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Official Review by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Campanelli Stadium is named after Alfred Campanelli, who donated two million dollars to the City of Brockton for a project that would “substantially benefit the people of Brockton”. The city used this money to build the ballpark that would bear his name in 2002.
Campanelli Stadium serves as host to the Brockton Rox, who played for ten years in the independent Can-Am League and its precursors. Since 2012 the Rox have played in the Futures Baseball League, a wooden bat summer collegiate league. The Rox were originally planning to play only a single season as an amateur team as they straightened out their finances, but the 2016 season will mark their 5th year in the Futures League.
The name “Rox” is a derivative of the nearby Boston Red Sox, as well as Brockton native Rocky Marciano.
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".
Long-time visitors to Campanelli Stadium will notice some changes in the concessions for the 2016 season. Most notably, the popular beer garden located beyond the right field fence is gone, as are the food concessions formerly located there.
The majority of concessions are sold at two large stands located on either side of the ballpark. A simpler menu is now offered at these stands, featuring ballpark staples such as hot dogs, burgers, chicken tenders and pizza. Fans looking for snacks can choose from nachos, pretzels, French fries, popcorn and peanuts. Prices are comparable to other minor league ballparks in the area, and the quality is decent.
Many fans will skip the main stands and head towards either of the grilles located on both baselines. These stands offer jumbo hot dogs, double burgers, sausage and pepper sandwiches, and grilled chicken sandwiches. Unique items such as veggie burgers, pastrami sandwiches, reubens and pulled pork sandwiches dot the menu board here.
Pepsi products are featured at Campanelli Stadium, and for a small ballpark, a rather large selection of beer is offered. Corona, Miller Lite, Coors Light and more are sold in both draft and bottle form. A selection of wine and mixed drinks are also available.
The Futures League presents their games in a manner more similar to a typical minor league ballgame than do their neighbors in other summer collegiate leagues in the area. Most breaks in the action feature some sort of giveaway or promotional activity. Unfortunately, the sound system isn't the best, and the banter of the ballpark MC (Ballpark Frank) is mostly unintelligible.
Likewise, other parts of the game day experience that used to be a strength of the Rox have faded over the years. There is a kid's play area located underneath the stands which features a few inflatable houses, but looks tired and a bit rundown. In addition, there is a charge for children to use the facility.
Campanelli Stadium is located in a business district in the small, hard-scrabble city of Brockton, MA, located 25 miles south of Boston. Campanelli Stadium is located adjacent to Brockton High School, Marciano Stadium, and the Brockton Fairgrounds. Despite the presence of many businesses in the immediate vicinity of the ballpark, there is nothing near the ballpark that would qualify as an attraction to an out-of-town traveler.
There are several fast food restaurants near Campanelli Stadium for hungry fans to visit before and after the game. Fans looking for something more substantial should check out Owen O'Leary's for a good Irish Pub experience, or McMenamy's for some of Brockton's best seafood. Both are located near the ballpark.
The Rox have averaged around 1,600 fans per game during their first four years in the Futures League. While these figures are significantly less than what the professional Rox drew, these crowds have ranked the team in the top three of the circuit each season.
Unfortunately, even with an average nightly attendance of over 1,500, a half-full stadium still looks, well, half empty. In an effort to attract more fans to Campanelli, the Rox front office puts on a different promotion every night and offers a great deal of group packages to local schools and organizations. It's not unusual to see large groups of children descend on the ballpark.
Campanelli Stadium is located approximately a mile off of Route 24 in southeast Massachusetts. Fans traveling to Brockton will take exit 17A off of Route 24 (Belmont St.), and follow it approximately one mile. Campanelli Stadium is located on the right.
Parking is available in a small lot adjacent to the stadium as well as in the High School parking lot. There is a $5 charge for these lots, as well as in a couple of small lots within a short walk of the ballpark. Driving is pretty much the only method to get to Campanelli Stadium. Even though local busses stop at Brockton High School next door to the ballpark, service ends at 9 pm.
Fans entering Campanelli Stadium will climb a flight of stairs to reach the concourse at the top of the seating bowl that affords views of the field. It is lined with portable concession carts and local groups advertising their wares. The concourse is generally easy to navigate on a typical game night.
Most of the seats here are individual seats with enough leg room even for taller fans. The exception is section 101 all the way down the right field line, which consists of metal bleachers. If you wish to stretch your legs even more, there is a sizeable amount of standing room beyond the fence in right field. Rest rooms are more than adequate for typical crowds at Campanelli Stadium.
Tickets for Brockton Rox games cost $12 for Super Box seats, $9 for Box seats, and $6 for reserved seating. Since the Rox usually don't come close to filling up Campanelli Stadium, your best bet is to buy a reserved ticket and simply sit where you want.
Despite their relegation to amateur baseball after a decade of professional ball, the Rox have not adjusted their pricing structure. With a $5 parking charge added to ticket prices, a night at a game in Brockton is among the most expensive in the Futures League. Of course, expensive here is a relative term, as a family of four can still come to a Rox game for less than $30.
Boxing fans may want to take a walk behind Campanelli Stadium to Champions Park, where a statue of legendary boxer and Brockton native Rocky Marciano is located. The Rox have retired two numbers in honor of men who never played for the team. Brockton residents Rocky Marciano (#49) and Marvin Hagler (#62) have numbers retired matching the number of victories each man recorded in his boxing career. Their jerseys hang both on the exterior of the stadium and on the outfield wall.
An extra point is also awarded for the Shaw's Center, one of Brockton's premier event and conference facilities, located on the end of the third base grandstand. On certain nights people attending various events at the Shaw's Center spill outside to catch some of the action.
Campanelli Stadium was an adequate independent league ballpark that has found a home in the Futures League alongside other former area minor league ballparks. In fact, former Can-Am League ballparks in Pittsfield, Nashua, Lynn and Worcester are all part of this league.
Unfortunately, Campanelli Stadium is starting to show signs of neglect. In some places fences are held together with caution tape, there are many areas of the park that could use a coat of paint or some TLC, and the field looks like it doesn't receive the type of care it did when the professional Rox played here. Still, for this level of play, it is a fine facility.
Follow Paul Baker's stadium journeys on Twitter @PuckmanRI.
Member Review by puckmanri on Jun 09, 2014
Campanelli Stadium is named after Alfred Campanelli, who donated two million dollars to the City of Brockton for a project that would “substantially benefit the people of Brockton.” The city used this money to build the stadium that would bear his name in 2002. Campanelli Stadium served as host to the Brockton Rox, who played for ten years in the independent Can-Am League and its precursors. Since 2012 the Rox have played in the Futures League. The name “Rox” is a derivative of the nearby Boston Red Sox, as well as Brockton native Rocky Marciano.
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