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Official Review by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
The Air Force Falcons baseball team plays in the MWC - Mountain West Conference - Div 1 in the NCAA. They play at Falcon Field, part of a sports complex at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.
The stadium seats 1,000 and consists of metal benches without backs along the first base and third base lines; the seating ends at the bases. There is no seating behind home plate as that houses a concrete structure holding officials like the PA and scorekeeper. Most seating is behind a black chain linked fence. The third base side has about 20ft of seating not behind the fence so if you’re one who finds nets and fences inhibit your viewing of a ballgame, sit there; which is what this author did.
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 is one concession truck in the parking lot that sells polish dogs, hot dogs, candy, snacks (chips), soda, and the much needed hot chocolate and coffee on this chilly spring day with prices ranging from $1 - $5 depending on what you order. There is no concourse.
It appears individuals enter the Air Force Academy for something other than playing baseball. Based on my research, the AFA baseball team has not had a winning season since joining the MWC in 2000. As of this review in May, 2012, the Falcons are 13 - 35 in overall games played this season.
That being said, this game was what this author considers a perfect day at the ballpark. It was about the baseball game; no frills, no mascot or cheerleaders... No music whatsoever during announcements and play of game... The play of the game, the ping of the bat, watching the defensive plays, the chanting and cheering of the fans and hearing the players root on their teammates all made it a perfect game to witness.
The Air Force Academy honored the six graduating seniors of the ballclub at this final home game of the season.
Though it is not in a downtown area with plenty of pubs and restaurants, the arena is in an Air Force Academy environment. There are lots and lots of military representation, memorabilia, and presence. It is in the Rocky Mountains and there's nothing quite as spectacular as gawking at those mountains for moments during a visit to the area.
Do take a visit to the Air Force Chapel. It houses three distinct worship areas under a single roof and has been named a U.S. National Historic Landmark. It has received many architectural prizes since its construction in 1962.
One local drinking/eating establishment (not walking distance but within 5 miles) that I would recommend is called the Colorado Mountain Brewery. It is worthy of a pre and post game visit.
If you are staying in the area overnight, we recommend the Fairfield Inn & Suites. The hotel is the closest hotel to the North Gate and is located in nearby Monument, about 10 minutes from all of the sports facilities at the Air Force Academy. The hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms along with a free deluxe hot breakfast, indoor swimming pool and outdoor fire pit and hot tub. Stadium Journey members can save 15% by clicking here when booking a room.
At this game, it was a cold (lower 40 degrees), foggy, damp day.
At first pitch there were almost 50 fans in the stadium. I counted. By the end of the game there were close to 100 or so. There was a good showing of both the Air Force Falcons as well as those from TCU - visiting team (Texas Christian University). Kudos to the TCU fans - it looked like a whole bus load of fans traveled from Ft. Worth, TX to Colorado Springs, CO to watch their Horned Frogs sweep the Air Force Falcons.
There was a nice banter from the fans and the players after each play that demonstrated all their involvement in the game. Nicely done.
When entering into the Air Force Academy, be prepared to stop at the gate house and show your ID - driver's license. This time, security even checked my trunk. Just be prepared this may happen. I got lost finding where to park for the field (Google Maps does not do a great job). However, the security booth cadets politely and accurately explained how to get to the baseball fields.
Be Warned: There are no bathrooms or port-a-potties at Falcon Field so do your business before you attend a game here.
There is easy access from I-25 to get to/from the field.
One was able to park and stroll into the stadium free of charge. I saw a great baseball game with no frills like annoying music during announcements and play. Just baseball.
Watching the team honoring the senior players and announcing their credits throughout their education at the Academy as well as where they will be expanding their education and services next year caused me to step back and recognize their endeavors and wish them well as they lead this country in the future.
Field Turf was installed in 2009 assisting with Colorado winter conditions and water drainage. I noticed it caused the ball to bounce on the playing surface.
The batter's box never smeared though many players tried to wipe the dirt and the white chalk - out of habit.
There are grassy berm areas (mostly behind the third base side) where dads can play catch with their sons and daughters and other tykes can run around exhausting their overwhelming energy.
If you're going to a baseball game to see the game of baseball, this is your venue. It does not provide extra amenities; it just provides baseball. What a relief.
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2346 Academy Dr # 102
Colorado Springs, CO 80840
U.S. Air Force Academy
Colorado Springs, CO 80840
15275 Struthers Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80921