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Official Review by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) is made up of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) located between Florida and Delaware. Baseball is not considered one of the biggest sports for the MEAC, with only 9 of the 13 member schools fielding teams. Bethune-Cookman University has been dominating the MEAC for nearly two decades.
Current MEAC member Coppin State University plays baseball nearly 25 miles away from their Northwest Baltimore campus, as an on-campus facility does not exist. They use Joe Cannon Stadium, located at Harmans Park in suburban Hanover, MD. The stadium was designed for the use of amateur baseball teams in the region, and is named after the man who pushed very hard to get such a field developed. The Baltimore Presstman Cardinals of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League also call Joe Cannon home.
Coppin has not really been one of the more successful MEAC schools in baseball, but it did have the late Baltimore Orioles great Paul Blair serve as their Manager from 1998 to 2002. Recent years have seen some better success with the team.
When Joe Cannon Stadium was opened in 1990, the area was not very developed. Since then, this area has been the center of rapid growth and development. The large Arundel Mills Mall and Maryland Live Casino are literally across the street from the stadium. BWI Airport is also located nearby, and the sight of airplanes taking off is not uncommon.
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 are no food options available for a Coppin State baseball game. A concession stand exists at Joe Cannon Stadium, but is not used during Coppin games. There are also no soda or snack machines located here, either.
The seating section sits pretty high off of the field, which limits fan participation. And that is if there are fans at the game. The atmosphere is almost non-existent, although a PA announcer does keep you into the game with announcements and music played between players.
The seats are metal bleachers with no backing. It may be worth it to go all the way to the top of the stands so that you will have a back to your seat, but you will be a bit further from the action.
Many of the fans do not even sit in the stands, but bring their own chair to sit along the chain link fence along the foul lines. This may offer a bit more interesting view than in the main grandstand.
The stadium is located back in the woods, but is across from a thriving development. Arundel Mills Mall is very popular, so much that parking can be difficult at times. The addition of the Maryland LIve Casino adds to the popularity of the area. Luckily, the casino has added a large parking garage to alleviate some parking problems.
Food options are varied. The closest options are within walking distance across parking lots. Subway and The Greene Turtle are so close and offer options both carry-out and eat-in. The Greene Turtle has a diverse menu, offering more intriguing options, including everything from Raspberry Turkey Flatbread down to a more usual bar food menu. They also offer many happy hour food and drink specials at the bar.
Flippin Pizza offers good pizza options a couple more blocks away in the same shopping center as a Panera Bread and Safeway grocery store. Try the Pesto White Pie at Flippin for a unique but tasty treat.
There are so many food options in the area, from standard fast food fare to upscale restaurants at the casino. A good in between option is Bobby Flay's Bobby's Burger Palace, located on the side of the casino. They offer many burger options, but the Crunch Burger is a good choice, but pricey at close to $10 for just the burger. Children are allowed at Bobby's, since it is located out of the casino itself. There are a few hotels also in the area, with ALoft and Element located within walking distance of Joe Cannon Stadium.
The fans at the stadium were clearly family and friends only. I would doubt there are ever many student fans in attendance, unless they know someone playing. The stadium is too far removed from their campus.
The stadium did seem to draw a large group of fans from the opposing team. Once again, it was mostly family members and other friends, but the location near Arundel Mills may be a draw for these games.
Joe Cannon Stadium is near most of the large highways in the area, such as I-295, I-95 and Maryland Route 100. So access is technically very good.
But that does not tell the whole story. The traffic around Arundel Mills Mall can be stifling. You can expect to sit through many lights just to make simple and small turns. Weekend games will be worse than weekday games. Plan your trips accordingly, as you may need to be patient for the most simple of rides.
Parking at the stadium is plentiful and free.
Games are free to attend, and there are no other costs associated with the stadium, so the value for the fans is very good. If a good local team is in town, or one of the powerhouse programs are playing, such as Bethune-Cookman, fans will be rewarded with some good baseball skills with very little investment.
The large water tower located beyond the left field wall is an interesting sight to see at a baseball game. It may not be the Green Monster, or the Camden Yards Warehouse, but it gives fans at Joe Cannon Stadium an interesting view.
The stadium is an enjoyable place to watch a game, especially for being free. You will not be wowed by the field, nor probably the talent level, but it can offer a good option away from the crowded shopping environment located nearby. A good option for many fans is to drop those of their party who wish to shop at the mall while others take in a game.
Member Review by Stadiumdude99 on Mar 12, 2016
This park may not wow you, but it is fun to watch a game here. Accessibility is always a perk and having good food in the area is good too. A lack luster atmosphere and fans as well as no food or drinks does bring down the rating but a great neighborhood ties it all together.
7556 Teague Rd #100
Hanover, MD 21076
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