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Official Review by Harrison Huntley, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Clark-LeClair Stadium carries a reputation as one of the best in the nation and does not disappoint. Sparked by the team’s recent success, the school and donors have made much needed stadium updates, and it shows. The stadium has all the modern amenities and even rivals some minor league ballparks. Players and fans alike rave about their stadium and after you visit, I have no doubt you will too.
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".
Clark-LeClair features one of the most expansive concession stands in college baseball. Pizza, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, and much more. To make it even better, nothing on the menu is more than $6. Four hot dogs and four drinks will only cost you $32. Drinks are by Coca-Cola and are $4 for a small and $5 for a large. In addition to the fountain drinks, you can purchase sweet tea for $3.50. Despite its popularity in the south, this is the first I've seen it at a ball game.
The exterior's brick facade opens to a large concourse with a large concession stand along with a smaller merchandise stand. Tickets for some games are $6, while premium games are $10. The lower level seats and those directly in front of the press box and they are plastic stadium seats. Other second level seats are metal benches. Usually, the box office only sells the metal bleacher seats.
The field itself was totally renovated in 2004, and a new video board along with new press boxes, dugouts, and many other aesthetic upgrades were added and make the stadium better than some minor league parks.
Even with the netting that stretches around the stadium, fans can sit right on top of the action. There are lower level sections on either end that stretch out even further into the field to the point where you can even see into the dugout.
Greenville, North Carolina is the epitome of a college town. Everything around campus is tailored to the school. Greenville Blvd is home to just about any chain restaurant you could ask for, but you would be deprived if you go to a college town and not visit the local favorites.
B's Barbecue is about 10 minutes from campus and is worth the drive just to see this place operate. B's has no telephone, no cash register, and no kitchen. They serve nothing but Eastern North Carolina, vinegar-based BBQ made outside in a smokehouse. It may not have all the modern amenities of other restaurants, but it makes up for it with good food and local fans. To make B's even more unique, there is no official closing time. Make sure you come early because once they have sold all of the day's food, they close.
Another local favorite is Cubbie's. This place is famous for its burgers and its shrimp. It is also a great place for a person on a budget. Plates are available with your choice of sandwich, side, and drink for $6.25 ($7.95 for shrimp).
While they may not sell out every game, the fans that come make themselves known. All around the stadium, the fans of all ages have a reaction to every play. If there is a good play or a close call goes for the Pirates, the fans erupt in cheering and applause. If a close call goes against the Pirates however, the fans are very quick to voice their displeasure. Simply put, the fans are among college baseball's best for their loyalty and volume.
US 264 was built with Greenville and ECU in mind. It runs from Raleigh and intersects with I-95 on its way into the town. Once you exit off of 264, it is only a short drive to Clark-LeClair and the athletic complex. Parking is free and easy as there are two lots across the street from the stadium.
Considering the quality of the stadium, fans, and overall game experience, $6-$10 admission is a steal. For that price, you can sit very close to the action and enjoy a nationally famous stadium for less than most minor league teams.
Taco Bell sponsors a promotion where if a player hits their outfield sign, everyone in the park can get a free taco at the store. Along with this, the first three returned foul balls become coupons for free wings at Buffalo Wild Wings. Food related promotions are always popular among hungry college students.
Williams Jungle is a fan section in left field that has evolved over the years. What started as fans just watching the game for free from the outfield has turned into a super fan section that loves to try and strike up conversation with the left fielder.
College baseball is a sport that is too often devoid of mascots. Thankfully, ECU brings its Pee Dee Pirate out to all the games. Pee Dee is named for the river that runs through North Carolina and South Carolina.
Finally, whoever runs the music at Clark-LeClair does a fantastic job. The playlist is a good mix of country, classic rock, and pop and there was never just dead air.
Since the completion of renovations, Clark-LeClair has been talked about in many circles as among the best in the country. Having visited now, I can see why. Everything from the ticket prices to the seating arrangement was built with the common fan in mind and because of that, the stadium provides a great stadium experience. Overall, this stadium is one that fans of college baseball must add to their bucket lists.
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751 Bs Barbecue Rd
Greenville, NC 27858
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