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Joe W Davis Stadium

Huntsville, AL

Home of the Huntsville Stars

3.1

3.0

Joe W Davis Stadium (map it)
3125 Leeman Ferry Road
Huntsville, AL 35801


Huntsville Stars website

Joe W Davis Stadium website

Year Opened: 1985

Capacity: 10,200

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Farewell Stars

The Huntsville Stars (AA Southern League baseball team, affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers) ended their tenure at Joe W Davis Municipal Park on Sept 1, 2014. Stadium Journey visited one of the last few games played at the park.

Huntsville, also known as the Rocket City, is located in northern Alabama and is home to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center as well as the Redstone Arsenal Military complex.

Joe Davis Stadium, nicknamed "The Joe," was named for the popular former mayor of Huntsville, who was instrumental in bringing minor league baseball to the city. The Joe has seating for 10,200 fans as well as 14 air-conditioned sky boxes.

The Stars will be moving to Biloxii, MS beginning the 2015 season.

3.1

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

All concessions are cash only.

There are four permanent concessions stands (two were open the game I visited). They offer hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, cheesesteak, and bratwurst ranging from $4 - $6. The two most expensive items on the menu are the chicken tender and tot meal and the chicken bacon ranch wrap at $7 each.

Snacks include chips, cracker jacks, fripps (battered and fried potatoes), candy, nachos, popcorn and the like ranging from $2.50 - $4. Sodas are the Pepsi variety and range from $3.50 - $5.50. Pizza is available for $5/slice

There are two craft beer stands down the third base side and both offer the next best thing to a hot dog at a ballpark: Boiled peanuts! Homemade! $4 and served in a Styrofoam cup.

The one stand offers $2 Bud Light or Yuengling prior to the first pitch; a very decent deal. The other offers local beers from OBB (Old Black Bear), a brewery located in Huntsviille.

Other traditional selections of beer are available at the concession stands and at the beer stands.

The Stars do require your obtaining a wristband for alcohol purchases prior to entering the stadium. This is a good idea as it streamlines the ordering process at the stands.

Atmosphere    3

There is a pleasant view of nice green trees beyond the outfield. The field looks excellent and is comprised of real grass and real dirt. There are green fold down seat with cup holders on most of the infield. Bleacher seating without backs are available down the third base and left field lines.

Stars players signed autographs before the game. Former Stars players attended one of the last Stars games played at The Joe; a replica of the stadium was the giveaway.

There are many murals painted in the stair wells when entering the seating area. These murals were painted to promote community awareness and they provide an eye-catching view. The concourse is plenty wide and pedestrian traffic flows smoothly on the concourse and in the seating area.

There are three Southern League championship 'stars' painted on the left field wall: 1985, 1994, and 2001.

The home base side is third base. Bullpens are located on the field beyond the first base and third base lines.

The scoreboard is your typical line board: balls, strikes, outs. And per inning - the total runs, hits, and errors. Nothing fancy but enough to satisfy those keeping score.

There is a covered picnic area beyond the first base seating area.

The music level is perfect. It is not intrusive and you can have a conversation with your neighbor without yelling at them. There's minimal 'noise' or music between batters but just enough to keep fans entertained.

Neighborhood    2

The stadium is basically located in an industrial area. Less than ½ mile away is a Hardee's, an Applebee's, and a Cracker Barrel but there are no sidewalks from the stadium to those eating establishments so I would not recommend the hike.

There is the Parkway Place Mall about a ½ mile from the stadium at the corner of Drake Ave SW and US 231, if shopping is your thing.

There is a Municipal Ice Complex next to the ballpark which is a public ice rink. And there was a carnival on the other side of the parking lot on the evening I attended a game. I'll assume that is a part of the Southern Adventures Amusement Park which has games, miniature golf and even batting cages and is located across from the stadium.

If in Huntsville, plan a visit to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center which is a museum showcasing rockets, achievements, and artifacts of the U.S. space program.

Fans    3

The fans I talked with are very sad to see the Stars relocate. Many have been following the Stars for 10 or more years. The Stars fans are very pleasant and easy to converse with.

One fan places the Baseball K Cards in front of where he sits. K Cards are basic 8 ½" x 11" sheets of paper/oak tag with a forward K or a backward K used to track strikeouts during the game.

The fans cheer at the appropriate times and many stay to the end of the game.

Access    3

I did not notice any public transportation options to The Joe. The stadium is located about a mile and a half south of downtown Huntsville just off of US 231.

Parking is easy and costs $4. I got there prior to the guards setting up post so I got in for free.

Seating is general admission so you have the fantastic option of sitting wherever you please.

The main concourse (the one with the concession stands) does not have a view of the playing surface though there are several stair wells in which to poke your head out to catch some of the action while traversing the concourse.

Security check is easy. No outside food or drink is allowed. Be sure to get your alcohol wristband prior to entering the venue.

Return on Investment    4

There are the $2 beers before the first pitch which is an affordable price for beer at a ballpark. The other concession prices are quite reasonable with nothing over $7.

Seating is general admission. Ticket prices are: $8 adult, $6 kids 12 and under, military, seniors 55+.

One promotion the Stars offer is the Mountain Dew Tuesday's. Present a bottle cap top on a Tuesday game and get in for $2. Corporate specials are offered by Academy Sports, Buffalo Rock, Chick-fil-A, Redstone Federal Credit Union, and Sportsmed. Present a cash register receipt or employee ID card from these companies and get in for $4.

Visiting the Stars and Joe W Davis Municipal Park in one its last games played at the venue is worth the price paid.

Extras    3

I can't say enough about having homemade boiled peanuts at a minor league baseball venue.

Congratulations to the Huntsville Stars for 30 years of baseball and their three Southern League Championships. And, a special notice for the exceptional customer service and friendliness of all the Stars employees and concession stand operators.

One other mention is the PA announcer calls the Southern League out of town scores. Nice job for keeping it minor league.

Final Thoughts

Visiting a Stars game at The Joe is a perfect minor league baseball experience.

The city currently owns the 10,200 seat stadium, and says it will be kept for public use after the team leaves, either for school teams to use, or to possibly bring another baseball team to Huntsville.

As of this posting, it's unsure whether the new stadium in Biloxi will be ready by April 2015, so perhaps Huntsville may just get a little more baseball. And if it does, be sure to take in this 'perfect minor league' old school venue.

peanut league

Once again Huntsville proved they are not capable of putting on a first class show. Beautiful night, cool for this time of year, good game. But an hour long wait to get lousy overpriced food. No wonder this is the end of the game for the Stars.The stadium is not well managed.

by grumpy | Jul 04, 2014 10:05 PM

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Crowd Reviews

Where Stars Are Born

Total Score: 3.43

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

Huntsville, also known as the Rocket City, is located in northern Alabama and is home to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center as well as the Redstone Arsenal Military complex.

It is also the home of Joe W Davis Stadium and the Milwaukee Brewers' double A affiliate Huntsville Stars. Previous to that the Stars were operated by the Oakland Athletics from 1985 to 1999. Many of Major League Baseball's stars once graced the field at Joe W Davis Stadium. Those names include Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Tim Belcher, Jason Giambi, and many others.

Joe Davis Stadium, nicknamed "The Joe", was named for the popular former mayor of Huntsville, who was instrumental in bringing minor league baseball to the city. The Joe has seating for 10,200 fans as well as 14 air conditioned Sky Boxes.

The "Other" Joe

Total Score: 3.14

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 2
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 2

The oldest ballpark in the Southern League was named after the mayor who brought Minor League to Huntsville. However, with all the new parks built and being "modern" this is a ghostly stadium which is more of a multi-purpose stadium than a ballpark. What you have is a massive oversized ballpark where the Stars will never sell out and from all looks of it, will possibly be moving to Biloxi in 2015. That being said, it isn't a TERRIBLE place to watch a game and the experience wasn't too bad.

FOOD/BEVERAGE: Standard fare with a few extras, including the pretzel bun burgers and brats. I had the burger and it was very tasty, albeit slightly on the expensive side at $6. Well worth it however. Also they have some very tasty tater tots.

ATMOSPHERE: 10,000 seat park that only sees at the the most 1/10th of the capacity (and sometimes well less), you do have that empty feeling of the park as it might have been neater to see the Stars anywhere from 85-94 where they probably drew a few more fans than 1,000.

NEIGHBORHOOD: You are in an industrial area filled mostly with large aluminum buildings (though to be fair, it is sports oriented), but nothing around to walk before or after the game and munch on. The good news is you can drive to a nearby mall with numerous restaurant options.

FANS: The ones who were there were into the game and had on baseball shirts, whether it was player shirts of Brewer players, or other MLB stars. They were friendly as well.

ACCESS: Depends on where you were coming from. If you are coming from Tennessee or Alabama, you have a nice straight shot on the Interstate to get there. If you are coming over from Georgia, good luck as "back roads" is what makes a two-and-a-half hour drive to a three-and-a-half hour drive.

ROI: $8 to sit anywhere in the place. Free parking, low cost of foods, and souvenir prices normal, you can't go wrong with what you are getting, even though you are sitting in an out-of-date, oversized stadium.

EXTRAS: The employees are friendly and made you feel welcomed, and you get a nice, scenic view of the hills of North Alabama while having a "NASA" themed place. One of the unique things (at least from me) was the bit of "how to wash your hands in the bathroom" bit. But the scoreboard was not operating nor hadn't been in a while and the rest of the place was out of date with missing ads on the walls and one ad looked "ripped out."

Setting Stars

Total Score: 2.43

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 1
  • Fans: 1
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 2

The Huntsville franchise is leaving for Biloxi after the 2014 season. I attended a doubleheader on the final Sunday of the season, and only 924 fans were there. No wonder the team is moving. This is AA ball! No point in reviewing it other than to say the stadium was built in 1984, about 10 years too early, and had not a single amenity. I love old style ballparks like this but most fans want bells and whistles, which they will have plenty of in Biloxi.

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Local Food & Drink

Gibson's Bar-B-Q  (map it!)

3319 Memorial Parkway

Huntsville, AL 35801

(256) 881-4851

http://www.gibsonshsv.com/

Dreamland Bar-B-Que Ribs  (map it!)

3855 University Drive

Huntsville, AL 35816

(256) 539-7427

http://www.dreamlandbbq.com/

Local Entertainment

Benton H. Wilcoxon Ice Complex  (map it!)

3185 Leeman Ferry Rd

Huntsville, AL 35801

(256) 883-3774

http://www.iceskate.org/

Southern Adventures  (map it!)

2150 Leeman Ferry Rd

Huntsville, AL 35801

(256) 880-6599

http://www.southern-adventures.com/

U.S. Space and Rocket Center  (map it!)

One Tranquility Base

Huntsville, AL 35805

(256) 837-3400

http://rocketcenter.com/

Lodging

La Quinta Inn Huntsville Space Center  (map it!)

3141 University Dr. N.W.

Huntsville, AL 35816

(256) 533-0756

http://www.laquintahuntsvillespacecenter.com/

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