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Official Review by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Plumeri Park opened in 1999, and is named after Joseph J. Plumeri II, who funded most of the construction costs; Plumeri is a William & Mary graduate, Class of 1966. The stadium was built by local contractors, and features covered batting cages, a metal grandstand that seats one thousand, a press box, locker rooms, lights for night games, and even an elevator.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There aren't very many options offered, and they don't bring enough hot items, so certain things sell out before the game is even half-over. Among these items are hot dogs and BBQ sandwiches, which are $3 and $4, respectively. They do have turkey burgers for $4 (which aren't popular enough to sell out quickly), as well as pretzels and popcorn for $3, candy for $2, and chips for $1 - you can also get Blow Pops 3 for $1. A small selection of drinks is also offered, including Gatorade for $3, bottled water and soda (in cans) for $2, and coffee or hot cocoa for $1.
Plumeri Park is a great looking stadium, with beautiful brick and metalwork that blends well with the numerous other historic buildings in the area. The sightlines are very good, and you can get very close to the action. The venue has flags for each of the schools in the conference, and there is also lots of signage in the Tribe's colors, including some of the seats - the grandstand itself has a metal frame, but the center bank of seats are bucket-style dark green plastic, and have name plates attached to honor donors who helped pay for them. The left and right sections have metal bleachers, which do not have chairback rails, except for the top row.
At a typical game, the venue only gets about one-fourth to one-third full, so there is not a ton of crowd noise, but enough to make it fun. Fans are free to wander around as they please, and can walk right up to the netting to take pictures if they want, or watch from the first or third base fences. See the brickwork here:
The venue is located in a posh area, with some upscale apartments a few blocks away, a city park nearby, and a large hospital across the street, in addition to the soccer and softball fields next door. There are plenty of great restaurants on the main drag going toward Williamsburg proper (Richmond/ Bypass Road, aka US Highway 60), ranging from fast food and quick service options such as IHOP, to traditional bar and grills such as Hooters, to more upscale options like Aberdeen Barn (high-end steakhouse), or Jefferson restaurant (southern cuisine with a historic feel). There are also several restaurants that specialize in seafood, including places where you can buy your own to cook at home.
If you are planning to stay the weekend, there is plenty to do in historic Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown, including Busch Gardens, for starters. There are also plenty of nice hotels on US Highway 60 very close to Plumeri Park, including Best Western, Holiday Inn, and many others.
Plumeri Park can hold 1,000, but doesn't get near that many during a typical game, and most do not wear gear (a limited selection of which is sold out of the concession stand, including shirts and caps). There is a decent amount of crowd noise, however, and a lot of fans watch the game very intently, and seem very proud of the Tribe's success in recent years.
Williamsburg is very easy to get to, about an hour east of Richmond on I-64. Plumeri Park itself is also easy to find, since it is located just off the main drag, which is an extension of the historic Colonial Parkway (where all the tourists are headed). Parking, while free, can be a bit problematic. However, there is a small lot next to the stadium, which is shared with some of the other sports venues. Even with meager attendance at a typical game, the lot is jam-packed with cars parked on the grass, on the side of the road, and lots of other places they probably aren't supposed to be. The parking surface is also a little run-down, with lots of potholes and gashes in the asphalt.
There is an overflow lot across the street (which is just a grassy area), but for some games it isn't open, and just sits empty. Bathrooms are easy to find though, and the park is easy to get around, with wide staircases in the center of and on both sides of the grandstand, in addition to a wide walkway at the top of the concourse. There is also an elevator, as well as special seating on the top deck for those with physical limitations.
Tickets to William & Mary baseball games are $6 for bleacher seats (left or right section), and $7 for chair seating (center section) - seniors/military/faculty/staff get $1 off, and kids only pay $2. Parking is free, though, and concessions are cheap, so this is a good value for the money, especially if there are kids in your party. The park itself is nice and is worth seeing for the architecture, plus it is easy to get around and not too crowded. The only real drawback is the parking difficulty.
One point for the architecture - the brickwork looks great, including the nice columns and "guardhouse" which doubles as the ticket booth.
Another point for the amenities and attractions in nearby Williamsburg - there is plenty to do if you want to stay the weekend and take in the whole series.
A third point for the park's location. Plumeri is located in a nice part of town so you should feel perfectly safe visiting the area, even at night.
This is definitely a venue worth seeing - even though it was built a while ago, it looks nice, it has good sightlines and a decent crowd, and you can get really close to the action. It is also very easy to get around and it won't cost much to see a game here, even for a large group.
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1601 Richmond Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185
1453 Richmond Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185
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