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Official Review by Justin Sutton, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Considered by many to be one of the top on-campus baseball venues in the country, Dudy Noble Field at Polk-DeMent Stadium has played host to the top ten highest-attended, on-campus baseball games in NCAA history. The stadium was the host site of the first SEC tournament and hosted its 12th NCAA regional in 2013.
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".
One of the best things about catching a game at Dudy Noble Field is knowing someone sitting in the Left Field Lounge. If you have friends in the homemade tailgating section, you can eat whatever you can bring and cook.
For those less fortunate, Mississippi State has contracted with Aramark to supply the concession stands. The prices are not the end of the world, but they are what can be associated with food at stadiums ($7 for a wrap and $5 for a jumbo hotdog, for instance).
What sets the food and beverage apart at Dudy Noble is the DawgSnax service. No one enjoys missing part of a game to wait in line for food, and anyone with small children can attest that taking the little ones to the concession stand is not always the easiest of tasks. Thanks to DawgSnax, fans can place an order with their smartphone and have it delivered to any chair back seat.
One of the things that someone new to Dudy Noble Field will quickly recognize is the Left Field Lounge. This area, homemade seating for baseball watching and tailgating, is a testament to do-it-yourself engineering. Fans will see seating apparatus that boggle the mind, using cars, trucks, scaffolding, and furniture.
The fans in the Left Field Lounge have been known to cook up food and feed it to opposing players during the contest, making up for a bit of the ribbing those players take during the game.
As with any game, there will be a segment of fans that want to argue every close call from their seat, but Dudy Noble Field offers a fan-friendly, kid-friendly environment to take in a baseball game.
With a seating capacity of 7,200 (with over 4000 being chair backs), fans coming to a game can grab a good seat and watch the game.
There are not many places to go grab food and drink within an easy walk of Dudy Noble, but if fans are willing to walk just a bit further than they do for football, restaurants such as StaggerIn can be reached by foot. However, fans coming to the game should drive, as the traffic and parking is not as bad as it is during football season.
Starkville has a variety of dining options to keep visitors satisfied. Fans of barbecue cannot miss Little Dooey. Restaurant Tyler has also grown in popularity with the folks of Starkville and people visiting the city. If pizza and a tavern setting is what the group wants on game day, Dave's Dark Horse Tavern is the place to go.
Starkville also boasts a good number of hotels, making it easy to plan a trip to a baseball series.
Mississippi State fans love baseball, and they show up to just about any and every game that the Bulldogs play at home. The attendance record proves this as the top ten attended on campus baseball games have all happened at Dudy Noble Field.
The 2007 Super Regional matchup against Clemson is thought by some Bulldog fans not to have counted every fan at the second game of that series, but that game still holds the all-time attendance record for a super regional at 13,715. The second-highest attendance number came the day before in game one of that series, at 12,620. The combined total is the highest ever for a two-game, on-campus super regional. To put that in perspective, the all-time record for a three game super regional is 29,646, only about 3,300 more than the two-day total in Starkville.
The number of fans at the game is not the only impressive thing about those in attendance. Many fans who show up at Dudy Noble tend to know a lot about the history of the Bulldog program, and it is not uncommon to strike up conversations with random fans about the team and those from the past.
In all, over five million fans have come through the turnstiles at Dudy Noble Field.
Traveling to Starkville has become a much easier task over the past decade, due to the expansion of MS-25 from Jackson and US-45 from the Gulf Coast. With both highways now at four lanes, fans from across the state have a much easier trip.
Anyone hoping to fly to the game can use the Golden Triangle Regional Airport, about a 15-20 minute drive from Starkville.
Grabbing the right seat at the stadium can be a bit of a challenge. The top seats at Dudy Noble are in the reserved section, and the general admission bleachers leave a bit to be desired in comfort and sight lines. Sitting in the bleachers should be avoided, if at all possible.
Parking does not present much of a problem for fans attending a game at Dudy Noble, and fans should be able to park within a ten-minute walk of the stadium.
True college baseball fans cannot pass up seeing a game at Dudy Noble Field, and if nothing else, the price tag should encourage fans to come to Starkville. If taking in a non-SEC game, fans will pay five dollars to get in and grab a seat. During SEC play, the price climbs to ten dollars for general admission and $15 for a chair back. Considering the quality of opponents in SEC play and the atmosphere of the stadium, the cost is well worth it.
One star goes to the fans. The fact that Mississippi State fans have turned in the top ten attended on-campus games cannot be ignored.
A second star goes to the Left Field Lounge. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in college baseball.
A third star goes to DawgSnax. The ability to order food and have it brought to your seat at a college stadium is beyond amazing from the standpoint of watching games with convenience in the stadium.
The fourth star goes to the ticket prices. For the competition coming to town, the price to get in the gate cannot be beat.
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106 Maxwell St
Starkville, MS 39759
100 E Main St
Starkville, MS 39759
410 Doctor Martin Luther King Jr Dr E
Starkville, MS 39759
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