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Norwood Oval

Norwood, SA

Home of the Adelaide Bite

3.1

3.1

Norwood Oval (map it)
4 Woods St
Norwood, SA 5067
Australia


Adelaide Bite website

Norwood Oval website

Year Opened: 1951

Capacity: 10,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Take a BITE out of Baseball

The Adelaide Bite plays in the historic Norwood Oval (also known as Cooper’s Stadium) in Norwood, South Australia and is a part of the ABL (Australian Baseball League).    The venue is shared with the Redlegs, a team of the South Australian National Football League.  Fortunately, the two leagues do not overlap their seasons.  The stadium is definitely more built for football than baseball.

Baseball has been played in Norwood Oval since 1951, hosting the Claxton Shield (an Australian national baseball tournament) on six occasions.

From 1989 – 1999 in the previous ABL, the team was known as the Adelaide Giants.

The Bite gets its name from the many sharks that inhabit the waters around the Adelaide area.

For the baseball season, the Bite has to build up the pitcher’s mound and place dirt for the bases in the oval.  They put in temporary dugouts and bullpens, as well as foul poles and outfield walls.  It is awkward as a baseball field.  However, it is baseball and one can watch a good baseball game with friendly staff and fans.

All dollar amounts listed in this review are Australian dollar value (AUD).

3.1

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

There are three areas in which to obtain food and beverages at Norwood Oval for baseball. Dinkum Doc, a concession stand on the first base concourse, offers a variety of hot dogs (cheese dog, bacon dog, chili dog, hawaiian dog, etc.) ranging from $5 - $8. They offer nachos for $4.50 and soft drinks.

Upon entering the venue, there is a concession kiosk/canteen that offers a range of items including Dim Sim, Chiko Roll, Steak Burger, Chicken Schnitzel, Fish Burger, Vegetarian Lasagna, etc. ranging from $3 - $10 depending on what you order. There are also a variety of donut, chip and candy options here.

Concessions close after the 7th inning.

There's a bar/lounge under the seating area down the third base line which offers your alcoholic beverages. Do take a visit here as this room has cabinets displaying trophies and other historical sporting events from Norwood Oval.

The merchandise stand offers caps and t-shirts and a few other trinkets with the hottest selling item being the hoodie.

The Adelaide Bite gladly accepts cash, Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Atmosphere    3

Beyond the outfield, the beautiful jacaranda trees are seen in the summer months.

It's a different arrangement watching baseball here as the venue is really set up for football. There are makeshift bullpens and dugouts. The area between the foul lines and the stands are huge. For baseball, most of the seats are in the infield. From home plate and down the third base line has the seats. The seats are mainly wooden bleachers with backs. There are some red plastic seats in the corporate seat sections. The first base line includes cement seating areas (I'm assuming used more easily for football). That area did provide a space for tossing a baseball and kids seemed to like the ability to play in the open space.

I found the best seats are down the third base line, section E because one can watch the game from there without having the net in your way.

There's no dirt between the bases, just grass. That's not a bad thing; just something a bit unusual for an open air stadium.

There is a party area right on the field called the Shark Tank. This space provides tables and chairs and food and beverages and is located on the field next to the Adelaide Bite dugout on the first base side. It has the ability to accommodate 20 - 60 people per group and is often used for corporate promotions.

The starting lineup is not posted but a roster sheet is handed out before the game. This will be needed for those who keep score.

There is music played between each pitch which can get quite annoying. And music is played when announcing pitcher changes so you can't always hear the name. It's a good reason to get one of those roster sheets.

The gates open one and a half hours prior to the start time of the game, except on doubleheaders where the gates open one hour prior to the start of the game.

Neighborhood    3

The stadium is in a neighborhood surrounded by homes, some businesses, and a church or two.

There are several places within walking distance to catch a bite before or after the game including Finn MacCool's Irish Pub, Martini Ristorante (Italian), Café Saba (Vietnamese). Another place relatively nearby is The Colonist Tavern which offers food, bar drinks and gaming machines.

Though not walking distance to Norwood Oval, if visiting Adelaide from out of town, take the 25 minute tram ride from Adelaide to Glenelg, a quaint seaside resort town with a beach, a pier, restaurants, and bars. It's worth a visit.

Fans    3

There were few fans at the game I visited because it was a Thursday evening and because it had been raining most of the day. The capacity of the venue is 10,000, however there are 3, 900 seats. It is by far the biggest ballpark in the ABL.

Though very spread out, the fans that were there enjoyed the game with some just starting to learn the rules of the baseball as it is not a popular sport in Australia.

Access    4

The Norwood Oval is located on the corner of The Parade and Woods St. in Norwood, SA (a suburb of Adelaide). There is no car park available at Norwood Oval but there is plenty of parking on the streets surrounding the venue. There is a bus stop right in front of the stadium. I took the H22 and got off at stop 7. Check Adelaide Metro for the best option for you. When doing your search, the 'To Destination' is Norwood Oval. Remember to get return bus trip options.

When entering the venue, one must walk up a few steps to get to the field level. There is a ramp for strollers, wheelchairs, etc.

The bathrooms are tiny but clean and functional. I suspect there may be queues when the crowds are larger.

Return on Investment    4

Single game tickets range from $5 - $18. The Bite offer membership packages for 3, 6, or 10 games and have corporate box, HR box, and the Shark Tank available as well.

Extras    2

Matt Williams, the 2012-2013 ABL 'Reliever of the Year', played for the Adelaide Bite in the 2013-2014 season. He took on the role of a Baseball Coordinator and if you call the Bite, he may even pick up the phone to assist you.

The Bite also has the best website of the ABL, providing the most information like when the gates open, some of the food options, and what credit cards are taken.

Final Thoughts

This stadium takes a while to get acclimated with as it is a converted football stadium. It is a treat being able to take easy public transportation to the park and get dropped off right in front of the venue. If you're not from the area; remember to get directions back via public transportation because it may not be same as arriving. It is worth a visit seeing a game at the historic Norwood Oval.

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Crowd Reviews

Cooper's Stadium the last throwback

Total Score: 3.14

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

Cooper's Stadium is the last non-baseball facility in the ABL, and it appears that in the next one to two years the Bite will be moving as well. In the meantime I thought Cooper's Stadium was the most interesting facility in the league- it's the only park that you can technically sit in home run seating, and the rafters have a feel similar to some of the older minor league ballparks in the US.

For those who like to have a little pregame fun (food/drink) Adelaide is the one place where you can go hit a bar or restaurant then walk to the stadium. There are several places within short walking distance and you can park your car on the street for free.

When visiting Adelaide don't forget to have the Farmers Union iced coffee! That's a must if you make the visit to South Australia.

Good experience overall.

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Local Food & Drink

Finn McCool's Irish Pub  (map it!)

97 The Parade

Norwood, SA 5067

+61 8 8431 1822

http://www.thenorwood.com.au/bars.html

Martini Ristorante  (map it!)

59a The Parade

Norwood, SA 5067

+61 8 8362 7822

http://www.martiniristorante.com.au/

Café Saba  (map it!)

7/47 The Parade

Norwood, SA 5067

+61 8 8363 2006

http://www.cafesaba.com

Local Entertainment

Glenelg  (map it!)

12 Marina Pier Holdfast Shores

Glenelg, SA 5045

+61 8 8362 7822

http://glenelgsa.com.au/

Lodging

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