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Cardines Field

Newport, RI

Home of the Newport Gulls

3.9

3.6

Cardines Field (map it)
20 America's Cup Ave
Newport, RI 02840


Newport Gulls website

Cardines Field website

Year Opened: 1938

Capacity: 3,250

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Baseball in the City by the Sea

Cardines Field is the home for the Newport Gulls of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, as well as the site of the Sunset League, which is the oldest amateur baseball league in existence. It is one of the oldest baseball stadiums in use today, as baseball games have been played at this site (originally known as Basin Field) since 1908. Originally used as a source of water for steam locomotives until the neighbors complained of the smell of the stagnant water, the lot was converted to a ball field by railroad employees. The original grandstand, which dates back to 1936, was named after Bernardo Cardines, the first Newport resident to die in World War I.

The Gulls have quickly become the flagship franchise of the NECBL, winning 11 division titles and 6 league championships in their 15 years in the league. In 2012 Perfect Game USA ranked the Gulls as the number one summer college team in the country, and Cardines Field is routinely ranked among the top summer college ballparks in the nation. The Gulls routinely lead the NECBL in attendance, and attract some of the premier college talent in the country. After all, what college aged young man wouldn't jump at the opportunity to spend a summer playing ball in one of the top summer tourist destinations in the nation?

3.9

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

Cardines Field features a permanent concession stand down the first base line, which is operated by local favorite The Blue Plate Diner. The menu is quite extensive for a ballpark of this size, with a menu that ranges from standard ballpark hot dogs and hamburgers to bratwurst, cheesesteaks, and corned beef sandwiches. Fans looking for healthier alternatives can choose from assorted salads and wraps. A variety of snacks, such as sunflower seeds, peanuts, ice cream, and assorted candy is also sold here. Of course, no seaside ballpark would be complete without some clam chowder.

Coca Cola products are featured at Cardines Field, with fountain drinks sold in only one size for $1.50. Fans looking for adult beverages will have to take in the game from the Mudville Pub, which is located adjacent to Cardines Field, and features a back porch which overlooks the field from short right field.

New for the 2016 season is a food truck operated by local favorite Flat Waves. Parked beyond the left field grandstand, this truck sells hawaiian-inspired items such as Shoyu chicken, Kalua pig, lemongrass ginger burgers, fish tacos and smoked chicken wings.

Be warned that the area around the concession stand can get quite crowded, and lines can stretch down the aisle which runs in front of the seating areas. This is due more to the physical constraints of the ballpark than to any lack of service. Fans sitting in the front rows of the stands will often have their view blocked by fans waiting in line.

Atmosphere    4

The uniqueness of Cardines Field itself lends to the lively atmosphere at a Gulls game. Since space is at a premium, even a smaller crowd looks like a full house. There are no aisles to get up to your seats, and there is only one narrow walkway around the park. The only way around at Cardines is to weave your way in and out between other fans. This forced closeness makes a Gulls game more of a communal experience than most other parks.

Cardines Field is a hodgepodge of five distinct grandstands, built over the course of the ballpark's 80 year history. All of the grandstands are wooden bleachers placed on top of permanent concrete structures. It is highly recommended that you bring seatbacks or seat cushions. The grandstand on the first base line and the grandstand behind home plate are covered, and highly desired during hot summer days. Since Cardines' Field one walkway features a constant flow of traffic, seats in the first few rows suffer from a great deal of obstruction. If you don't mind the climb, seats higher up on the grandstand offer better views of the action, as well as benefiting from the non-stop breeze from the nearby ocean.

When visiting a classic ballpark such as Cardines Field, you would expect a traditional gameday experience. However, this is not necessarily the case. Although the PA announcer making lineup announcements and messages from sponsors with a dry wit fits in perfectly, the Gulls' staff makes sure there are plenty of activities to keep the younger fans involved.

Every half inning features some sort of contest or giveaway, highlighted by the eighth inning's mascot chase, which features virtually every child in attendance running from the left field line out to center field, where the Gulls two mascots, Gully and Gully Jr., are waiting.

Neighborhood    5

Newport is a renowned summer vacation destination, and the neighborhood around Cardines Field is one of the major attractions in this small city. Cardines Field is located on the North End of the Brick Market, an area full of shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions. Newport Harbor is just a few blocks away, and on the far end of the Brick Market is Thames Street, another popular area full of shops and restaurants. Seafood lovers have their pick of excellent restaurants to choose from, as the food practically goes directly from the ocean to your plate. Newport also offers a variety of attractions for visitors, such as the famous Mansions from the Gilded Age, the Cliff Walk, and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The Touro Synagogue, the first synagogue built in the United States, is located a short walk from Cardines Field. Newport also offers several white-sand beaches, and spectacular ocean views at Brenton Point State Park.

A popular gathering place at Cardines Field is Mudville Pub, which is located directly adjacent to the ballpark on West Marlborough Street. Mudville Pub is known for their burgers and large selection of beer. Anyone wishing to continue the party during a Gulls game can simply adjourn to Mudville's back porch, which overlooks the field. Fans looking for other dining options will have no difficulty finding a place within walking distance of the ballpark, as Brick Market and the many seaside wharves nearby are full of great restaurants.

Fans    4

The Gulls routinely lead the NECBL in attendance, averaging well over 2000 fans per game in a 3000 seat venue. The fans are a mix of regulars who have been sitting in the same seats since the arrival of the Gulls in 2001 to families looking for an inexpensive night out to groups of teenagers hanging out to 20- and 30-somethings killing time before hitting the clubs after the game. This mix of fans gives a Gulls crowd a buzz not usually seen at games at this level.

Access    3

Newport is located 35 miles south of Providence, at the southern end of Aquidneck Island on Narragansett Bay. There are no highways that serve Newport directly, so the drive from Providence takes about an hour, and the traffic getting into town can be tricky. Luckily, once you are in Newport, there is no need to leave, as it is a small resort city with plenty to do to keep anyone busy and entertained.

Cardines Field is located at the corner of America's Cup Avenue and West Marlborough St., at the northern end of the major tourist area of Newport. The Newport County visitor's Center is directly across the street on America's Cup Avenue, and offers $2 parking with your Gulls ticket stub. The convention Center is a major bus hub in the city, so if you are not staying in the downtown area the RIPTA bus is a viable alternative.

Given the age of the ballpark, Cardines Field can be a bit troublesome for those who have difficulty getting around. The ballpark has only one path to navigate your way around, and this "concourse" is located directly at field level, meaning if you are sitting in the first couple of rows, your view will be disrupted by a non-stop stream of people making their way around. Handicapped spots are available on the third base line, but do not allow access to all areas of the ballpark, as the concourse has stairs to climb as winds behind home plate. Restrooms are located underneath the third base bleaches, and are a little on the small side, so there may be a line on nights when there is a large crowd. Likewise, lines can be lengthy when attempting to get to the concession stands, with the line at times winding down the length of the first base stands, blocking the view of those in the first few rows (have I mentioned to avoid the first few rows of the bleachers yet?).

Return on Investment    4

All tickets to Gulls games are sold as General Admission, and cost $5, with children and seniors admitted for only $2. Gulls fans can park in the large lot across the street at the Newport Gateway Visitor's Center for only $2 with a ticket stub from the game. It's impossible to find any cheaper parking in the city of Newport. Some locals will joke that it's cheaper to buy a ticket to park near Cardines Field than to park anywhere else downtown.

With reasonably priced concessions, catching a Gulls game is an inexpensive alternative to most activities in Newport. Once you leave the ballpark, be prepared to open your wallet.

Extras    3

Extra points are awarded for the history of Cardines Field, and the quirky nature of the baseball that results from the physical layout of Cardines Field. The Gulls routinely lead the NECBL in doubles and home runs, as the park itself has some rather unique dimensions. The outfield fence, which varies in height from 28 feet to 15 feet depending on the presence of tree branches jutting through it, juts in from 395 feet in center field to 315 in right center due to the presence of a house directly behind the field. The distance to the fence down the right field line is a measly 280 feet.

Cardines Field features light fixtures that are in play, a warehouse that acts as the right field line, right angles in the outfield fence, and dugouts on the same side of the field due to the lack of foul territory. Likewise, the two teams share a bullpen on the left field line. If you dislike watching a game through fences or nets, stay away from Cardines, as the proximity to a busy street necessitates that the field is surrounded by netting. The good news? If you are sitting on the third base line, at points you can almost reach out and touch the players.

Final Thoughts

Cardines Field is regularly mentioned as one of the best places in the country to catch some summer collegiate baseball. The team on the field is able to attract some of the premier talent in the country, so chances of seeing some future major league players here are high. Nine Gulls alumni have already reached the major leagues, with several more presently playing in the high minors. Couple this historic ballpark with a popular tourist destination, and taking in a game at Cardines Field in Newport is worth a visit by any baseball fan.

Follow Paul Baker's stadium journeys on Twitter @PuckmanRI.

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Crowd Reviews

The Gulls of Newport

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

Cardines Field is the home for the Newport Gulls of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, as well as the site of the Sunset League. It is one of the oldest baseball stadiums in use today, as baseball games have been played at this site (originally known as Basin Field) since 1908. The original grandstand, which dates back to 1936, was named after Bernardo Cardines, the first Newport resident to die in World War I.

Baseball by the Sea

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 2
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

Cardines Field is the home for the Newport Gulls of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, as well as the site of the Sunset League, which is the oldest amateur baseball league in existence. It is one of the oldest baseball stadiums in use today, as baseball games have been played at this site (originally known as Basin Field) since 1908. Originally used as a source of water for steam locomotives until the neighbors complained of the smell of the stagnant water, the lot was converted to a ball field by railroad employees. The original grandstand, which dates back to 1936, was named after Bernardo Cardines, the first Newport resident to die in World War I.

The Gulls have quickly become the flagship franchise of the NECBL, winning 10 division titles and 6 league championships in their 14 years in the league. In 2012 Perfect Game USA ranked the Gulls as the number one summer college team in the country, and Cardines Field is routinely ranked among the top summer college ballparks in the nation. The Gulls routinely lead the NECBL in attendance, and attract some of the premier college talent in the country. After all, what college aged young man wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to spend a summer playing ball in one of the top summer tourist destinations in the nation?

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Local Food & Drink

Mudville Pub  (map it!)

8 W Marlborough St

Newport, RI 02840

(401) 619-4680

http://www.mudvillepub.com/

Brick Alley Pub  (map it!)

140 Thames St.

Newport, RI 02840

(401) 849-6334

http://brickalley.com/

Barking Crab  (map it!)

151 Swinburne Rd.

Newport, RI 02840

(401) 846-2722

http://barkingcrab.com/

22 Bowen's  (map it!)

22 Bowen's Wharf

Newport, RI 02840

(401) 841-8884

http://www.22bowens.com/

Smoke House  (map it!)

31 Scotts Wharf

Newport, RI 02840

(401) 848-9800

http://www.smokehousenewport.com/

Local Entertainment

International Tennis Hall of Fame  (map it!)

194 Bellevue Ave

Newport, RI 02840

(401) 849-3990

http://www.tennisfame.com/

Touro Synagogue  (map it!)

85 Touro St.

Newport, RI 02840

(401) 847-4794

http://www.tourosynagogue.org

The Breakers  (map it!)

44 Ochre Point Ave.

Newport, RI 02840

(401) 847-1000

http://www.newportmansions.org

Lodging

Newport Marriott  (map it!)

25 America's Cup Ave

Newport, RI 02840

(401) 849-1000

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pvdlw-newport-marriott/

The Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina  (map it!)

49 America's Cup Ave.

Newport, RI 02840

(401) 847-9000

http://www.newporthotel.com/

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