Upon entering through the home plate entrance, in case you need a reminder of what Lancaster’s contribution to the aerospace industry, a NASA F/A-18 Hornet looms large upon many a baseball fans descent to the old ballgame. The Lancaster JetHawks are the Class-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, which is only fitting in that the parent and infant club would have names that pay homage to the space industry.
Though the JetHawks call Clear Channel Stadium their home, many of the locals like to refer to it as "The Hangar," in reference to the space industry. Though the stadium has approximately 4,600 fixed seats, with grass berms located down each foul line, The Hangar can accommodate a little more than 7,000 on any given night.
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".
Of the Class-A parks I've had the chance to visit, "The Hangar" just may have the best value and quality in terms of food and beverage. Kabooms Dog House, located along the 3rd base concourse, features a variety of hot dogs, including a hot dog bar for $5.00 where you get to choose your own 3 toppings, including hummus and kimchi, a couple of toppings you never thought would go on your dog. I opted for nacho cheese, chili, and chipotle aioli. If you prefer fixed toppings, they also have other hot dog's as well ranging from Chicago Dogs to Greek and Mexi Dogs, for $4.50.
Over on the 1st base councourse is Stealth's Smokehouse. Here we tried the Tri Tip Nachos for $9.00. Not bad, but it could have used some more tri tip. Between Kaboom's Dog House and Stealth's Smokehouse, I would give a slight edge to Kaboom's Dog House in terms of quality and value.
One of the nice things here at The Hangar are the picnic tables located on the right field concourse where you can do your dining should you be among family and friends. The view here is not compromised so if you don't feel like returning to your seat right away and want a place to put your food down instead of your lap, head on over to one of these tables. If they should be occupied but not to its fullest, don't sweat it. Most folks there are gracious enough to share their tables with you.
Are you thirsting for a brew? Kinetic Brewery has a beer garden right behind 3rd base that features 4 of its premium taps. If you're unsure what you want, they are kind enough to let you sample each one. I had The Fusion, a dark, malty porter that you could say is...a fusion of hops and dark coffee beans.
One of the nice things about attending a JetHawks game is the feeling that you really are at a minor league game. The intimate size of the stadium with the Mojave Desert in the distance and the sight of big rigs cruising the nearby I-14 add to the true feel of being in a minor league park far from any major city life.
The neighborhood surrounding the yard is not much however there are enough chain restaurants, as well as a local strip mall nearby. There is a Cinemark theater across the street for fans wanting some pre or post game entertainment and dining options before heading on I-14 for that long drive home.
If you should want to learn more about the the aerospace industry, the Edwards Air Force base is close by and on select days offers tours.
As you look around the stands, you may notice that the bulk of the fans are here for the purpose of enjoying a baseball game without the long drive to the closest major city, Los Angeles. Though the JetHawks are the Single A affiliate of the Houston Astros, during my 2 visits here, I've seen plenty of Dodger Blue apparel worn throughout the stands and with good reason. The city of Lancaster resides in Los Angeles County, 60 miles away from Downtown Los Angeles. So if you are that staunch baseball fan that keeps tabs on players from all levels of play, don't expect to converse with the locals about any future potential Astros. That is not to say these folks don't know their baseball. That is far from the truth.
Heading to the stadium shouldn't be too difficult. Located roughly 60 miles northeast of Downtown Los Angeles, the stadium is located right off the Avenue I exit. Parking is a reasonable $5. 1,500 solar panels were installed in the parking lot prior to the 2011 season to protect vehicles from the fierce desert weather conditions.
Like most minor league games, you really do get a great value for your hard-earned buck, with the club seats between the dugouts the most expensive at $12. For those of you who prefer to bring your beach blanket to the game and lay back on the grass berms along the outfield lines, you can do so at $8 per ticket.
If you're one of those fans who like to stroll through the park to take in the different vantage points, the concourses along the foul lines are wide enough that you won't lose sight of the game action. You can also walk along the cross aisles from left field to right field as well without losing sight of the on-field action. For an added bonus, community picnic tables are located above the first base side should you need all that extra space for your food.
Also, on this gorgeous Friday evening, we were treated to a fireworks show, as is custom on Friday nights. On this night, the show was accompanied with music from Disney classics. Speaking of Disney, the evening had a Disney Princess theme, with folks of all ages dressed in their favorite Disney outfits. Most of the little girls dressed the part of Ana and Elsa from Frozen. This certainly added to the Friday night minor league atmosphere.
The small capacity of Clear Channel Stadium really does give for an intimate feel. If you are attending an evening game and you're lucky, the high desert heat will have cooled off leaving you with a nice desert evening breeze. Of the Class A parks I've been to here in Southern California, Clear Channel Stadium may have had the most family-oriented atmosphere. Perhaps it could be that most folks here are not too involved with every aspect of the organization all the way up to the parent club in Houston. Most folks attending are here not so much to support the locals, but to enjoy a baseball game without the hassle of traveling a great distance to see a Major League game. A night out here at Clear Channel Stadium is a must for any true baseball fan.
The city of Lancaster, California is widely known for its contributions to the aerospace industry and a trip to the local minor league ballpark certainly reinforces that notion. The class A affiliate of the Houston Astros, known as the JetHawks, call Lancaster their home.
The JetHawks arrived in Lancaster in 1996 after playing on the campus of the UC Riverside Highlanders under the name Riverside Pilots.
The year that the JetHawks arrived, the city opened the $14.5 million Lancaster Municipal Stadium. In 2005, the stadium would be renamed to Clear Channel Stadium after the team agreed to a ten year naming rights deal with Clear Channel Communications. Since the name doesn't slip off of the tongue too nicely, many have nicknamed the stadium as "The Hangar" in yet another reference to the aerospace industry.
While the stadium has permanent seating for approximately 4,600 fans, more than 7,000 can pack into the stadium due to grass berms down each foul line.
What sets this ballpark apart from most others are the desert winds that occur in the region. The winds often bring dust and cold, and often send many batted balls over the fences. The JetHawks have embraced this challenge with ticket prices based on the previous day's wind speed and even offered a giveaway "dust dome" rather than the typical "snow globe."
Not sure what the bad review was for... A nice stadium with a great staff, Although it is a bit out of the way, the drive from LA is surprisingly nice. Lots of scoring is an added bonus. Overall a nice experience.
First thing I noticed as I waited in line to get into the stadium is the plane is no longer in front of the stadium! This place is called the Hangar! Just a lone post! It was Opening Night of the season and you could tell that the staff needed a lot of work, the fans were friendly, I enjoyed them, but the sight lines are not very nice, in dead center there is an on ramp to highway 14... The place is new but already needs work, I didn't enjoy the experience.
Let me first say that I usually (Legally), carry a knife or knives of some sort so that in the case of an emergency or even an attack, I am prepared. So I did my research on Stadium policy and whatnot, and found a list of what was prohibited. On this list ranged things from Food and Drink to certain strollers etc. Nowhere on it, or other sources was anything prohibiting knives. So I walk in (I have a Knife on my waist, it is a fixed blade, but revealed, and abiding the law, and a folder in my pocket), the security guard (as far as I know), saw my knives, and I passed into the stadium. About halfway through the game, I am approached by a security guard. He asks if I have a knife and I say "Yes I do. I do not submit to any warrantless searches." (That may not apply because it's private property, but hey it's worth a try). We walk over to another security guard (the same exact one who let me in the stadium!). I hand him my knives in cooperation. Then he starts ranting on about how it's ILLEGAL to carry ANY knife if I'm a minor (which, in California, it's not). He opens my folder partially and flicks it out the rest of the way, and says to me "This is a switchblade and illegal." Sir, a switchblade is a spring loaded knife with a button (not connected to the blade) that opens the knife. Wether the blade can be flicked open (when already partially open) or not is HIGHLY irrelevant. I tell him I'd like him to present the Penal Codes that qualify that as a switchblade, and state a minor cannot carry a knife, and he disregards that, and continues his lecture on nonexistent Laws. So I listened to the rest of his lecture, then followed the other guard (who was actually kind of polite, i think the second guard was his superior, so he was following his ideas i guess) into the security room. I gave him my basic information, he chatted knife brands and said my knives were cool, and acted chill and whatnot, and I was directed to put my knives in my car (but i was allowed to keep one of my pocket knives, because according to the second guard, it was perfectly legal). Just like all of the knives I was carrying.
I understand it was private property, but what really ticked me off was the guard ranting about something he knew nothing about.
1228 West Avenue L
Lancaster, CA 93534
15101 Lancaster Rd
Lancaster, CA 93536
2300 W. Double Play Way
Lancaster, CA 93536