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Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium

San Antonio, TX

Home of the San Antonio Missions

3.6

3.4

Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium (map it)
5757 Highway 90 West
San Antonio, TX 78227


San Antonio Missions website

Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium website

Year Opened: 1994

Capacity: 9,200

There are no tickets available at this time.

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A Texas Mission Complete with a Mound and Mitts

Baseball in San Antonio has been around since 1888, when it first joined the Texas League. The team name refers to the many missions in the San Antonio area set up hundreds of years ago when Spain, then Mexico, ruled the region. The present incarnation of baseball has been around since 1933, though not in the present stadium. In the 127 years of professional baseball in the Alamo City, 13 league championships have been won, and seven San Antonio players (Billy Williams, Joe Morgan, Dennis Eckersley, Pedro Martinez, Brooks Robinson, Orel Hershiser and Tommy Lasorda) have gone on to membership in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Today’s San Antonio Missions are the AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres and play in the Texas League’s South Division, which includes the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Frisco Roughriders and the Midland Rockhounds. They are owned by the Elmore Group, which also owns the Inland Empire 66ers, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, the Idaho Falls Chukars and the Eugene Emeralds.

The home field for the Missions is the Nelson Wolff Stadium, which opened in 1994. The stadium features Southwestern-style architecture, including two bell towers that echo the historic missions the team is named for. There are 6,200 fixed seats and a grass berm in left field that can hold 3,000 more fans. There are also 14 luxury suites and an all-you-can-eat Fiesta deck along the third base line that can be rented out to groups. The dimensions of the park are 310 to left field, 402 to dead center and 340 to right field.

3.6

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    3

Since there are no restaurants in the area, the Missions offer a large choice of traditional baseball fare, along with several Mexican dishes for its largely Hispanic fan base. Burgers run $7.25, grilled chicken sandwiches are $7.50 and Barbed Wire BBQ sandwiches will run you $8.00. The Ballapeno Nacho quarter-pound hot dog is $7.25 and churros sell for $3.75. Side items include popcorn ($4.75), pretzels ($3.00), candy (3.75) and peanuts or sunflower seeds ($4.50).

Beverages include sodas ($4.00-$5.50), water ($4.00) and Powerade ($4.00), In the area of adult beverages, you can choose from margaritas ($12.00), wine ($6.75), premium drafts ($8.50), domestic beers ($6.25- $8.00) and locally brewed Freetail ($5.75).

Food and beverages cannot be brought into Wolff Stadium, and with the lack of restaurants in the area for a pre or postgame meal, the Missions food and beverage prices are high for the quality and quantity you get. A hint: The Missions have frequent Thursday Dollar nights throughout the season. Make sure to check the team's website for these dates, as all food items are a dollar. This can provide significant savings for a family.

Atmosphere    4

Even though Wolff Stadium is the oldest park in the Texas League, it has kept up to date through numerous renovations over the years. The team's ownership expertise in owning several franchises is evident in the high level of attention they pay to fan comfort. Summer can be brutally hot in San Antonio, and a majority of the seating areas are shaded by a large high roof. There are no poles obstructing the fan's view, as is the case at many of the older parks. The seats between the dugouts are individual stadium-style fixed seating, with bleacher seating with backs in the outfield area. The concourse is wide and open to the field and features numerous concession carts. An outer concourse features even more concessions stands, the team store, and banners saluting former Missions players who have gone on to Cooperstown.

The team does have contests involving the fans between innings, with the most long-standing tradition being a race around the base path between Henry the Puffy Taco (a secondary mascot for the team) and a small child picked out of the stands. Due to the rule that the fan can tackle Puffy before he reaches home plate, the tackled taco has not won a race since the 1990s.

Neighborhood    4

The one drawback to Wolff Stadium is the area surrounding it. The businesses near it include tattoo parlors, rundown motels and pawn shops. I would definitely park in the stadium lot, as it is secure and well-lit. The closest hotel I would recommend is the Country Inn and Suites, located 1.5 miles from the park on Old Highway 90.

The downtown area of San Antonio is eight miles east of the stadium and offers the best selection of restaurants, attractions and lodging choices. You really need to make a three-day weekend visit to take in the sights. Two sites you will definitely want to take in are the Alamo and the world-famous San Antonio Riverwalk. The Alamo is located just a few blocks from the Riverwalk, and is a bucket list item if you are a U.S. history buff. The Riverwalk meanders through six miles of the downtown area, with hundreds of shops, restaurants and bars to choose from. A restaurant I would suggest for a uniquely Texas experience would be the very eclectic Buckhorn Saloon. One other dining "must" is the Mi Tierra Café and Bakery, located near downtown in the Market Square shopping/entertainment area. It has been open 24 hours a day for more than 46 years, and has some of the best Tex-Mex food on earth. Assuming you are visiting San Antonio for more than a ballgame, I am rating the greater San Antonio area as "the neighborhood."

Fans    4

The Missions have a very passionate fan base. The team often has led the Texas League in attendance, and the fans come dressed from head-to-toe in Mission colors. The cheers that ring out for a home run or great play in the field are often bilingual, as the fan base is 50/50 English-speaking and Spanish-speaking. The team's long history in San Antonio and its involvement in the community have also won them a loyal following. In AA ball, the team roster typically has a 90 percent turnover rate, as players typically move up to AAA if they are good or may be sent down to A ball or let go if they don't play well. In checking the program at the game, both teams had no more than three players from the previous season still on the team. This means that it is the team and the organization that keeps the fans coming, as very few players spend more than 1-2 seasons at the AA level.

Access    4

Wolff Stadium is located approximately eight miles west of downtown San Antonio on Highway 90. There is plenty of parking on-site, and it is recommended that you avoid parking on neighboring streets, due to security concerns. The stadium concourse wraps around the field, and is wide enough to handle the flow of the crowd. Another plus is that the inner concourse opens out onto the field, so you will not miss the action while you are at the concession pushcart.

Return on Investment    3

A visit to Wolff Stadium is not going to break the bank. Ticket prices range from $11 to $8 for fixed seating, depending on location in the ballpark, and $5 for berm seating. Parking at Wolff Stadium goes for $5. Concession prices are somewhat high, but can be made more economical if you go on a Dollar Thursday night.

Extras    3

There are several items that make a trip to a Missions game unique. 1) The stadium is virtually next door to Lackland AFB. This means you will have a front row seat to watch jet fighters and other military planes coming and going over the outfield walls if the game gets boring...no word on what the infield fly rules are if a plane is hit by a pop up! 2) The HEB (a Texas-based grocery chain) Picnic Area and Fun Zone seats more than 500 people in an area adjacent to the right field line. It is open to everyone and provides several pavilion-like structures, so you can eat with protection from the sun, and the kids can play in the adjacent Fun Zone. 3) I have to give an extra point to Ballapeno, the Missions' baseball-playing jalapeno mascot. He is constantly roaming the stands and entertaining the fans.

Good 'ole fashion baseball here

I, too, thoroughly enjoyed my visit here and that was back in 2008. It's good to hear they've kept the same service and atmosphere and that the aura is still baseball and not all the other gimmicks seen at other stadiums.

One other point of note is, on the concourse, they had a wall with plaques of former San Antonio players that had made it to the major league and other influential members of the community. Hope that's still there.

by megminard | Aug 10, 2011 07:58 PM

Wall Plaques Still there

Meg yep they are still there its interesting to see some of the former major leaguers that have came through there like Orel Hershisher, Cito Gaston and Fernando Valenzuela. I always love when teams make sure to put an emphasis on former players.

by pderrick | Aug 11, 2011 10:57 AM

I don't recommend

I thought the prices were too high for concessions, ticket prices and parking for a minor league venue. Also, no easy access to the stadium, that is, for those of us who like to walk. However, seeing U.S. Air Force cargo planes land was really cool!

by Baseball Bill | Feb 01, 2012 10:50 PM

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Crowd Reviews

Missions Accomplished

Total Score: 3.43

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

When most people think of San Antonio, the first thoughts that come to most of their heads are the Spurs or the Alamo, but there is another hidden treasure. That hidden treasure, my friends, is the San Antonio Missions. The Missions play in the Texas League and are the AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The Missions play in Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium, located on the outskirts of San Antonio. Opened in 1994, the park seats just over 6,200 fans and with the grass berms can hold over 9,000.

The Missions may not have one of the newer or more high tech stadiums that you might see in places like Frisco or Tulsa, but the Missions put on a great show with what they have. The Missions' logo features the famous local attraction The Alamo, which was originally a Spanish mission. Wolff Municipal Stadium or "The Wolff" as it is called by locals, provides a great baseball atmosphere and some great action. Also, when you attend a game at The Wolff make sure you keep an eye open for the Missions' interesting mascots "Ballapeno" the baseballing jalapeno, and Henry the puffy taco, whose dance moves make MC Hammer look like an amateur.

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Local Food & Drink

Pearl Brewery  (map it!)

200 E Grayson St

San Antonio, TX 78215

(210) 212-7260

http://www.atpearl.com/

Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia  (map it!)

218 Produce Row

San Antonio, TX 78207

(210) 225-1262

http://www.mitierracafe.com

Buckhorn Saloon  (map it!)

318 E Houston St

San Antonio, TX 78205

(210) 247-4000

http://www.buckhornmuseum.com/pages/saloon.html

Local Entertainment

The Alamo  (map it!)

300 Alamo Plaza

San Antonio, TX 78205

(210) 225-1391

http://www.thealamo.org/

Lodging

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