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Official Review by Eric Moreno, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Texas Tech University has a long and storied tradition as an athletics program. The football team is undoubtedly what the university has been known for the longest, probably followed by its basketball program. However, the Red Raiders baseball team has achieved its own amount of success – the team has won the Southwest Conference (in 1995) and the Big 12 (in 1998), and made the College World Series in 2014 and 2016.
The center of the universe for the Red Raiders is Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park. The Red Raiders have called the venerable park home since Calvin Coolidge was in the Oval Office. While the park has naturally undergone several upgrades and renovations since then, the most recent in 2012, the facility still retains a great deal of the charm that distinguishes it from other ballparks in the conference.
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".
While the concessions at Rip Griffin Park lack a signature item or unique vendor, your food and beverage needs will be met by what is offered.
There are two main concessions stands beneath the grandstand at Rip Griffin Park; the Red Raider Grill and the Dugout Grill. At both of these you can expect to find your standard food items, such as hot dogs (from Wienerschnitzel), soda (a large souvenir cup is $6), popcorn, chips, candy, soft pretzels, and nachos. At the Dugout Grill you can also purchase combo baskets; the Triple Play features chicken tenders, curly fries, and cheese sticks.
Next door to the Red Raider Grill is a separate (cash only) food kiosk that sells fresh, hand-squeezed lemonade, sno cones, fajitas, and brisket. Costs at this kiosk range from $4 to $8 per item; this is not so bad considering that Texas Tech is a major Division I university.
On game days, Rip Griffin Park is a sea of red. Many games are a complete sell-out, and tailgaters (yes, tailgaters) often fill the open areas in and around Rip Griffin Park for hours before the first pitch.
The venue itself complements the overall atmosphere, with its red brick facade and accents, making the ballpark look like it is from another era. With the crowd, the architecture, and the energy that is dispelled when these elements combine, you feel like you're at a high-level minor league stadium.
Lubbock is a college town dropped square into the middle of the vast emptiness of West Texas - if college towns are your bag, then you're in luck. Rip Griffin Park is located on the campus of Texas Tech University, but just on the other end of campus, on University Drive, there are ample restaurants and establishments that serve adult beverages.
If you're looking for things to do while you're in Lubbock, either before or after the game, there are a number of attractions that will pique your interest. The National Ranching Heritage Center is a 19-acre facility that includes dozens of historic ranch and farm buildings. Also in town is the Buddy Holly Center, which honors the life and legacy of this legendary musician, and one of Lubbock's favorite sons.
For families, there is the Science Spectrum & Omni Theater, a massive museum that is loaded with all the stuff that kids of all ages love: dinosaurs, hands-on gears, levers, pulleys, bubble experiments, and more. The city also runs a prairie dog town, which is sure to be a favorite for the kids.
Texas Tech fans are rabidly devoted to their team. They turn out in droves for games at Rip Griffin Park; the team consistently ranks among the best attended in Division I. According to the university, the Red Raiders recently ranked 13th among Division I baseball programs in attendance, with an average of 3,665 per home game. They also set an attendance record of 4,898 during a game last season, when they hosted East Carolina University in a Super Regional matchup.
Texas Tech fans are passionate about their teams - all of them. They cheer when their team is at bat, they cheer when they are on defense, and they razz the umpires when necessary. The fans at Rip Griffin Park are great fans, and you won't be able to help but get caught up in their energy and enthusiasm.
Make no mistake about it, Lubbock is a drive from just about everywhere. If you're flying, Dallas or Albuquerque are your best bets. Driving in, Rip Griffin Park is right off Highway 82, which intersects with I-27. From 82, it's just a short trip down Drive of Champions to the stadium.
Once you get to the venue, there is ample parking in the lots directly across from the ballpark, and there are several walk-up windows for tickets. This is as no fuss of an experience as you are going to find in Division I college sports.
During conference play, you can get tickets for as low as $12, and as high as $17 for general admission seating. Earlier in the season and on weekdays, tickets are even less. Depending on the item, the concessions are relatively inexpensive. Couple that with no cost for parking, and this all adds up to an affordable day at the ballpark.
Like all great ballgame experiences, there are tons of extras involved in attending a game at Rip Griffin Park. There are in-between inning contests, interactive fan experiences like the Twitter DJ contest (fans tweet out which song they like using the hashtag #TTUDJ), and the roving band of boosters known as the Saddle Tramps.
The Saddle Tramps, bedecked in trademark red, ring the giant ceremonial Bangin' Bertha bell, as well as fire off faux pistols each time the Red Raiders score a run. The Tramps add greatly to the overall atmosphere of the game.
It has to be said that Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park is truly a hidden gem on the landscape of college baseball. The facility itself is absolutely beautiful; the way they blend the old with the new is remarkable - there is something really special about the red brick, and the turf playing surface looks really sharp.
Lubbock might be a bit out of the way, but if you find yourself on the plains of West Texas, make some time to visit Rip Griffin Park. It is one you should not miss.
Follow Eric Moreno's Stadium Journey on Twitter at @EricMoreno6477.
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Member Review by pwdonaldson on Apr 11, 2013
Since West Texas is known as a hotbed for high school and college football, baseball doesn’t get quite the same level of hype, but the area residents are just as passionate about the sport. Fans, alums, and students show their passion for Red Raider baseball at the beautiful Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park on the campus of Texas Tech University. The history of Texas Tech baseball at the current ballpark site dates back to 1926. In 1988, donations allowed for renovations to the park including the addition of lights and a new name of Dan Law Field. Significant upgrades took place with a $5 million donation just prior to the 2012 season which included a new press box and 10 luxury suites as well as 1,154 chairback seats behind home plate. One of the more unique features of “The Law” is the hybrid field-turf playing surface with includes dirt around the home plate and leading up to each base in the infield. Rip Griffin Park was 21st nationwide in Division I attendance in 2012 and features a strong showing of fan support each season.
Member Review by Baseball Buddha on Apr 17, 2014
The Campus was impressive, the sports facilities were also impressive, however I was not impressed with the baseball stadium at all, it seemed like they remodeled the thing on a budget, it doesn't work with the existing architecture. They worked with the existing dugouts which looked very cool but with the remainder of the stadium built around it seem goofy, they didn't mix the old with the new very well! They also had the artificial field that I despise! I know it makes it easier to maintain but it looks odd and makes all the fielding plays routine. If this stadium was built new and not remodeled on an existing site, I might be okay with it for a college summer league team in the Northwood's League, but on this campus with all the Spanish Renaissance styling's, it stands out like a sore thumb!
Member Review by DustyTxn on Apr 25, 2016
...this fan base is passionate. Not rude, but into their Red Raiders. Texas Tech has one of the loyalist and most dedicated fan bases there is. And it shows here at Dan law Field. Went to a game with my son. Tech was playing a school that did not have much hype but the stands were still full and the crowd into every pitch and bat. A must for any college baseball fan. For big conference games the games sell out way in advance. So a call to secure tickets or just go online and buy them. Stadium sits on the north end of campus and looks toward the campus skyline as well as the Lubbock downtown skyline. Great value for the money paid.
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