB or MiLB experience, international players (most often from the United States or Asia), and young local talent. David Balfour, father of Oakland closer Grant, has played a key role in establishing the Blue Sox and despite having stepped down for health reasons, continues to remain involved in the ABL.

The Blue Sox are promoting baseball in Australia

Total Score: 3.00

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 1
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

Food & Beverage:

There’s a Pirates Cove concession stand offering hot dogs, hot chips, candy, soda and the like; there’s Whitto’s Pizza, and the Blue Sox Bar. Mr. Creamy ice cream truck was the big hit of the day I attended.

Atmosphere:

There is a net behind much of the seating area. If you want to watch the game net free, choose the bleachers on the first or third base sides. I favored the first base side. During day games, the first base side gets the sun. The seats behind home plate are in the shade so those might be the best for hot Australian day games.
Much thanks to Rob for picking me up and showing me around. Excellent customer service here and I felt very welcomed. Thanks to Mark for ‘interviewing’ me at my 175th baseball park. It was a memorable way to celebrate it.

Neighborhood:

There are no hotels, restaurants, or bars within walking distanced as this facility was originally built for the 2000 Olympics. It is an hour or an hour and a half from downtown Sydney depending on from where you are departing and if you take the car or train.

Fans:

Lots of Blue Sox gear was seen. “Nice hat.” The fans love their Blue Sox and applauded during the announcement of the starting lineup and during good plays. There’s a little ‘ribbing’ between fans of other ABL teams and all in good fun.

Access:

Gates open two hours prior to the game.
One can take a train to Rooty Hill Station. The Blue Sox will pick you up from the train station and take you to the ballpark (and back after the game is over). Be aware if taking the train, one must walk over a bridge at the train station to get to the street, so the train station is not suitable for those with a fear of heights (me) or those in wheelchairs or have strollers. The ballpark is.
I, however, managed. The things I do for baseball.

ROI:

Single game tickets generally cost $15 - $40. I read there is a $5 per car parking fee. You may want to check their membership (season ticket) prices. They offer full season, half season, and one day per series options. It’s worth a trip here to watch the game and be a part of the Blue Sox experience.

Extras:

All the folks in the Blue Sox organization are very accommodating hosts. There are fan friendly contests between innings. Before the game, there was a t-ball game being played to help promote a new generation of baseball fans in Australia.

Good experience; needs work but has potential

Total Score: 3.00

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

My initial thought on Blacktown International Sportspark is that it's a victim of its location. Leave out the fact that it's a 45 minute subway ride out of the CBD, because that shouldn't be a huge deal if you're in Sydney and want to see a baseball game. What makes it tough is that the sportsplex (built for the 2000 Summer Olympics) wasn't built adjacent to the train line, nor was it built off the freeway. So you have a facility that is hard to reach by car or train, making it a tough sell. Kudos to the Blue Sox staff as they recognize this fact and are taking steps to make it more recognizable, but yes that's the primary drawback for this facility.

The seating bowl is the best in the ABL and the grass field is beautiful. The scoreboard is practically unreadable during day games (in my game I witnessed a near no hitter and practically no one knew about it). They have the single best food in the ABL (go to Whitto's Pizza they are delicious!) and the staff is incredibly friendly.

Baseball in Blue Sox

Total Score: 3.00

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

Blue Sox Stadium has a capacity of 2,000 spectators and is located within the confines of Blacktown International Sports Park. Blacktown is in the heart of Sydney’s western suburbs and is one of the most populous local government areas in Australia. The Park is a multi-purpose sports venue, formally known as Blacktown Olympic Park. Built as a baseball/softball venue for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the precinct also features facilities for cricket, AFL, athletics and soccer. Blacktown International Sports Park has hosted interstate cricket matches as well as AFL pre-season games for the Greater Western Sydney Giants. GWS and the Western Sydney Wanderers (A League) have administrative and training facilities on-site.

The Sydney Blue Sox were one of six teams formed to re-establish the Australian Baseball League (ABL) for 2010-11. The ABL attracts a mix of fans including passionate MLB fans, general sports fans and families. The name “Blue Sox” is a nod to the traditional blue worn by NSW sporting teams.

An early incarnation of the ABL ran from 1989-1999, and was then followed by the short-lived International Baseball League of Australia. The current ABL is jointly funded by the Australian Baseball Federation and MLB. It’s this partnership that led to the MLB Opening Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2014.

The Blue Sox, like the other ABL teams, have a mix of Australian born players with MLB or MiLB experience, international players (most often from the U.S. or Asia) and young local talent. David Balfour, father of MLB relief pitcher Grant Balfour, has played a key role in establishing the Blue Sox and despite having stepped down for health reasons, continues to remain involved in the ABL.

Baseball Blue in Sydney

Total Score: 3.14

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

Blue Sox Stadium has a capacity of 2,000 spectators and is located within the confines of Blacktown International Sports Park (BISP). Blacktown is in the heart of Sydney’s western suburbs and is one of the most populous local government areas in Australia. The Park is a multi-purpose sports venue, formally known as Blacktown Olympic Park. Built as a baseball/softball venue for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the precinct also features facilities for cricket, AFL, athletics, and soccer.

BISP has hosted pre-season AFL games for both the Greater Western Sydney Giants and Sydney Swans, interstate men’s and women’s cricket matches, and is the training and administrative base for the Western Sydney Wanderers of the A-League who play their home games out of Pirtek Stadium at Parramatta.

The Australian Baseball League (ABL) was reformed in 2010-11, with teams in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth. The “Blue Sox” moniker is a nod to the traditional blue worn by NSW sporting teams, attached to a well-known baseball term. The league has been set up with the support of MLB; a partnership that saw the 2014 MLB season opener between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Blue Sox roster always features a number of MiLB players but also many locals – a fact they are justifiably proud of. While they’re yet to make a championship series, the Blue Sox are always very competitive.

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Local Food & Drink

Zest Wok ‘n’ Grill  (map it!)

55 Sherbrooke St

Rooty Hill, NSW 2766

61 2 9625 5500

http://rootyhillrsl.com.au/zest-grillhouse

Rooty Hill RSL  (map it!)

55 Sherbrooke St

Rooty Hill, NSW 2766

+61 2 9625 5500

http://rootyhillrsl.com.au/

Local Entertainment

Featherdale Wildlife Park  (map it!)

217-229 Kildare Rd

Doonside, NSW 2767

61 2 9622 1644

http://www.featherdale.com.au/

Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney  (map it!)

427 Reservoir Rd

Sydney, NSW 2148

+61 13 33 86

https://wetnwildsydney.com.au

Lodging

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