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Official Review by Alex Shoemaker, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
With the resurrection of the University of Oregon Ducks baseball program in 2009 came one of the nicest venues in all of collegiate baseball.
PK Park, home of the Oregon Ducks and Eugene Emeralds, is located in Eugene, Oregon next to Autzen Stadium where the Ducks play their football games and has one of the nicest views for a baseball game you’ll find in the Pacific Northwest. PK Park features state-of-the-art home and visiting locker rooms, a high-definition video board and a classic manual scoreboard located in the home team’s bullpen.
The ballpark, named after former University of Oregon athletic director Pat Kilkenny, cost somewhere between $15-$18 million and is one of the most expensive college baseball stadiums in existence.
PK Park can hold approximately 3,600 visitors.
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".
One of the many things that make PK Park so special is its wide variety of foods available.
In concession stands located behind the seats on the upper concourse, fans can purchase the typical pizza, hot dogs, sausage, popcorn and crackerjacks. Those same stands also sell amazing clam chowder for the chilly spring and late winter games as well as frozen lemonade during the hot spring days.
What really makes this category a 5-star? Fowl territory.
Fowl territory is located along the first base side near the "fowl" pole. Fans can sit under a covered seating area where burgers, hot dogs, and many more delectable foods are served up live on a grill for ultimate perfection.
All prices are within budget, but purchase with caution. Buying a meal and drink will cost you around $12-$15 per person depending on your hunger level and personal food preferences.
With the University of Oregon financing the project, you had to have known Phil Knight would not settle for anything less than the best.
The seats, like the university's basketball and football stadiums, are positioned as close to the field of play to give fans the ultimate experience.
Hugging around the curvature of the field, seats go from behind home plate to both base lines, stopping before hitting the outfield. Bleachers are positioned, for students and general admission tickets, on the third base side with Fowl territory on the first base side. There are no seats in "home run territory", unfortunately.
From first pitch to the end of the game, the staff at PK Park will have you entertained. At least three or four times per contest, the PR/Marketing team has fans compete in entertaining games like most sport events today.
These events range from dance contests to catching things in nets blindfolded. It's completely juvenile, but that's what makes it so entertaining, especially for families. Even young children uninterested in the game of baseball can have a good time.
As mentioned earlier, PK Park is located next to Autzen Stadium.
The only reason that this category gets anything other than five stars is the fact that it is off campus. It is in fact two miles away from the heart of the University of Oregon main campus, taking away from the collegiate feel.
There are a plethora of places to enjoy a drink before or after the game near the ballpark as well.
The O Bar and Grill is a three minute drive away, or eight minute walk, and a great place for a beer or burger before/after a game.
Fans are passionate at the games and have to be to endure the Eugene weather. While the ballpark can hold 3,600 fans, attendance rarely sees a number anywhere close to that.
With cold weather in the early season, it's understandable.
The fans at PK Park do have a strong baseball "ethic". Mockingly before games, the PA announcer will sometimes encourage fans to give foul balls to children or face the scrutiny by fellow fans.
Fans will almost always give a ball to young child, just another aspect that makes it a great place to bring the family.
Located next to Autzen Stadium and with countless signs directing the way to the ballpark, it is nearly impossible to miss it.
What makes "Access" so highly rated? Parking is only $4.
For sports fans, that's hardly anything. And if you don't want to pay the $4 parking fee, there are several lots just before the one for baseball where you can park free of charge.
PK Park really is one of the nicest baseball venues in the Pac-12 and the entire landscape of college baseball.
Tickets range from $12-$18 depending on seating locations, a reasonable price for a ballgame.
It is advised to avoid the general admission seats and go with a seated chair. While the reserved seats are almost never sold out, it would be unwise to try and change seats for something closer.
Putting in the extra couple of dollars is worth avoiding the embarrassment of having the real seat owners show up and having you move.
If you're looking for a place to bring the family, a friend or just check out a game by yourself, PK Park is a great place to see amazing baseball.
The bathrooms are much nicer than the average ballpark and cleaner as well.
There is also a great stand for Ducks memorabilia located near the food stands on the main concourse.
You can always find references to great baseball around the ballpark, like the "1,672 miles to Omaha" sign in the home dugout. True baseball fans can appreciate it.
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