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Official Review by Matt Fiedler, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Located on the beautiful campus of Fordham University, Houlihan Park is the home of the Fordham Rams baseball team. Houlihan Park has been the home of the Rams since a renovation in 2005 when field turf was added. The field is part of the Jack Coffey athletic complex. The baseball field overlaps sections of the football field. Houlihan Park has lights, as well as a full color video scoreboard. It is named for Fordham Alumnus Jim Houlihan, who donated $1 million towards the renovations to the turf, dugouts, practice facilities, grandstand, and press box.
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 no large concession stand at Houlihan Park. There is a small table that sells soda and water. Also available at the table are chips and candy. Fans looking for something more substantial can find many options around and outside of the Fordham campus. There is no alcohol allowed since Houlihan Park is on a college campus.
The atmosphere at Houlihan Park is very laid back. There are occasional cheers, but for the most part it is a quiet and subdued atmosphere. Fordham has a beautiful campus, and some of the views from the bleachers are amazing. There is some music played as batters step to the plate and between innings. The announcer also updates the scores of other athletic teams at Fordham during the game. There are bleachers behind home plate, and there are also the football bleachers in the outfield that fans can sit in. Houlihan Park overlaps the football stadium in the outfield.
The Fordham campus is located in the Bronx, which is known to be a pretty tough area. However, Fordham is a gated campus, and is pretty cut off from the rest of the Bronx. Right next to Fordham is the New York Botanical Garden which is a big tourist stop. There are various restaurants and food stands in the area if you want to grab a bite to eat. If you attend a Fordham baseball game, do yourself a favor and walk around the campus, it is beautiful.
Many of the fans at the game are friends and family of the players. I did notice a few college students from Fordham who were taking in the game as well. Fans who visit Houlihan Park in support of visiting teams will not be given a hard time. The fans cheer for a few good plays, but other than that they remain pretty quiet.
The campus of Fordham University is very easy to get to. In addition to many places to park, it is easily accessible by public transportation. There is a Metro North station right next to the campus. There is also a subway station a few blocks away. If you enter Fordham through the main entrance, Houlihan Park will be directly on your right. If you take the Metro North train, it will take you about 5 minutes to walk from the station to Houlihan Park.
Fordham University does not charge for baseball games. There is also no charge for parking. The only money you will have to spend is for the gas in your car or the price of a subway or Metro North ticket. Fordham has a solid history of good baseball, and you will not be disappointed in the quality of play. Many good teams come into Fordham, and many good players have come out of Fordham.
One star goes to the beautiful campus of Fordham University. If you take a walk around the campus you will see some beautiful architecture, as well as some vast greens where the college students hang out.
Another star goes to the fact that the park is located right next to the New York Botanical Garden as well as the Bronx Zoo. The Bronx Zoo is a must see spot when you are in New York.
A final star is awarded for the fact that Fordham has programs for every fan in attendance. The programs show basic stats about each team.
Houlihan Park is a no frills type of park. There is solid college baseball, and a beautiful campus to surround it. Houlihan Park is a place where you can sit down for a few hours, watch a game, and really just relax and enjoy the experience. Manhattan is close by, and there are many different things to eat and do around the campus of Fordham. If you are in the area, it is well worth the trip.
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