Oil City Stadium at Standard Diamonds Park (map it)
1700 119th St
Whiting, IN 46394
Year Opened: 2011
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Steven Burke, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Summer collegiate baseball leagues have been around for a long time. Recently, the trend of operating the teams in these leagues is more like a traditional minor league team. There are still some collegiate summer leagues that operate teams as more of a part of the community as opposed to a revenue generator, and the Midwest Collegiate League is one of those leagues. The Midwest Collegiate League is a six-team league that operates in Illinois and Indiana with teams playing at high school, junior college, and community fields.
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen play in the best facility the league has to offer in Oil City Stadium, which is located in Whiting, Indiana. The stadium is part of the City of Whiting's $50 million Lake Front Development Project. A BP Refinery is located just beyond the outfield fence providing one of the most unique views of any ballpark. Besides being home of the Oilmen, Oil City Stadium is also home to Whiting High School and the Calumet College of St. Joseph baseball teams. Oil City Stadium has bench seating for 643 and chair back seats for 140 with wheelchair accessible seating also available.
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".
While attending an Oilmen game there is a decent selection of food and beverage for the level of the league. There is one concession stand located behind the home plate area on the main concourse. Entrees include Italian beef ($5), pizza and Polish sausage (each $4), nachos ($3), and hot dogs ($2). Also available are hot pretzels ($2.50) with a side of cheese, chili, jalapenos, or giardiniera ($.50), Big League Chew ($2), a variety of ice cream ranging from $1.50-$3, and candy, popcorn, chips, sunflower seeds, and freeze pops for $1.
Soda or Gatorade are available for $2; water or coffee are $1. Domestic beer is $4 with premium beer $5. Included in the beer options are local choices from Bulldog Brewing. The brewery is located at 1409 119th St, and is also a good option before or after a game.
The atmosphere of any ballpark is going to be impacted by the fans in the stands. While the crowds for the Oilmen are not large, they do have a lot of passion for the team. The entire league operates with teams in small towns where the clubs really feel like they are a part of the community. At Oil City Stadium the fans are interested in the product on the field and also the players as young men, and this is evident at any game.
Another aspect of the atmosphere that is not found at any other ballpark is the oil refinery located beyond the outfield wall. There is not another ballpark on any level providing a view such as this. The view encapsulates the area as a whole as a hardworking community full of families that care about their town.
Oil City Stadium is located just past downtown Whiting. The streets are clean and safe and provide a sense of real small town America. Several businesses feature displays and decals supporting the Oilmen.
Parking can be a bit of an issue with larger crowds. A small lot is located next to the ballpark, but much of the parking near the ballpark can be found on the streets at meters or in residential areas.
While the fans are interested and know the game of baseball, the crowds aren't very large. The majority of the fans in the stands are family or friends of the players. The local support of the team is obvious through the various Oilmen logos displayed on local businesses. Still, the crowd in the stands tends to be small.
The Oilmen have a mascot named "Oilman Stan" that is active in the stands and interacts with the fans, especially the children. The mascot is present for the majority of the game, but does not distract from the play on the field.
Oil City Stadium is located in downtown Whiting and while easily accessible it is not located directly off of the interstate. Getting to the ballpark requires the use of surface streets with businesses lining both sides along the way.
Oil City Stadium is the best facility used in the Midwest Collegiate League. However, the tickets are a little steep at $10 for box seats, $8 preferred, and $6 for a spot on the lawn. There is not a bad seat in the ballpark, but the ticket prices for this level of summer collegiate league may be a contributing factor to the small crowds.
Oil City Stadium has a large wall in left field that houses the scoreboard and is made mostly from bricks.
Worth an additional mention is the Americana experienced with the oil refinery view beyond the outfield wall.
Oil City Stadium offers a good experience, unique view, and community setting to provide a no frills approach to summer collegiate baseball where the young men are truly passionate about the game.
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