When it comes to college baseball, it’s hard to beat the overall fan experience for a Ragin’ Cajuns game at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field. The Tigue features a passionate fan base that regularly ranks near the top of Division I in attendance and was tenth overall in 2014.
Adding to the game day environment is a quality on-field product. The UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns have captured seven Sun Belt Conference regular season titles and are a perennial noise maker in the NCAA Division I baseball postseason with 14 total regional appearances since 1988.
Located on the campus of the University of Louisiana – Lafayette, M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field has served as homefield to the Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team since 1978. The ballpark features a newly installed synthetic turf system, a seating capacity of 3,755, and 71 foot scoreboard featuring video replay and graphics.
If you consider yourself a college baseball fan, a visit to The Tigue in south Louisiana needs to be on your bucket list.
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The concessions experience at The Tigue comes through with quality items and a surprisingly good variety of options. Whether it's craft beer, a fried catfish plate, or Dippin Dots, there should be a taste of something to meet just about everyone's craving. Credit cards are accepted at most of the stands, which comes in handy if you're short on cash. To check-out upcoming concessions promotions, visit the concessions website
Quality and Variety of Food Options. Both the quality and variety of food options at The Tigue are strong. The primary stand is located behind the main grandstand in the courtyard as you come through the entrance gate. Here you'll find your ballpark staples including hot dogs ($3), nachos ($4), and popcorn ($3).
Also in the courtyard, you'll find several cart vendors including Dippin' Dots, Great American Cookie, a frozen lemonade stand, and a sno-cones stand. Down the left side of the main grandstand, some of your more unique food items will include a stand selling catfish plates and fried pickles, a roasted peanuts stand, and another which offers up poboys, ultimate nachos, ultimate tator tots, and chicken tender baskets. One of the fan favorites is the Deano's Pizza cart which offers up personal sized pizzas for $7-$8 (try the Ragin' Cajun). Get there quick since the pizza is known to sell-out as early as the third inning.
Variety of Drink Options. The drink options at The Tigue are exceptional are headlined by a wide variety of craft beers (including local favorites like Abita Strawberry and Canebrake) which run between $6-$7. Soda options include fountain-style Coca-Cola products for $4 and bottled Dasani water for $3.
Recommendation. While there are plenty of options to satisfy your craving, I recommend grabbing a bag of roasted peanuts and an Abita Strawberry draft brew to cool you on a warm Louisiana spring day.
The Tigue provides a strong college baseball atmosphere which features a historic venue with touches of modernity.
Stadium Aesthetics. M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field has served as home field for the Ragin' Cajuns for over 35 years. While the main grandstand shows some sign of wear, it's complemented with a contrast of new bleacher seating along both baselines, a recently installed synthetic turf, and a beautiful scoreboard with video replay and graphics.
UL-Lafayette does a good job of highlighting past accomplishments with a large board just inside the main entrance that lists conference championships and regional appearances. There is also a retired jersey pasted on the outfield wall honoring former Cajun great Ron Guidry. With so much history and success over the years, UL-Lafayette could do even more to feature these impressive accomplishments further.
A couple of small changes could be made to improve the visual aesthetics of the stadium. The main grandstand could use a new coat of paint and chairback seating with cupholders could be added in. The athletics master plan calls for enhancements to the main grandstand and also connecting to the bleacher seating down both baselines. Work hasn't started yet, but when these upgrades are completed, The Tigue would undoubtedly be one of the finest college baseball stadiums in America. Also, though the tree coverage outside the main entrance certainly adds to the natural look to the stadium, it makes it difficult to get a good view of the exterior through the leaves.
In-Game Promotions and Entertainment. While there are a few on-field promotions and music played between innings, expect a more traditional college baseball atmosphere. Being in south Louisiana, the music selection played between innings is typically either Cajun or country in genre. For the seventh inning stretch, a neat tradition is the playing of John Fogerty's "Centerfield." While this may be blasphemous to some baseball purists in place of "Take me Out to the Ballgame", the fans all stand and sing along. When the music fades out near the end, the fans pick up volume and finish out the song with a loud "centerfield!" The fight song is traditionally played between the eighth and ninth innings. It would be nice to have the Ragin' Cajun mascot "Cayenne" out interacting with fans during games, but he typically does not make appearances for baseball. The dance team is on hand selling raffle tickets, but not to perform.
Seat Location Recommendations. Typically, the best view of the on-field action can be found in the seats behind home plate. These chairbacks also offer up shade from an overhead awning (though the lower half of the seats may still be in sunlight). At The Tigue, the bleachers down first baseline will put you near the more rowdy, younger fans and the bleachers down third base line seem to be a little more family oriented. The patio box seats run down the outer baselines on both right and left field. This is a unique area where you can sit on fold-out chairs next to the baseline wall in groups of 4-6.
The Tigue is located on the campus of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette near several other athletics facilities including the Cajundome (home to UL-Lafayette basketball), Cajun Field (home to Ragin' Cajun football), and between both the tennis and track complexes. As the capital of Cajun Country, Lafayette is home to some great restaurants and attractions which are a short drive from The Tigue.
Where to Eat. There are plenty of great eats in the Lafayette area. One of the staples is Olde Tyme Grocery (218 W Saint Mary) which serves up classic poboys. I recommend ordering either the fried shrimp or the Olde Tyme Special (ham, turkey, roast beef, and swiss). While Lafayette isn't famous for barbecue, Johnson's Boucaniere (111 St. John's) serves up a delicious pulled pork and chopped brisket sandwich as well as regionally popular hot boudin. Other recommended restaurants include Prejean's (480 NE Evangeline), Blue Dog Cafe (1211 W Pinhook), and Bon Temps Grill (1312 Verot School).
Attractions & Entertainment. As a mid-sized city, Lafayette has a good variety of options to keep fans entertained outside of the stadium experience. For traveling families, I recommend stops at both the Children's Museum of Acadiana (201 E Congress) and the Lafayette Science Museum (433 Jefferson). Budget some time for a stroll through downtown Lafayette. There are several restaurants and shops in the area and also a nice park with a large "Lafayette" spelled out in block letters which is ripe for photo opportunities. Just outside of the city, you can catch tour of the swamp at Cajun Country Swamp Tours (1209 Rookery) in Breaux Bridge. The Blue Moon Saloon & Guesthouse (215 E Convent) offers up some live Zydeco music.
Where to Stay. Just across the street from the Cajundome is Hilton Garden Inn - Lafayette/Cajundome (2350 W Congress). You could literally walk to the game from this location.
Ragin' Cajun baseball fans prove that you don't need 90,000+ people in a stadium to have a great fan base. Fans at The Tigue show up in droves for the typical weekend baseball series, wear red, and remain engaged throughout the entire nine innings.
Typical Attendance. If you were to review the NCAA DI baseball attendance rankings, you wouldn't be surprised to notice handful of SEC, Big 12, and ACC teams dominating the top 10. Despite hailing from a smaller conference, the Sun Belt, the Ragin' Cajuns rounded out the top ten in 2014 in average home field attendance with 3,671 fans per game. Each year, the Cajuns are typically in the conversation as one of the best attended college baseball venues in the country. Being located less than an hour's drive from the perennial attendance dominator LSU makes this feat it even more impressive and shows just how passionate Ragin' Cajun fans are.
Crowd Noise & Engagement. UL-Lafayette fans don't just show up, they are actively involved throughout the game. Expect to hear an antagonizing "ball four" chant every time the opposing pitcher gets behind 3-0 in a count. Fans don't wait for the last out in the ninth inning to stand and clap. This will happen regularly throughout the game in key situations. When big plays happen, expect a big response from a typically at-capacity crowd.
Traditions and Chants. You will pick-up on several traditions and chants throughout the game day experience. A fan favorite audio clip of Homer Simpson's take on Rock and Roll (Gary Glitter's "Hey!" song) is played routinely throughout the game. After it runs through, fans follow-up with a chant of "Ragin',Cajuns, Go UL...woo-hoo!" An occasional back and forth chant will break out where one side of the stands yells "Ragin" and the other responds with "Cajuns!" As mentioned, there's also the "ball four" chant and the sing along with "Centerfield" during the seventh inning stretch.
Access throughout the Ragin' Cajun baseball experience is a mixed bag. Getting to and from the stadium is relatively stress free, however, moving around inside the stadium can be a headache at times with long lines at small restrooms and tight aisles in the seating areas.
Transit to and from Stadium. Located a few miles off I-10, the drive to The Tigue is a breeze. There can be a little congestion on the streets leading up the area at times, but not enough to cause frustration. As you are approaching the stadium, look for entrances to the parking lot on the west side of Cajun Field off either West Congress or Bertrand.
Parking. Parking is free and plentiful around the stadium. Your best bet is to park in the lot on the west side of Cajun Field. You can also find parking on the east side the football stadium off Cajundome Boulevard and can make the short walk from there behind the south side of Cajun Field.
Ticketing & Gate Entry. The primary entrance gate at The Tigue is located immediately behind homeplate and the main grandstand. The lines here are typically short and the staff are very helpful. The will call / player list window is on the right side of the ticket booth and walk-up sales on the left. Since it's a relatively small booth, you'll figure this out pretty quickly, but it would be helpful if better signage was posted to make this clear. Once you have your ticket, you will breeze through the gate and baggage check, walking into a small courtyard where you'll find the main concession stand, a fan information booth and several concession vendors. If you already have your ticket, there is also a smaller entrance about mid-way down the first baseline.
Moving around the stadium. Where access can get a little frustrating is after you've entered the stadium. The concourse which wraps around behind the main grandstand is pretty narrow. This can cause the foot traffic to get congested at times. While concession lines are typically small, the restrooms in the main grandstand are completely inadequate for the size of the crowd. Expect to run into long lines for both the men's and women's stalls. If you don't mind using a port-o-potty, you will find a row of three at the end of the concourse down both the first and third baselines which are typically immediately accessible.
As you make your way to the seating areas, the walkways are tight, but adequate. The aisles between seats, however, are a little too tight making it difficult to get up and down from your seat location.
The cost of attending a Ragin' Cajuns baseball game at The Tigue is an absolute steal when you consider the level of play and overall game day environment. Tickets start as low as $8 for general admission and are only $12 chairbacks, box seats, and patio boxes. Free parking is a big bonus and concessions won't break the bank. Getting a craft beer for $7 feels like a deal compared to what you'll pay at other major sport facilities.
There are several "extra" items which make the overall experience at The Tigue one of the best in college baseball.
There is an indoor apparel shop built within the outer side of the main grandstand to the left of homeplate. While many college baseball venues have an outdoor booth set-up, it's nice to have an indoor shop, even if it's small.
UL-Lafayette pays homage to past accomplishments with a large display board as you enter the gate which lists championships and regional tournament appearances. There's also a display down the third base wall.
It's always great to see former players memorialized in the stadium. On the outfield wall, there is a retired jersey for former Ragin' Cajun pitcher Ron Guidry painted to the left of the stadium name. Guidry was born and raised in Lafayette, where he would go on to play for the hometown Cajuns on the way to a professional career where he helped the Yankees capture the World Series in 1977 and 1978.
Immediately once you enter through the gate, you'll be greeted by a fan information booth which is also selling programs. This is a nice place to check-in if you have any questions.
Located at the end of the first baseline you'll find an area reserved for the Cajun Cooking Club. This group of culinary Cajuns contribute to the baseball experience by preparing meals for the Cajun baseball team and also offering up meals to the visiting team after every home game. You'll wish you were a member as you take in great smells and see good looking food while the club cooks throughout the game.
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