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Official Review by Brian O'Sullivan, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Nestled in the quaint village of Newark, New York, Colburn Park has been home to a number of baseball teams throughout the last five decades. The park opened in 1968 as the home of the Newark Co-Pilots in the New York-Penn League. Even though the Co-Pilots eventually departed a decade later, a tradition of baseball formed in Newark as teams continued to call Colburn Park home.
The current tenant of the park, the Newark Pilots, formed with the start of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League in 2011. The Newark Pilots are the only original member of the PGCBL that was not part of the New York Collegiate Baseball League. The capacity of Colburn Park may be small, but the experience is one of the best in the PGCBL. With its intimate atmosphere and passionate fan base, Colburn Park offers an experience that is a quintessential example of America's favorite pastime.
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".
Colburn Park offers a variety of concessions options that are sure to please nearly any fan.
The food options to select from are impressive for a relatively small park. Off the grill, the Pilots offer classics such as Italian sausage ($4.25) and chicken tenders ($4.50). The Pilots also have local options, including the popular red hots and white hots ($3) from Zweigle's.
The Pilots offer Coca-Cola products at Colburn Park for a reasonable price. The park also has a beer window located directly next to the concession stand that offers Coors Light drafts ($2).
If you are new to the Rochester area, red hots and white hots are a great local favorite, especially paired with an ice-cold beer.
Colburn Park provides an intimate and enjoyable atmosphere to take in a game in upstate New York.
The layout of Colburn Park is slightly unorthodox compared to other ballparks. The main seating areas are located down the first and third baselines. Each section has two rows of box seats at the front with six rows of metal bleachers behind these seats. An additional set of metal bleachers is located down the third baseline and a few picnic tables are located on the first base side. Two rows of box seats run directly behind home plate in between the two main seating sections. One of the more noticeable aspects of Colburn Park is the huge amount of foul territory. In left field, a clear scoreboard displays all the necessary information to enjoy the game as well as a digital display that gives information about the current batter.
The Pilots do a number of promotions during the game to get the fans engaged, especially the kids in attendance. One of the most popular promotions is the children's race across the outfield in between an inning. The PA announcer is extremely enthusiastic and keeps the fans engaged.
With such a small seating area, there is not bad seat at Colburn Park. The two rows of box seats on the baselines provide great views of the field, especially the seats farther down the line.
Colburn Park is located just off of the Erie Canal in the small village of Newark.
The options for entertainment are basically nonexistent in Newark. The surrounding area, however, provides some great opportunities to spend a day before a game. Long Acre Farms is a great destination for families in the nearby town of Macedon. A little bit farther north, Chimney Bluffs State Park offers a beautiful setting to spend an afternoon.
The best option for lodging in Newark is the Newark Garden Hotel. Not only does the hotel provide gorgeous views of the Erie Canal, but also it is a luxurious place to unwind. Best of all, it is located a short drive from Colburn Park.
Even though Colburn Park is by no means large, it is home to one of the best fan bases in all of the PGCBL.
On a typical night, Colburn Park is full of fans cheering on the Pilots. The average attendance for the Pilots ranks near the top of the PGCBL and compares well to many other summer collegiate league teams.
The fans in attendance at Colburn Park are both passionate and knowledgeable. Additionally, the fans know many of the players by name and are constantly keeping the noise level high. The passion for baseball is evident in the fans of Newark.
Located in the small town of Newark, Colburn Park is only a short drive from the New York State Thruway.
Newark does not offer any sort of mass transit options for travel to Colburn Park.
Colburn Park has an ample amount of free parking located directly adjacent it. Most fans park farther down the line to avoid the possibility of taking a foul ball to the windshield.
The Newark Pilots only have one gate for entry into the park. The gate also serves as the location to purchase tickets.
The main concourse at Colburn Park provides ample space to roam and provides partial views of the playing field. The restrooms are located down the third baseline and are kept in good condition. Handicapped accessibility is good throughout the park, especially because the concourse is flat.
A night out at Colburn Park is hard to beat because of its affordability.
All tickets at Colburn Park are general admission and cost $4 for adults, $3 for seniors (over 60) and students (5-18), and children under five are free. Anyone from an individual to a family can enjoy a Pilots game for a low cost, even with food and drink. The Pilots provide a lot of bang for your buck at Colburn Park.
Colburn Park has a few extras that are worth noting. The Pilots have a merchandise stand located on the main concourse that sells a variety of products. Additionally, the Pilots offer a number of concessions promotions as the night is winding down, including discounted hot dogs and pizza.
The Newark Pilots are truly a bright spot in the PGCBL because of the all-around great experience the team provides. If you are passing by Newark on the New York State Thruway, or want a nice place to take in a game, Colburn Park is one of the best summer collegiate parks in all of New York.
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