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Official Review by Tim Keeney, Special Correspondent
Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett, Washington was built in 1984, remodeled in 1998, and holds just over 3,000 people, so expectations for it as a stadium for a professional team were a little low.
It turns out, however, my experience thoroughly exceeded my expectations. The stadium that serves as home for track, football and soccer events as well as Aqua Sox (the Seattle Mariners' short-season Single-A affiliate) games provided a surprisingly good baseball experience.
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".
There was a wide selection of food, and it was all decently priced. What more can you ask for?
Nothing was special or jumped out at me, but all the favorites were there. A hot dog ($3), chowder ($4.75), mac & cheese ($4) and pizza ($6) are just some of the cheap dinner options, while there are some more exotic, expensive items if those tickle your fancy.
To quench your thirst, they have soda ($3.50), juice ($2.50) and beer ($6-$7) among other options. It got a little chilly near the end of the game, but luckily they had coffee or hot chocolate for $3.50.
For dessert, they have tons of different ice cream options, with the Dippin' Dots probably being the most popular. Throw in the fact that they came in mini MLB helmets, and those were quite an intriguing option.
I was ready to give the atmosphere five stars.
The park is really cool. The walls are tall and zig-zag around the outfield in a unique way. The mountains behind the stadium provide for a beautiful backdrop. There are tons of things around the stadium for kids to do. There was a band playing before the game. The Aqua Sox mascot and entertainment team was full of energy and put on tons of contests in between innings. You could hear the players and umpires on the field at times. It was the perfect baseball experience.
But, after a while, the giant speaker right behind our seats started getting to me. They would play music seemingly between every pitch, and the speakers were just too loud. It became hard to just hear yourself think at times. It was too much, and it ruined the experience a bit.
Everett Memorial Stadium is right off of Broadway, a major street that goes through Everett, so you don't have to go far to find food or drink.
For food, there is a McDonalds, a Taco Time and a Quiznos all within about a two block radius of the stadium, so you can't go wrong there. However, if you give yourself some time and don't go for fast food, I suggest Red Rock Subs just a few blocks down on Broadway. They have delicious subs and that's all you really need to know.
The only tavern within the area is a unique one. AFK Tavern, off of Hoyt and 41st (about a five-block walk from the stadium), allows 18-year olds as long as they are with an adult, has multiple Xbox's, Rock Band and several other games. It's like a cross between an arcade and a bar.
Eh, they knew when to clap and when to get upset. Still though, judging from the people around me, they didn't have the highest baseball knowledge, and it was obvious they were just trying to get their kids out of the house.
It's only short-season Single-A, so I can't really blame them, but it got a little annoying hearing the guy behind me scream, "we'll take that" after every at-bat.
Yeah, we hit a home run; of course we'll take that.
Throw in the fact that the stadium was about a quarter full, and the fan experience was less than desirable.
No problems finding the stadium, as it is right off of I-5, Washington's major highway.
Parking was $6 right next to the stadium, but right next to that there was free street parking and a lot that people were legally parking in for free.
Seats and bathrooms were easy to find, and employees were friendly if you couldn't find something.
The cheapest ticket is $7 and the most expensive is $18, so I'd call it average minor league prices. We were able to buy a Groupon for two tickets for $8, so that bumps it up to four stars. It was definitely an experience with a total of four dollars (plus gas) spent.
One point for having a plaque for where Ken Griffey Jr.'s first professional home run landed. One point for the huge grass area around the stadium where kids can play, or where anyone can just have a casual game of catch. One point for the cool general admission area in right field where you can lounge on blankets or chairs you brought yourself.
The fans and those pesky loud speakers bring the experience down a little bit, but it's still a beautiful stadium that provides a fantastic baseball experience. Everett Memorial Stadium is certainly a good park to visit if you're in the area.
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3514 Broadway # A
Everett, WA 98201
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