L. Dale Mitchell Park (map it)
401 W Imhoff
Norman, OK 73072
Year Opened: 1982
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Bradlee Ross, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Park has been home to the University of Oklahoma Sooners baseball team since February 27, 1982. Named for Dale Mitchell, who holds the Sooners’ career and single-season batting titles, the park has a capacity of 3,180 and was constructed at an initial cost of $1.27 million. The park has undergone significant renovations over the last decade and is located directly next to the Lloyd Noble Center, the University of Oklahoma’s basketball arena.
With 10 appearances in the College World Series to their credit, including two National Championships (1951 and 1994), this is one of the historic college baseball programs. It is a real pleasure to spend an afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
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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 concessions at Mitchell Park are your typical baseball park concessions for the most part. Prices are pretty affordable, and two people could pretty easily eat for under $20. The regular concession stands sell the traditional foodstuffs of baseball lore, including popcorn, hot dogs and soft drinks.
Along with those stands, the park also boasts other stands around the outside that sell funnel cakes, corn dogs, burgers, snow cones and Frozen Lemonade. These are really where it is at if you are looking for something unique to eat. I'd recommend the Onion Burger and some Frozen Lemonade. You can't go wrong with that combination.
The park has a typical baseball atmosphere. Contests like "Biggest Sooner Fan" and "Finish the Movie Line" for fans to participate in between innings add a nice, fun element to a spring afternoon. Seating is fairly comfortable, and the aisles are spaced far enough apart that getting around isn't too much trouble either.
As far as seating goes, it really depends on what you like. Tickets right behind home plate only run for about $15 a piece, which is pretty great. However, those seats are in the sun just about all the time during the day, which is something to consider. If you're a diehard baseball fan who has plenty of high-powered sunscreen, get those good seats. If not, bring your own chair and sit up higher where you can get some shade. Visibility of the field is good everywhere in the park, so that shouldn't be a problem. I also saw some folks who had set up chairs on the lawn behind the outfield walls. No matter what you do, seating is going to be affordable and comfortable.
The campus at the University of Oklahoma is very pretty to see. It is spacious with white sidewalks and some the greenest grass you'll see. There are a few eating places nearby and around campus, including The Library Bar and Grill and JJ's Pizza, along with tons of chain eating places. I was too stuffed from eating at the ballpark to enjoy any of these places, but I'm sure you'll find some great places to go nearby. Oklahoma City is also just half an hour away, and it boasts all kinds of other things to do in the area like Bricktown and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The fans at the park were solid during my visit. The place was at a little over half-capacity, and it was the typical baseball crowd. There is a general murmur throughout most of the game. The crowd got loud at times, but those times were few and far between. It wasn't as much as one would like. There were a few fans who really heckled the opposing batters while they were on deck, which is a good thing or bad thing depending on one's viewpoint.
Access to the park and inside of it is pretty good. The park is small enough that getting around is very easy. There wasn't any free parking anywhere near the ballpark on the day I was there, but there were a few parking lots that were very close for around $5. The restrooms were also clean and convenient.
As I said before, tickets right behind home plate are only $15 a piece. Considering that the venue is pretty good in every area, that's a very good return on the investment. The venue is fan-friendly in almost every way, and it makes it one of the best places to go for an afternoon of baseball and fun.
I'll give one extra point for the helpful staff. The lady at the gate was very welcoming, and a man helped us find our seats and gave us a roster and schedule as soon as we walked in. That type of hospitality and kindness isn't as typical as one would like at most sporting venues. I'll give another extra point for how they allowed all of the kids in the park the opportunity to run the bases after the game and how they announced it ahead of time so the kids wouldn't leave early and miss out. Running the bases at a real, college baseball diamond is something that I, a grown man, still fantasize about. I can only imagine just how awesome it was for those kids to get to do it after the game.
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607 W Boyd St
Norman, OK 73069
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