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Official Review by Chris Green, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Though one of the most successful teams in Florida’s college baseball ranks, FAU rarely draws nightly sellouts. Despite this, their home field offers a comfortable setting, with the biggest draw being the affordability of going to a Division I college baseball game with the whole family while on a tight budget.
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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".
The food options are actually quite varied for college baseball and the price points are great. Nothing costs more than $5, perfect for a family or large group. At the high end are bratwursts, chicken sandwiches, pulled pork, and fried oreos at $5 each. Next, you will find burgers, fries, chicken nuggets, and quesadillas for $4. Nachos, Italian ice, and large bags of sunflower seeds run $3 while hot dogs, peanuts, churros, cracker jacks, and small bags of sunflower seeds are $2. Drinks range from $1 to $3. Beer costs either $5 for domestics or $6 for imports.
The smaller crowd sizes tend to keep the pumped up energy you would look for at a college athletics event on the lower side, but you still can get the place rocking with a few big plays on the field. The fans who show up are a good mix of students, family & friends, and alumni.
The seating is elevated in the main grandstands, giving fans a higher view behind home plate than most baseball stadiums where the first row is at or just slightly above plate level.
The appearance of a water treatment facility in the outfield is a bit of an eyesore though, and depending on the direction of the wind, can bring a slight chemical smell to the air. Along the left and right field lines are two big berms that give fans the best view of the action, with the right field berm being shaded by big palm trees.
Boca Raton is a beautiful part of Palm Beach County. In addition, FAU's campus is clean, South Florida-esque in appearance, and overall visually appealing. Not far from the campus is a beautiful strip shop that includes a P.F. Chang's, J. Alexander's Restaurant, Shake Shack, Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, and more.
Equidistant to the east of campus is the Atlantic Ocean. There, you can find a beautiful beach, as well as the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, where visitors can get a look at some of coastal Florida's natural habitats and inhabitants, thanks to boardwalks through the mangroves and natural butterfly gardens.
Near the beach, hotels are easy to find. What Boca Raton lacks in nightlife more commonly found in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the area more than makes up for in relaxation. In addition, Palm Beach International Airport isn't far from Boca Raton, with Fort Lauderdale and Miami less than an hour away as well.
The fans who show up tend to be sport knowledgeable, and the alumni who come are more than willing to tell you the stories of how the team played when they went to FAU. The lack of crazy rowdiness may cut back on the energy one may want in a college baseball game, but it also makes this a great place to bring kids without worrying about the words they may be hearing shouted at the umpires.
Getting to FAU is easy to do. Unlike several sports teams or colleges where the campus stadiums are miles away from the highway exits, FAU is quite literally bordered by I-95 in Boca Raton. Also, just a few miles west is the Florida Turnpike. Once off the exit from I-95, the FAU campus is immediately visible. Parking is quite plentiful, and even if you get stuck in a lot or garage that is a little further from the stadium, the walk is not very far and is through a beautiful campus.
Tickets for FAU baseball are relatively cheap, starting at $5 for pre-sale and $7 for walkups, with those prices rising to $12 for premium games. Group tickets can be purchased for as low as $1 each for groups of 50 or more. This low price point added to the low price of concessions means you get a lot of bang for your buck, especially when looking to take the kids out for a night of baseball.
FAU's owl mascot wanders around the games from time to time, entertaining kids in attendance. The school also usually has some sort of giveaways, whether they be team posters when you enter the stadium or through games played in between innings with the fans. Finally, the stadium features a dog area for those fans who want to bring their furry friends to the game. The left-field berm is marked for fans with dogs, allowing you to still have a great view of the field while being allowed to bring Fido along with you.
The FAU baseball experience is solid and simple, making it a great choice for families. The facility may not be the biggest or most opulent, but its affordability is hard to argue with. If you're in the area, consider an Owls baseball game, especially if visiting another of the nearby FAU sports facilities for another game that same day.
Member Review by Jackson Wolek on Mar 02, 2012
When you arrive at FAU Baseball Stadium at the campus of Florida Atlantic, you would expect it to be a nice venue, considering the area that the on campus stadium resides in, Boca Raton, is a rather wealthy one. However, that is not at all the case. The stadium is in dire need of an upgrade, along with more student support of the team.
When you walk into the stadium, the one lone ticket booth that they have is very much like something you would see at a high school game. It consists of just one table with someone working a cash box, not a register, so bring cash. After paying to get in, you have your choice of sitting in the seats (all with chairbacks) behind homeplate, or on the right field and left field side on a small grassy berm. You could also get right up to the fence and get within a couple feet of each dugout.
After opening in 1991, the FAU baseball team got ranked as high as number 8 in the nation in 1999, and has been to the NCAA Regional championships seven times in the last 13 years, most recently in 2010. They also have four alumni who are currently in MLB. With the amount of success the program has gained in the last decade alone, the team and fans deserve a better venue. According to the stadium's website, plans are in the works for a new facility. Until that time comes, this is what they must deal with.
9858 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33434
1229 W Palmetto Park Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33486
2399 N Federal Hwy
Boca Raton, FL 33431
1400 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33431
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