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Official Review by Paul Derrick, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Founded in 1947, Texas Southern University (known as TSU to most in the area) has always been in the background of the other Houston area schools Rice and Houston when it comes to athletics. Texas Southern however has an enrollment of just over 9,500 students and is always competitive in the SWAC, especially in baseball. The Texas Southern Tigers play their home games at MacGregor Park which only seats 500. However, you will rarely see a crowd big enough to fill the seats.
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".
The Tigers offer very little in regards to beverages other then canned sodas, bottled water and Gatorades. The food options are even fewer, only having small bagged chips and candies, but it is fairly priced. If you are coming to the game with an appetite you will definitely be very disappointed. However, if you are just looking for a small snack, you can surely find something for cheap.
I have been all over Texas and seen many of the high school, college and pro stadiums and must say I was highly disappointed with MacGregor Park. The majority of high school baseball fields in the Houston area are nicer than this venue. There is absolutely no covering from the sun at the field, the bleacher seating is about as uncomfortable as sitting on the ground, and the small scoreboard that resides in the outfield doesn't even work. If you're not a fan of keeping a scorebook then this is definitely not the place for you. MacGregor Park is in need of a makeover and the sooner the better.
The neighborhood around MacGregor Park is dismal at best. Other than a few fast food chains I found absolutely no place to eat. If you are looking for a unique place to eat before or after the game I would strongly advise making a trip in to downtown or farther as there are no good viable options near the park.
With a capacity of 500 you can take a guess that MacGregor Park doesn't get a lot of fans. With that being stated, the fans that were in attendance did a great job at cheering on the Tigers. Unfortunately you can't rate 40 to 50 fans very high no matter how loud they are. The fans in attendance seem to be either students or alumni and even though the Tigers were down big early they continued to cheer them on and give the umpire a piece of their mind when they thought he blew a call. Overall, there are some vocal fans just not enough of them to warrant a higher score.
Getting to MacGregor Park is a tad of an issue as it's not located on campus, and trying to find the address through any means isn't very easy. Luckily for me I was able to find a student on campus who kindly led me in the right direction. Once you get to the ballpark, parking is free and is right near the field. Just remember to park far enough away so that you don't come out to a smashed windshield. The Tigers baseball games are free which might explain why the ballpark is so worn down, but I'm never against a free game. I just hope that they can renovate the ballpark to the level of their basketball arena.
The Tigers definitely try to make it easy for you to come out with free parking and free tickets. However I just don't think it is worth the trip unless you live right near the ballpark. The field is rundown and in definite need of renovation and if you're there on a hot evening, make sure to bring the sunscreen as there is no relief from the sun. I just don't see a trip to MacGregor Park as even worth the gas money right now.
I will give one extra point to free ticket and one extra point to the free parking. Any type of free family outing is good, I'm just not sure if MacGregor Park is that perfect option.
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