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Official Review by Paul Derrick, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
In 1881 Midland was founded as the midway point between Fort Worth and El Paso by the Texas and Pacific Railroad. Today it is known as the home of the Oakland Athletics Double A franchise, the Midland RockHounds. The RockHounds have been previously known as both the Midland Cubs and the Midland Angels during their years in existence.
While Midland currently is the Double A affiliate of the Oakland A's, they were affiliated with the Chicago Cubs from 1972-1984, and then with the California Angels from 1985-1998. The RockHounds have been known for their great franchise and award winning staff for years and during my visit I found out why.
As of January 1, 2014 the ballpark has been renamed Security Bank Ballpark.
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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".
Midland carries just about everything your stomach can crave at the ballpark. They have the basic hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos and pretzels as well as some more unique items like frito pies, burritos and a variety of BBQ treats sold at Rocky's BBQ. All of the food is sold at reasonable ballpark prices with the occasional half off night making the beverages even cheaper.
There are plenty of beers to select from with a bottle running you $4 and a draft available in two sizes, small (16 oz. for $4.50) and large (24 oz. for $6). It's best to catch a game on 1/2 off night making all the beverages well worth the money. There are a couple of different options for eateries as they have Rocky's BBQ, which carries BBQ, of course, as well as Dominos and Chick-fil-A.
They also have the Hot Corner, Triple Play Taqueria and Gametime Grill which each have their own variety of options. For the non-beer drinkers, Citibank Park also carries Coke products at $2.75 for 16 oz., $3.25 for 24 oz. and $4.00 for the souvenir 32 oz. cup. I highly recommend the Rocky's BBQ combo plate which is a nice size portion of BBQ at a fairly reasonable price.
Baseball has been a staple in the Midland community since 1972 at which time they were a Double A team for the Chicago Cubs. Walking around the stadium and looking at the banners of players that have worked their way through Midland on their way to amazing careers, you can understand why there's a special nostalgia in Midland. From Fernando Valenzuela to Bruce Sutter, there have been many great players that at one time have called Midland their home.
Even though Citibank Ballpark is a newer park I still felt that good old baseball feel in Midland, something you definitely won't feel in every ballpark. With the ballpark being relatively new there are some interesting perks, one that I liked is a wiffle ball field for the kids to enjoy, as well as a multitude of free picnic tables for you to sit and enjoy the game while you are eating. With box seats behind the plate and down the lines, there is a nice view from just about any seat. You can walk all the way around the concourse, and there is berm seating, some of which lets you peer into the bullpens with ease.
Midland isn't known as a tourist attraction. It's more known for its ranching and oil production. If you're looking for the fun crazy night life, Midland isn't the place for you. For the museum lover, the most interesting one I found in Midland was The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum which houses numerous displays on the history, science, and technology of oil and gas development. Besides that, even though Midland is one of the more populous cities in Texas, there isn't a whole lot to do there.
I couldn't figure out if RockHounds' fans were just that excited about their team that they packed the park or because there just isn't that much to do in Midland. The fans were pretty mediocre. They were quiet overall unless Midland was putting runs on the board. I think more of the people were there just because they had nothing better to do, not really paying attention to the game, just there to hang out. They do get points for packing the place, something I haven't seen very much of in the Texas League. Overall I rate the fans as average fans, but in abundance.
The stadium is pretty easy to find located just off I-20. Midland is the only Minor League Ballpark I have been to with free parking, which is always a plus. Bathrooms are clean and usually a very short line if there is any at all. Just make sure when you do come out to Midland, not to forget the sunblock as temperatures routinely hit over 100 degrees.
The Rockhounds are a must see if you're ever in the area, for the most part because there's not much else to do in Midland. With tickets ranging from $9 for box seats to $6 for berm seats, I really do believe you will get your moneys worth. To get even more for your money, check out the schedule and make sure to catch a 1/2 off beverages night. There are plenty of promotions on the RockHounds schedule to make your trip worthwhile.
Midland gets a couple of extra points here for having fireworks every Saturday night for their fans as well as a plethora of other promotions; from $2 ticket night to a guys night with all you can eat hot dogs.
Secondly, Midland deserves an extra point for their mascot, Rocky the RockHound. First off I have no clue what a RockHound even is, seems to be some kind of dog. Overall though he kept the kids and fans entertained and that is always a plus.
Also one more point for being an overall great experience, with a stellar ballpark and award winning staff I see why baseball does so well in Midland.
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101 N Mineola St
Midland, TX 79701
117 W Wall St
Midland, TX 79701