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Clint Lightner Field

Garden City, KS

Home of the Garden City Wind

2.6

N/A

Clint Lightner Field (map it)
706 E Maple
Garden City, KS 67846


Garden City Wind website

Clint Lightner Field website

Year Opened: 1920

Capacity: 1,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Baseball in Southwestern Kansas

The Garden City Wind is a team in the Independent baseball Pecos League. They began play in 2015 at the historic Clint Lightner Field in Garden City, KS.

Clint Lightner Field is part of Frederick Finnup Park, a community park that also houses a zoo, a historical museum, picnic tables and grills, softball diamonds, a pool with water slides, and more. Recent renovations to the ballpark include new lights and a synthetic turf on the infield. Additional enhancements to the seating, backstop, locker rooms and more are expected in future years.

The park is also shared with the Buffalo Baseball Garden City High School team (who seem to be the more prominent team in Garden City).

The name Wind I'm sure comes from the blusterous breeze that blows through the stands. Locals tell me the wind is often the 'blow you over type.' Several times during the game of this review my ball cap got blown off with the gusts of wind.

2.6

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    2

There are basic food items; enough to squelch a hunger craving. Hot dogs, chips, peanuts and seeds, candy, and Pepsi products ($1.00 - $3.50) are available. A hot dog meal (dog, chips, and soda) is $6.00.

Beer (Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra) is offered at the Windy Saloon concession stand underneath the grandstand for $3.00. Thursday home games are $1.00 beer night.

It was announced 'tomorrow the concession staff is bringing the grill so there will be fresh grilled burgers' so offerings can vary based on the game attended.

Atmosphere    3

There is a chain link fence around the entire seating area. A fan cannot see one single pitch or play not behind the chain link fence (not uncommon in many of the Pecos League stadiums).

The seating consists of three sections of ten rows of aluminum bleachers without backs. It is recommended to bring a cushion to sit on as the benches get quite uncomfortable after nine innings of play. If you want the shade sit on the first base and home side. The third base side gets the sun, if that's what you prefer. The sun sets behind home plate and the grandstand so it won't be blinding your eyes when watching a Wind game. The seats are really close to the action on the field (the reason for the chain link fence). All seats are general admission. The best seats are directly behind home plate, as on the first and third base sides, the dugouts can block views of outfield plays especially when sitting low in the stands.

Players walk through the seating area to get to the locker room and facilities. There are some obstructed views with the pillars holding up the chain link fence but there's plenty of room to move around in the seating area.

The infield, including pitcher's mound, is artificial. Real grass is in the outfield. I never realized this but the fake mound and grass makes it a whole lot hotter for the infielders and pitchers than natural grass.

There is a grass area behind the first base bullpens for kids to run around or play catch.

Music is generally only played between innings (a good thing in this author's opinion) though some music is heard when a Wind batter comes to the plate.

The starting lineup is not posted and it is called way too fast to record on a scoresheet. The scoreboard is basic with balls, strikes, and outs identified with a dot.

Neighborhood    3

Garden City is an agriculture town. Less than five miles outside of the town are the farms and ranches that produce the crops or raise the cattle needed for food, drink or fuel in this country. Besides the farms, its number one employer is Tyson Foods.

There are several hotels within a mile or two of the park that include: Hampton Inn, Best Western, Clarion Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Magnuson Hotel. Places to eat include Old Chicago and Samy's Spirits and Steakhouse. There are a plethora of Mexican and Asian restaurants in the area as well as many fast food chains.

I'd recommend visiting the Lee Richardson Zoo and the history museum. There is an open shopping mall in the area called the Garden City Plaza and a brand new shopping center (being constructed in 2015) called Schulman Crossing that might be worth checking out if you're a shopper.

Fans    3

The fans are vocal and they are friendly. They can give the umpires a hard time when a questionable call is made.

There are families, parents of players and local Garden City residents at the games. The kids get to run the bases after the third inning which is quite a delight to the young ones.

One tradition at a Wind game is when the home team scores a run, the announcer says 'Way to Go Wind!' and the fans respond with a 'Woosh.'

The grandstand isn't packed (except for Thursdays) yet there is a decent showing of fans for the Wind games.

Access    2

The ballpark is in a quaint residential area just south of the railroad tracks off of US 50 going east and west or US 83 going north or south in southwest Kansas. It is not close to any interstates.

Once in town, it is easily accessible with plenty of parking in a gravel lot or on side streets.

The closest airport is Garden City Regional Airport, eight miles from the downtown area. It seems to be more of a regional airport with the only commercial flights coming from/to Dallas, TX. There is a small AmTrak station just a few blocks from Clint Lightner Field so that, too, might be an arrival choice.

I did not notice any public transportation so taking the car, bike, or walking are your best options to a Wind game.

Walking in and around the stadium area is easy and there are restrooms at the venue.

Return on Investment    3

Thursdays are a popular day for the Wind as it is $1 beer night. Admission to a game is $6 a ticket.

There is free parking at the ballpark. Though limited, the food prices are reasonable.

The seating is near the field so you get to see up-close action, hear chatter between the players, and just get to enjoy a few hours of baseball.

You never know what you'll see at a Pecos League game. At the game of this review, I saw a pitcher throw from both his left and his right arm; a switch pitcher.

Extras    2

The Wind have quite an active Facebook page posting photos after each and every game.

A unique and thoughtful feature at Clint Lightner Field is the cups offered to dispose of peanut and sunflower shells vs throwing them on the floor. I wish other stadiums across North America would provide this and that fans would pay more attention and not leave trash behind.

Final Thoughts

Garden City, Kansas is not a vacation destination. It is however a nice little town with a new mall, several dining options and Finnup Park seems the place to be on a weekend. The Wind provide an entertaining and affordable evening out so if you live in the area or happen to be visiting nearby, do check out a game.

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Local Food & Drink

Samy's Spirits & Steakhouse  (map it!)

1911 E Kansas Ave

Garden City, KS 67846

(620) 275-7471

http://samysgck.com/

Local Entertainment

Lee Richardson Zoo  (map it!)

312 E Finnup Dr

Garden City, KS 67846

(620) 276-1250

http://leerichardsonzoo.org/

Lodging

Best Western Emerald Inn  (map it!)

2412 E Kansas Ave

Garden City, KS 67846

(620) 277-7100

http://bestwesternkansas.com/hotels/best-western-plus-emerald-inn-and-suites

Clarion Inn  (map it!)

1911 E Kansas Ave

Garden City, KS 67846

(620) 275-7471

https://www.choicehotels.com/kansas/garden-city/clarion-hotels/ks138

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