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Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field

Hammond, LA

Home of the Southeastern Louisiana Lions

4.0

4.3

Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field (map it)
W Dakota St
Hammond, LA 70402


Southeastern Louisiana Lions website

Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field website

Year Opened: 1992

Capacity: 2,500

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Alumni Field: A Mid-Major Gem

Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field, home to the Southeastern Louisiana Lions, is an under-the-radar college baseball mid-major gem. Though the park won’t wow you with electronic displays (no video-boards) or unique concession items, Alumni Field has the classic elements which provide a great college baseball atmosphere.

Since opening in 1992, Alumni Field has undergone several enhancements including brick wall fencing parallel with both foul lines, installation of a new playing surface with natural Bermuda Tifway 419 sod, and decorative-perimeter fencing on the outside of the stadium.

The playing field is named in honor of former long-time baseball coach, athletic director and football coach for Southeastern Louisiana, Pat Kenelly, and was designated as such on February 19, 2006. The official capacity is listed as 2,500. However, the seating areas can easily host crowds in excess of 3,000.

4.0

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    2

One of the few areas where you'll be a bit disappointed while at Alumni Field are the concession options. You'll find your average ballpark fare including hamburgers ($4), hot dogs ($3), and nachos ($3-$4). Your drink options are bottled 20oz Coca-Cola products for $3. Snacks include popcorn ($2), peanuts ($2), pickle ($1), and assorted candy ($1).

The concession options lack a signature or unique item. It would be great to have access to a more unique item at the ballpark like a bowl of jambalaya or maybe a BBQ option. Beer is available down the first baseline under the tent for $5. The concession stand is located underneath the main grandstand behind home plate. Lines are manageable and move pretty quickly. Interestingly, credit cards are accepted for beer purchases down the first baseline, but the concession stand behind home plate is cash only.

Atmosphere    4

The atmosphere for a Southeastern Louisiana Lions baseball game at Alumni Field is your classic college baseball experience. The layout of the stadium is certainly a strength with chairback seating available in the center of the upper deck of the main grandstand as well as underneath upper deck grandstand.

Just behind the lower deck seating are picnic style tables where fans can mingle while eating their concession items and staying in tune with the game action. The brick foul line walls and iron outer fencing add to the cozy ambiance of the ballpark.

It's pretty unique to see a mid-major program with their own outfield bullpen (of such high quality) which is located inside the left field wall and was constructed in 2012. Just to the right of the bullpen is Southeastern's own indoor batting facility.

Along each baseline just inside the brick wall is a long stretch of bleacher seating. The bleacher seating along the third baseline is where you'll find student support groups ranging from general student fans to student organizations. Beyond the outfield wall sits Strawberry Stadium, home to Southeastern Louisiana football.

Beyond the stadium foul lines and behind home plate are residential areas with homes in the nearby campus community. The scoreboard isn't fancy (no video display) but has scrolling text display and meshes well with the stadium.

Some additional signage and displays have significantly increased the home feel around the ballpark. Both dugouts have signage which displays the field name.

The area underneath the grandstand behind home plate pays homage to significant Lion baseball players and coaches with banners hanging from the rafters. A display can be found on the wall listing the different Lions baseball players which have gone pro including Kirk Bullinger and Wade Miley. Post-season accomplishments are displayed including TAAC Championships and NCAA Regional appearances in both 1992 and 1994 and a College World Series berth in 1975.

Though college baseball isn't usually known for in-game promotions and spirit groups, Southeastern baseball does a great job of keeping fans entertained and engaged. After each Lion score, fireworks explode behind the left field fence and the fight song plays. At the inning change between the third and fourth, the Lionettes perform a brief and simple routine along the baseline. The music selection is appropriate and fits in well with a traditional crowd.

Neighborhood    3

Hammond, Louisiana is a classic small college town. The city boasts a population of approximately 20,000 which is heavily supported by the residential students from Southeastern Louisiana University with a student enrollment of around 16,000. Without Southeastern, the Hammond economy and way of life probably wouldn't exist. If you're looking for a good time in a college town atmosphere, you'll find enough options to satisfy a short stay. If you're looking for more, New Orleans (south) and Baton Rouge (west) are about a 45 minute drive from Hammond.

An absolute must-stop while in Hammond is Mariner's Inn to order their amazing Kickin' Chicken sandwich. Another great stop is Tommy's on Thomas which offers an Italian style menu. While there, the pizza options are great but make sure to try the buffalo breadsticks either as an appetizer or main course. Some additional options include Brady's Restaurant (order the club sandwich), Trey Yen (try the sweet and sour pork), La Carreta Mexican Restaurant (fajitas are great), and Cate Street Seafood Station.

When it comes to attractions, Hammond doesn't have a plethora of options, however you'll find some decent college town bars in the historic downtown area. Located about 20 minutes from Hammond is a fun family safari adventure at the Global Wildlife Center. This is a pretty neat open space attraction where you can ride throughout the massive fields feeding wildlife like gazelle and giraffes directly from the touring caravan. The Hammond Square Mall area has plenty of shopping and dining options.

Depending on the timing of your trip, you might be able to catch the Hammond Blues and BBQ festival which is usually hosted in late March. About five minutes from Hammond you'll find the small city of Ponchatoula which is known for antique shopping and a spring Strawberry Festival. I recommend staying at the relatively newly constructed Best Western University Inn just a couple of miles from campus.

Fans    4

Though the fans aren't the loudest you'll encounter, most are very knowledgeable about the game and are die-hard, passionate Lion fans. When big plays happen, you'll definitely hear from the crowd.

The Northshore Louisiana area is home to a large college sports fanbase which is used to big-time SEC opponents which typically face the state university less than an hour west of town. When Southeastern is able to pull off home games against programs like Alabama or LSU, expect a difficult time finding open seating areas as the fans pour into the ballpark.

Playing in the Southland Conference provides fans with some quality, lesser-known programs. Though the Southland is a quality baseball league, you can imagine the difference in fan excitement levels between a match-up with Stephen F. Austin and an established program like Tulane.

I'd be shocked if you came away from the experience having come upon a single disrespectful or inhospitable Lion fan. When the student crowd is large, students will be students, but the overall crowd is a pleasure to take in a game with, whether you're rooting for the home or visiting team.

Access    5

The Southeastern Louisiana University campus and Alumni Field couldn't be much more accessible. Hammond is located at the crossroads of I-55 and I-12 making access from New Orleans and Baton Rouge simple as well as locations in the east or north.

If flying in for the game you'll likely do so via New Orleans, but Baton Rouge is also an option. As you arrive on campus, plenty of parking is available beyond the outfield fence. If the ground parking begins to fill, a parking garage is right next door attached to Strawberry Stadium. Parking is free, which is always a plus.

As you head to the stadium, the ticket booth is located at the corner of the first baseline and right field fence. You shouldn't have any problems grabbing your tickets as any line here will likely move swiftly.

You'll enter the ballpark at the gate along the first base side of the main seating facility; again, no trouble getting in. The aisles and walkways leading to the main seating areas are spacious enough to allow fans to move around with ease. The one area where access can get a bit tight is during high profile games where the baseline bleacher seating is near capacity. These seating areas can get tight because there are no clear aisles, but this is rarely an actual inconvenience. Also, when the facility is near capacity, the restroom facilities may have lines. For your average Lion baseball game, this won't be an issue either.

Return on Investment    5

You can't find a much higher return on investment at a college baseball game than for a Lions game at Alumni Field. For just $7 you can get a general admission ticket which gives you access to great college baseball action whether it's a matchup between Southeastern and a strong Southland Conference opponent or a larger visiting program like Ole Miss. Concession prices are fair for the quality of product. Parking is free.

Extras    5

Every great live sports experience is highlighted by certain 'extra' features which are unique compared with other venues or make the overall experience memorable. For Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field, be sure to consider the following during your stadium experience:

•After visiting several college baseball parks that incorporate a large area of synthetic turf, it's refreshing to take in a game at Alumni Field with a beautiful well-kept authentic grass playing surface. The program invests a lot of time keeping the field in excellent shape.

•The brick foul line walls and decorative iron fencing really add to the overall ambiance of the stadium. Many of the recent improvements have helped to establish a truly classic baseball park feel.

•Finding beer at college baseball venues isn't easy. It was nice to see fans partaking in a few cold ones without getting out of hand. I know I enjoyed mine.

•The affordable price of the overall experience is definitely an extra benefit. $7 for game entrance and free parking certainly helps you enjoy your time at the ballpark, win or lose.

•It was fun to see the Lionettes perform between the third and fourth innings. What was even better is how well it fit in with the baseball atmosphere. The performance was simple and fun, nothing like you'd see at halftime of a basketball game.

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Crowd Reviews

The Pat

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

Awesome venue for college baseball at the mid-major level. #LionUp @ The Pat

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Local Food & Drink

The Mariner's Inn  (map it!)

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