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Official Review by Brett Bollier, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Gonzaga baseball finally found a home on its native campus with Patterson Field, opening for the 2007 baseball season after the previous stadium had been torn down in 2003. The new stadium is located on the very southeastern tip of the Gonzaga campus.
Despite Gonzaga baseball doing exceptionally well in the past few seasons, often being ranked in the low 20’s in national standings, the program has never had the same love and attention that Gonzaga’s basketball program has. Gonzaga baseball continually finds itself in the shadow of the Bulldog’s big successes in basketball; Gonzaga students focus so much on the culture and hype surrounding basketball that the baseball team is often neglected entirely.
However, this is not all bad news. Gonzaga baseball has quickly become a favorite for locals in the area as Spokane doesn’t have it’s own major league team. For many fans, Gonzaga fills that role. As a result, even without a large student presence, games are often packed with dedicated and enthusiastic fans who make the experience fun and unique and perfect for a family outing.
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While Patterson shows its strength in many ways, food is not one of them. Meal options here never stray from standard baseball fare. A meal here will run you about $5-$8 as most of the food is reasonably priced. A small food window on the lower floor of the stadium offers hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels, nachos, pizza, candy and sodas.
However, there is a great little kettle korn stand run by a few Spokane locals that sets up shop inside the fenced area of the stadium and delivers a good snack for a reasonable price.
Patterson Field is more than adequate as a baseball stadium but nothing to write home about. 10 rows of seating run around the field from first base to just before third base and can seat about 1,300 people.
However, from third base running all the way to the end of the field is a nice, well manicured lawn where families with younger kids often bring a picnic and watch the game while enjoying a lunch on the grass. Its a nice touch to an otherwise average field.
There is little in the way of entertainment between innings aside from the occasional commentary from the announcers.
Patterson Field is situated on the very southeastern tip of Gonzaga's campus and rests right on the outskirts of one of Spokane's industrial districts. While its clear from the moment you arrive that you are on a college campus, its far from the heart of Gonzaga and sits in the looming shadow of Gonzaga's basketball stadium, making it feel as if Patterson was a bit more of an afterthought than anything.
If the food here doesn't suit your fancy, there are several great options located just a few blocks north of the ballpark where you can grab a quick bite before or after the game.
Jack and Dan's, a long running sports bar and a local Gonzaga favorite is just a quick walk up the street and is a great place for a beer.
While students at Patterson may not show the same enthusiasm they have for the basketball program, the local fans here are as good and enthusiastic as you can find at any other top tier college baseball venue. The stadium is rated to hold 1,300 people, but even on a good day the ballpark sees roughly half of that.
The stadium is usually filled with easy going fans and families looking for a fun afternoon outing. Passionate supporters of both the home and away teams come to cheer and cheer loudly and generally make the experience more enjoyable.
The weather at the beginning of the season can often be brutally cold, but the local Spokanites are seasoned veterans of harsh Eastern Washington winters and regularly brave the cold to see their favorite baseball team play.
Just a short drive out of downtown Spokane, Patterson Field is as centrally located as it gets. With a free parking lot built for the basketball stadium just next door, parking is never an issue.
The entrance to the stadium sits just on the edge of the parking lot, making the entire trip from home to ballpark as easy as possible.
While tickets are always free for Gonzaga students, a trip to Patterson will run you $5 for every adult and $3 for kids. All seating is general admission so everything is on a first come, first served basis. Compared to other venues, this is a steal. An entire outing for a family of four can cost as little as $16, making it clear why Gonzaga baseball is a Spokane favorite. If you are looking for a fun, inexpensive family outing, Patterson Field is a great place to come and watch an up and coming baseball team.
There is a nice kiosk for Gonzaga baseball apparel that sells shirts, hats, jackets and the occasional pair of socks. Prices are reasonable and the options are similar to anything you might find from rival teams.
There is a great walking/biking path that goes from downtown right to the stadium that can make getting to the ballpark a fun day trip just by itself.
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