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Official Review by Jason Bartel, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Presley Askew Field, built in 1982, is home to the New Mexico State Aggies baseball team. Presley Askew was the NMSU baseball and basketball head coach from 1953-65, leading the basketball team to a title or share of the title in the Border Conference three times, as well as two NCAA tournament appearances. The stadium seats 750 Aggie fans. Askew Field has seen several upgrades in recent years, including renovated dugouts, a new scoreboard, and mesh netting instead of chain link behind home plate to provide fans with a better view.
New Mexico State has been playing baseball since 1952, and has advanced to the regional round of the NCAA tournament three times (2002, 2003, and 2012). That 2012 team won the WAC, and advanced to the Tucson regional at Hi Corbett Field, where the eventual National Champion Arizona Wildcats dominated NMSU, Missouri and Louisville. NMSU currently competes in the WAC, and have been since 2006. Prior to that they were a part of the Sun Belt Conference.
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Askew Field has one concession stand right as you enter. It offers only the basics, but they are pretty cheap ($1.50 hot dogs, $3 cheeseburgers, $2 nachos, $2 sodas). Askew Field serves Coca- Cola products. Ice cream sandwiches seemed to be a fan favorite as well.
The baseball stadium has a hill out beyond right field that separates it from the football stadium, Memorial Stadium. You can't even tell that there's a football stadium right next door when at a baseball game. However the softball stadium is also built right next to it, and you can definitely tell it is there when a softball game's going on. The first half of the baseball game I attended was dominated by the softball PA announcer, who was louder in the baseball stadium than the baseball PA guy. It was pretty annoying actually.
You can't see the softball field though with the nice job they've done with the scenery out beyond the outfield wall. Big trees in center and left hide the surrounding area very well, and then of course the berm between right field and the football stadium. Way off to the east are some mountains, including New Mexico State's "A Mountain," which has a giant A painted on the side of it.
All of the seats are found right behind home plate. They are all bleachers though, so bring your own seatbacks! The stands are in the shade the entire time for an afternoon/evening game. Fans also have the option of standing right along the backstop, or going out down the right field line beyond the visitors' dugout to watch the game. The visiting bullpen is further down the right field line, with the NMSU bullpen on the left field side. The entire third base side is taken up by the Aggies' dugout and clubhouse facility. Some people did sit and stand down the left field line, but they had some kind of relation to the team and the athletics department.
The scoreboard is one of the newest things about the field, and it can be found out beyond left field. It's nothing special, just has the basic baseball stats on it. I thought the fence was interesting though. The entire fence line is sheet metal that's painted red. It seems kind of dangerous for fielders that have to make a play up against the wall, and it makes an awful noise if a batter lines one out to the fence or pulls a ball foul.
There are several promotions before and during the game, including a drawing to have the opportunity to throw out the first pitch. They also have a "Kidcaster" drawing, where a lucky kid gets to be the announcer for an inning. One thing I really didn't like was that they forced people who caught foul balls to take the balls back to the press box.
After every time an opposing batter struck out, they played *NSync's "Bye Bye Bye", which was hilarious. All of the musical choices for mound visits and pitching changes and all of the walkup songs were all on the mean side, which made the game a little more enjoyable. They also went with the Red Sox tradition of "Sweet Caroline" in the middle of the 8th.
The stadium itself is located pretty much in the middle of campus, so the immediate area is all dorms and education buildings. It also has intramural fields across the street, Memorial Stadium just to the east, and Pan American Center is to the northeast.
All of the entertainment can be found on University Ave., which stretches between I-10 and I-25. The best place to go is probably The Game Sports Bar & Grill. It has your typical sports bar food and beverages. They do give 10% off if you have an NMSU Student ID. Right next to The Game is Mix Express, which is a fast food Japanese place.
Other places on University that are close to Askew Field are Dublin's Street Pub, Okazuri Floating Sushi Bar and Lorenzo's Italian. There are also several fast food restaurants, and the Corbett Center Student Union is within walking distance of the field.
New Mexico State's baseball program is starting to see some signs of continued success, and the fans are very supportive of the team. Everyone was very into the game the whole way. Some fans even started the fight song on their own a couple of times. There's not much history as far as having famous players come through Las Cruces, but the fans definitely know a lot about the guys that are on the current roster.
With a capacity of 750, I would have expected it to be fuller, but it was only about half full, even on a Friday night when the best pitchers for both teams were facing each other.
The field is located near where I-10 and I-25 intersect. From both highways you'll want to get off at the University Ave. exit, and then head south off of University. From I-10, you take University to Espina, then Espina south to Stewart, and take Stewart to Locust. The stadium is on the east side of Locust. From I-25, you get off and get on Pan American Hwy to Wells, and take Wells west to Locust.
Las Cruces has an airport, but it is not very large, so if you're flying to the city you will have to go through El Paso, which is 45 minutes away.
Parking at Askew Field is not difficult. The field itself has a dirt parking lot right next to the ticket office. You'll want to park closer to the street if you can though so your car doesn't get hit by a foul ball. Locust St. has a lot of parking along it, and there's also plenty of parking just a short walk beyond the left field wall closer to the softball stadium. All of it is free at night and on weekends. For weekday day games there may be some kind of permit issue with the campus parking lots.
The stadium has one concession stand and one bathroom, which is plenty for the amount of people. The bathrooms aren't particularly clean, but there is a person sitting right outside of them to clean them if there is an issue. Handicap access isn't a problem either. There is a ramp that leads up to the grandstand area from where the ticket office and concession stand are.
It's very cheap to go to an Aggies baseball game: just $6 for single game tickets, and then really cheap food and free parking. The WAC generally has some pretty good baseball teams including NMSU, so the quality of baseball is much higher than the price paid to see it. The seats are right on top of the field, and you also have the option to stand right behind the back stop, so you can be right on top of the action.
The outfield wall is full of banners celebrating the history of NMSU baseball. There are retired numbers, conference championship banners, and NCAA tournament appearance banners. Overall though, Parker Askew Field is a very basic place to watch baseball, but a very affordable one.
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2605 South Espina Street
Las Cruces, NM 88001
1745 East University Avenue
Las Cruces, NM 88001
1715 East University Avenue
Las Cruces, NM 88001
1753 East University Avenue
Las Cruces, NM 88001
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