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Official Review by Paul Swaney, Stadium Journey Co-Founder
Mastodon Field is the very humble home of the baseball team for IPFW (Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne). The Mastodons are members of the Summit League, where they have struggled to find success in the conference since joining in 2008.
In a town that has become known for its idyllic minor league ballpark with Parkview Field, IPFW provides a very basic ballpark experience that is well suited for baseball fans looking to get to a game on a warm spring day.
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There's a very basic menu of concession available for IPFW baseball games, served from a small window in the building between the baseball and softball fields. The prices are very reasonable, but the quality is somewhat lacking, most notably the gray hot dogs ($2). You'll also find popcorn ($2), candy ($1), and chips ($1).
When it comes to drinks, you can get a hot beverage like coffee and hot chocolate ($1). Bottles of Pepsi products are also available ($2). There's not much here, and it's easy to bring in your own snacks if you would like.
This is truly just a ball field. It's a simple facility with a small red brick wall connecting the two dugouts. Netting extends between each dugout with chain link fences moving from the dugout to the outfield wall.
The green grass glimmers in the afternoon sun, and there are dirt basepaths only between first and third. The basepaths from home to first, and third to home are all grass, an interesting quirk, and one that would suggest that this would be a good ballpark for adept bunters.
The outfield has symmetrical dimensions with 335 feet down each line, 380 feet in the power alleys, and 405 feet to straight away center field. The outfield wall is about seven feet tall, and is green painted wood, with no padding.
A few small sets of bleachers with 36 blue bucket seats mixed in, make up the seating capacity of 200. There is some room down each line to set up a folding chair to watch the game, but the view isn't great due to the chain link fence. Your best bet is to grab one of the bucket seats, or bring a stadium cushion and sit in the bleachers.
Mastodon Field is located on the IPFW campus. It is immediately next to the softball stadium and the modest tennis courts, and is across the street from the Gates Sports Center.
There isn't much in the way of interesting bars or restaurants within walking distance, but you're just a few miles away from several chain restaurants along Coliseum Blvd. If you are staying overnight, then the Holiday Inn is your nearest option with rooms starting at $113.
Downtown Fort Wayne is about 4-5 miles away from Mastodon Field where you can find some more interesting and unique dining options, including Mad Anthony's Brewing Company for beer enthusiasts.
With a capacity of just 200, it would be difficult for Mastodon fans to make much of an impact. You'll find the usual mix of friends and family that you see in many college baseball venues in this part of the country. They have a vested interest in the game as they cheer on their loved ones.
The official address of Mastodon Field (and the other nearby athletic venues) is 2101 E Coliseum Blvd, which is a bit inaccurate and may trip up your GPS. In actuality, you'll be turning off of Coliseum on to Crescent Ave, and then take the turn to the IPFW campus. The baseball field should be noticeable once you get close.
Parking can be found for free in the lot across the street for Gates Sports Center. Just be sure to park in spaces with white lines rather than green lines, which are designated for those with the requisite parking pass.
There are restrooms located in the lone building at the baseball field, opposite the concession window. If you would like better facilities, then you can also enter the Gates Sports Center, although that's a bit of a walk.
There are no handicap facilities evident at Mastodon Field, although none are needed as there are no steps to navigate.
There is no admission charge to see an IPFW baseball game at Mastodon Field, and parking is free as well. While the concession offering is a bit lacking, the prices are quite reasonable with nothing on the menu costing more than $2.
While this may not be a destination experience, everything is priced right to go and enjoy a ballgame.
It's hard to find many extras at an IPFW baseball game as this is as about as barebones as it gets. The field does look lush and green, which probably says something about the work that the players on the team are putting in.
If you're a baseball fan in the Midwest in spring, and the weather is nice and you're near Ft Wayne, Indiana, then this is a good way to spend a few hours. There is nothing that is particularly memorable about Mastodon Field, but it can still get your baseball fix at IPFW.
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4111 Paul Shaffer Dr
Ft Wayne, IN 46825