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Official Review by Andrew Kulyk, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Opened in 1939, Dwyer Stadium is home of the Batavia Muckdogs, the short season Class-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Batavia's baseball history actually goes back to the late 1800's, and the city has been a mainstay of the New York-Penn League for decades. The old Dwyer was actually largely demolished in the mid 90s, and a new $3-million facility was built in its place.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
For a spartan facility with limited food preparation infrastructure, the Muckdogs actually offer a pretty decent and varied concession menu. In addition to the red hots, they offer white hots, a light bratwurst which is a Rochester area staple. Burgers with toppings, cheesesteaks, pizza and Italian sausage are on the menu, fries and loaded fries with cheese and bacon, along with ice cream and baked goods.
The signature food item here is called "Muckdog Chow", served in a dog food bowl it is a hamburger patty topped over fries, macaroni salad and a special sauce. It is a pretty big portion so plan to share. A beer garden near the front entrance of the ballpark offers domestic microbrews, imports and the local swill Genny Light.
The ballpark only seats 2600, with most of it bleacher grandstand type seating, so even with a full house it almost seems more like a neighborhood VFW holiday picnic than a baseball game. The scoreboard is a basic balls/strikes/score simple thingy, and even the audio system, with speakers mounted on the infield grandstand canopy, does not offer much in terms of music bumps or between inning contests, entertainment or presentations.
It is a true neighborhood. The ballpark is easily accessed from Exit 48 of the New York State Thruway, and to get here one has to navigate down stately residential homes and to the stadium, which is nestled amidst homes and pretty much nothing else. There are a few surface lots that are located adjacent to the ballpark, and on street parking is ample. As far as pre or post game dining options, Settlers Restaurant, the Center Street Smokehouse, or Best Margaritas Grill, all a 5 minute ride from the stadium, are good options. The Red Osier in Stafford, a bit of ride east of Batavia, is still the marker for this part of the world.
This franchise has been under siege and has been losing money, but the community has rallied to save the team and keep it in Batavia. The ownership of the AAA Rochester Red Wings, located 30 miles to the east of Batavia, has stepped in to take over the management and operations of the team, and that has shored things up here for now. The response from the community has been just so-so, and there is a real fear here that an out of town owner will swoop in and take the team to a different locale offering a better venue and larger customer base.
The stadium is easy to find off the I-90, with well marked signage taking fans right to the front door of the stadium. From downtown Batavia, is a straight half mile shot right up Bank St. There are no public transportation options.
Single tickets are priced at a ridiculously cheap $5.50-$7.50, parking is free, and concession prices are way below what one would expect to pay at a AAA or MLB venue. What's not to like? The team offers season tickets for all 38 games for $190, and coupon books that can be used for any single game purchases at a discounted rate.
What makes Batavia so special is that this is one of the last honky tonk old school ballparks remaining in the New York Penn League, which has seen the construction of glitzy venues in such places as Brooklyn and Aberdeen in recent years. Sadly, Batavia is realizing that it is becoming that much harder to compete with the big boys in the league, even this league which is at the bottom of the developmental chain. For now, it is worth the trip, a step back in time to when this league had outposts in such places as Geneva, Pittsfield, Utica and Elmira, and what baseball was like during that time.
Member Review by Prince on Aug 08, 2011
Thanks to checking the review beforehand I was already knew what to exxpect once I finally stepped foot in this old ballyard. It was a great experience to go back in time to see a game in a real baseball setting. The Stadium was located right in the neighborhood which reminded me of Wrigley Field. They had a great food selection at reasonable prices. Unfortunately I had just eaten breakfast so I was too full to indulge. I saw a 11AM game where there were alot of kids and senior citizens amongst us real baseball fans. It turned out to be a fun day. I'm glad I finally got to experience baseball on the farm in Batavia. I suggest if you happen to be in the area that you see it for yourself.
Member Review by pderrick on Oct 17, 2011
A decent ballpark, nothing extremely special. This is exactly what anyone would expect with single A Penn league ball.
Member Review by ballparkreviews on Sep 12, 2012
The Muckdogs have perennially been one of the worst draws in the NYPL, so it is only a matter of time before they head for green pastures. Unfortunately, you can almost feel the sense of resignation from the team and fans when you attend a game here. Dwyer Stadium offers nothing special as it is essentially just some metal seating sections setup around a field. While it is charming to have minor league ball in these small outposts of western New York, I much prefer the atmosphere in Auburn and Jamestown. For my full review, check out my website : http://ballparkreviews.com/template2.php?in_name=Dwyer%20Stadium%20II&in_city=Batavia&in_state=New%20York
6492 East Main Street Road
Stafford, NY 14143
353 W Main St
Batavia, NY 14020
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